In previous articles this month we’ve considered:
In this article we will consider Adventist Forum funding as a whole and how that relates to the website.
First, consider these actual Adventist Forum income totals for the 2008 fiscal year (July 2007-June 2008):
Income Source Amount AF Membership $49,441 Advertising $5,623 Sales $4,045 AF Board & Advisory Council $116,535 Other Contributions $8,988 Total $184,632
Now, some explanation as to what each Income Source means.
AF Membership income is from subscriptions to Spectrum magazine. People who subscribe are considered to be members of Adventist Forum. Note also that this income doesn’t even come close to fully paying magazine costs (i.e. production and editor salaries), so cannot provide spill-over funding for the website.
Advertising revenue means ads placed in the magazine and/or website. This income source has much more potential than these totals would indicate. We have, since these ’08 Fiscal Year numbers were totaled, hired an advertising coordinator. That adds cost but also, in our case, has significantly increased revenue. So there is a net gain here that is still growing.
Sales include: books published by Adventist Forum, back issues of Spectrum, etc. Basically anything we might choose to sell. Income from this category has, in the past, varied widely. The above figure is mostly income from some books published by Spectrum (note that there is a link to a tiny Spectrum Website store on the Home page menu bar, where these materials can be purchased). But there is no ongoing effort to produce future books for sale. This would actually be something well within AF’s mission and something we would like to do more of. But for every venture there must be corresponding effort. And a small organization has to choose where to place its resources. In addition, we would like to significantly increase the type and quantity of offerings in our on-line store. Perhaps this will be realized during 2009.
But, as you see above, almost 2/3 of last fiscal year’s income came from either the AF Board of Directors or a group known as the Spectrum Advisory Council. This second group is comprised of committed supporters who contribute at least $500 per year to ensure AF’s continuing financial stability. A current list of these people is published in each issue of Spectrum magazine, on the inside back cover.
The Other Contributions category is from people – such as magazine subscribers or website readers – who contribute amounts smaller than $500.
Now it is evident when looking at past revenue that a relatively small number of people have provided the majority of funding. This means there is a significant inversion between readers and supporters. And it would seem both unrealistic and inappropriate to expect a major reversal of this few-serve-many equation. But what does seem both reasonable and appropriate is to decrease this disparity somewhat by asking you, our readers, to become more involved as partners in this venture by providing greater overall financial support. Some of you should consider whether your finances and priorities allow and motivate you to be major sustainers by becoming Advisory Council members ($500 or above). But certainly, the great majority of those who visit this website will not have that ability. To you we would ask you to consider a much more modest contribution of, say, $10, $20 or $50. This is well within the means of perhaps most of our readers. And many responses at this level would make a major difference to us.
Finally, as this calendar year comes to a close many of you will consider both your tax situation and what discretionary tax-deductable contributions you want to make. For American readers please note that Adventist Forum is a qualified 501c-3 organization and gifts are fully tax-deductable.
Chairman - Adventist Forum Revenue/Finance Committee