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September 19, 2011

The Western Catholic Reporter achieved a small financial surplus of $18,899 in the fiscal year that ended March 31.

The surplus was less than that of recent years for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being a decline of more than $40,000 in advertising revenue.

The previous year had been a particularly bounteous one for advertising in the WCR, so it was to be expected that revenues would decline somewhat. However, advertising revenue in the current fiscal year is again less than we had anticipated.

This is one area in which we hope to add revenue in future years. We encourage local Catholic businesses and professionals to consider advertising in the WCR. We also hope to develop our website as a source of advertising revenue.

Although personnel costs increased last year, that was in large part due to the fact that, for the first time in several years, we were fully staffed throughout the year.

The cost of printing and mailing the newspaper declined by $56,000 last year. We were able to establish a financially advantageous arrangement with Transcontinental Printers of Saskatoon, which has been printing the WCR since August 2010.

An added cost split over the 2011 and 2012 years was that of a consultant who oversaw the revisioning project undertaken by the WCR’s board of directors. That cost, as well as other fees and costs associated with the normal running of an office, are recorded under Office expenses in the statement to the left.

Finally, it must be noted that our grant from Heritage Canada under the Canadian Periodical Fund increased by more than $16,000 last year.

However, we have just received word that our grant for the current fiscal year is almost $27,000 less than last year. The government announced just last month that it has changed the basis on which such grants are calculated.

Almost half of the funding for the WCR comes from the parishes of the Edmonton Archdiocese. Because of the parish assessment program, we are able to provide the WCR to registered parishioners in the archdiocese at no direct cost. Parishes are assessed up to five per cent of their Sunday collections to pay for the operations of the WCR.

The assessment plan enables the WCR to provide current news and Catholic perspectives to more than 32,000 homes in the archdiocese. We encourage parishes to provide us with regular updates to our mailing list so that we can serve all Romans Catholics who wish to receive the WCR.

Because the WCR has run financial surpluses for several years, we have asked to have the assessment frozen. However, the surplus is now only slightly more than one per cent of total revenues.

We encourage readers who wish to make a donation to the newspaper to use the envelope contained in this issue. We also solicit your prayers for our ministry and that of the Catholic press in general.