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By Z Staff
Z Magazine has now been publishing for nine years. It started out as a 96-112 page monthly, a length we felt was needed to reflect the diversity of writing, research, and activism. A financial crisis in 1992 required cutbacks to 64-72 pages. In addition to the magazine, we are also busy with a computer bulletin board system, an on-line school, and a summer Media Institute. We need your support with these efforts. As a result, in the next two months you will probably get a call from a representative working for Z, asking you to make a donation to Z Magazine and related projects. Such calls are an inconvenience, we know. But they are very important to our well being and growth.
Why do we call? Well, we need your donations, and we use phone fundraising because it works. It is far easier for you to have a friendly chat and make your pledge by phone, than to react to a mail appeal. The returns from calling, even after deducting for costs, are much higher than from mailings.
Where does your money go? Most of our expenses are for Z, of course. The major costs are printing and mailing ($13 to $14,000 per month), editorial fees ($4 to $6,000 per month), and the costs of attracting renewals as well as new subscribers via mass mailings ($125,000+ per year). Since we have a staff of only three ($5,400 per month), and operate out of our house ($1,500 per month), and do our own list maintenance, etc., the rest of our costs are relatively low and not subject to much cutting. Still, Z runs at a yearly deficit that varies from between $30,000 to $60,000 out of a budget of about $420,000.
The ZNET web site (www. lbbs.org) is all volunteer. The Left on Line Bulletin Board System (LBBS) is currently running at a small surplus (with no staff expenses). We anticipate Z Media Institute (ZMI) running at a deficit this year of around $8,000, depending on many variables.
So, for the whole organization, we generally need to raise about $50,000 yearly from our supporters, beyond the cost of any premiums we offer.
So your money will help pay for: (1) Z printing and editorial expenses; (2) Z mailings to attract new subscribers; (3) Z Media Institute scholarships. Whichever of these you prefer, when you are called, we hope you will make a donation commensurate with your means, so that we can introduce Z to others who have yet to experience it.