Those pesky envelopes are back. Perhaps one fell out of your newspaper when you opened it to read this column.
If you’ve been reading us for a while, you know that the envelope means it’s time for The Jewish Voice’s annual Patron Campaign. You can see the full-page ad this week on page 5.
Stay with me now. I’m going to make a pitch. But it’s not the same one as last year!
Here are a few facts about your community newspaper, based on our 2017 Readership Survey:
• You feel that the paper keeps you connected to the Rhode Island Jewish community whether or not you still live here.
• You overwhelmingly read The Voice for Jewish community news (86 percent) and events (79 percent).
• You often recommend reading The Voice to a family member or friend (66 percent).
• Most of you have been readers for 10 years or more (70 percent).
These are just a few of the things I learned from our survey. None are surprising. They just confirm what we already knew was true – that a lot of you rely on The Voice to stay informed about our community. And the survey results helped us to renew our commitment to covering the community news that you think is important.
But we can’t do this without the support of you, the reader.
Here’s one fact that really surprised me: 60 percent of you are aware of the Patron Campaign but only 35 percent said you had ever contributed. After all this time, and all my columns about the patron campaign (and those written by previous editors), and the pitches, and ads, I am shocked that some of you do not know about this oh-so-important fundraiser.
The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island makes a generous allocation to the newspaper – but they can’t and shouldn’t cover all our costs. There are many other needs in the community.
Advertisers are another key revenue source. As anyone who reads any newspaper knows, advertising sales have been on the decline, which makes other sources of revenue more important than ever.
And that’s where the Patron Campaign comes in.
Your donations are important. They are a key source of revenue. We’ve been reducing spending in recent years but continued cuts could mean fewer issues or reduced coverage.
We made a decision long ago to provide The Voice to Rhode Islanders at no cost. Would you pay a yearly subscription price of $18 or $36 or even $54 to get your community paper delivered to your home? Then I ask that you consider an equivalent donation. Your generous gifts go directly to The Jewish Voice.
Please consider contributing to the 2017 Patron Campaign between now and the end of June. There’s a button on our website to donate online. Or you can use the envelope included with this paper. No gift is too small – or too big!
Your gift will help us continue to publish the high-quality newspaper that you are now reading. And it will help us bring you more of the community news that you want.