After long and careful consideration of the hard facts of economics, the Board of the RFPA has come to the conclusion that a price increase is necessary for our Standard Bearer. Hence, effective September 1, the subscription price will go up to $7.00 per year.
In explanation of this increase, and at-the request of the Board, I will call attention to some of the facts. I will not weary you with a long list of statistics which are probably uninteresting and meaningless except to those immediately concerned with the business affairs of our magazine. But I will furnish some information which anyone can readily understand. These facts are as follows:
1] The last price-increase took place 10 years ago. In view of the inflationary trend of our times, it is therefore not surprising that our price must go up. It is rather surprising that for ten years there was no increase. The policy of the Board has been to “hold the line.” But the time has come when a price-increase is necessary in order to meet our costs and maintain a balanced budget.
2] As of January 1, 1968 our publication costs increased $75 per issue, for a total of $1,575.00 per year. What does this mean in terms of the individual subscription? It means that while in 1967 the actual cost per subscription was $11.50, this year the actual cost per subscription is $13.35. Lacking 15 cents, this accounts completely for the $2.00 increase in our subscription rate.
3] From the above figures, you will also see that our subscription price by no means pays the actual cost per subscription. Where must the rest come from? From subsidy in the form of gifts and collections. And the Board has concluded that it is unrealistic to expect that the increased costs will be met by increased gifts and collections alone, which would mean that less than half of the costs would be met by subscriptions.
4] The Standard Bearer is still a real bargain to any subscriber. The $7.00 per year breaks down to less than 35 cents per copy and less than 1 1/2 cents per page. And that for the most informative and the most instructive and most soundly Reformed magazine on the market!
5] Even with the price-increase, we must maintain the same level of gifts in order to break even. And I wish to emphasize that under this budget the Board has no funds to engage in advertising and publicity or to send the witness of our magazine to those outside our present readership whom they would very much like to reach. The latter is a very necessary work, not only because this results in an increased number of subscribers, but also and especially because the Standard Bearer has always had and still has one of its chief purposes in reaching as many as possible with its distinctively Reformed witness. In fact, this is more than ever our calling in this day of galloping apostasy!
But I do not feel that it is necessary to argue the case. For, in the first place, the facts are plain; and the costs must be met. Anyone can see this. And, in the second place, I have every confidence that our subscribers, who have always faithfully and royally supported our magazine, will continue to do so, and that if only they are informed of the need, they will meet that need, and will do so gladly. Hence, as editor and. in behalf of the Board, I am calling for your support!
What can you do?
For one thing, you can simply wait until your personal subscription comes due, and pay the increased rate. If all our readers do this and at the same time continue their gifts, the budget will be met and we will continue as we are.
For another, you could take advantage of the advance announcement of the date of the price-increase and extend your subscription now for a year or two at the old rate of $5.00 per year. This is perfectly legal. And the Board will welcome it because of the immediate cash boost this will furnish.
But there is a better way. And I urge you to consider it seriously and to follow it. Let me explain.
Right now, let every subscriber send in $10 to cover the price of a one-year renewal for himself and a one-year gift subscription. You say, perhaps, that you do not know anyone to whom you would send a gift subscription. That is no obstacle whatsoever. The Board can obtain hundreds of names of people outside our churches to whom they would love to send the Standard Bearer. But the Board needs the money to do this. You furnish the $5.00 for a gift to an unknown beneficiary, and the Board will, take care that our magazine reaches him. The Board can obtain names of concerned persons in all areas of our country who ought to be introduced to ourStandard Bearer, and who, once they receive a gift subscription, will in many cases become permanent subscribers and readers of our magazine and come under the sound and helpful influence of its Reformed witness.
What are the advantages of this plan?
First, and chiefly, this, that in this way we will be achieving our purpose to send forth our testimony. We have approximately 900 paying subscribers at present. If every subscriber would follow my suggestion, we would reach approximately 900 more people with our Reformed witness. Think of it! For just $5.00 you can be actively engaged in this witness for a whole year! Think of what that one five-dollar bill can accomplish!
Secondly; there is this practical advantage. As I have said before, the actual cost per subscription decreases as the number of subscriptions increases. Here is an untapped potential in meeting expenses. If all of our approximately 900 subscribers would underwrite the cost of just one gift subscription, our total subscription list would go up to about 1,800! Do you realize what the result could be? It could mean that the price-increase would either be reduced or eliminated completely! Let it be understood, however, that this is only possible if hundreds of our present subscribers follow this suggestion.
Elsewhere in this issue you will find a subscription blank for your convenience. Use it today!
Let your support come not in a trickle, but in a mighty avalanche! Show the Board that the price-increase is not necessary!