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If, in one of your more entrepreneurial moments, you found yourself launching a new magazine, how would you decide exactly how much to charge for a subscription?

Well, you say, that depends. It depends on so many things. Like:

› What is the main editorial theme of each issue?

› What is the quality of workmanship from issue to issue? In reporting? In writing? In design?

› How many issues will I publish during the next year?

› How many pages will there be typically in each issue?

› How many of those pages will be devoted to ads? How many of the ads will interest the reader?

› What other benefits will there be for members of the reader’s family?

› Will there be any digital or electronic versions of this new “magazine”? Will that add to the cost?

But, of course, when I ask you to join me in thinking about an appropriate price for membership in WORLD, I’m quite deliberately setting you up. So here is an early warning! I will in fact be going even further than you may have thought.

We regularly hear from folks who consider WORLD a great bargain. Others have to pinch somewhere in their family budget.

Some time in the months just ahead, when you get this year’s renewal notice, you will indeed be challenged to use the preceding questions to help you decide whether a WORLD membership is a worthy use of your money. You probably won’t do it quite that formally—but those questions will be in the back of your mind, as they should be. We regularly hear from folks who consider WORLD a great bargain. Others have to pinch somewhere in their family budget. I’m hoping you’re in one of those two groups. But the only validation of that choice is an actual renewal.

I said, though, that I’m asking for more. It is gratifying beyond measure to have thousands of WORLD’s readers and listeners thoughtfully analyze the benefits and respond by saying, “Here’s my part.” But many, many of you have gone beyond “your part,” responding with gifts that serve to cover other costs of WORLD News Group. Those include the important work of the World Journalism Institute, and they provide support for our varied ministries to children. You will find more details at our website: wng.org.

Can you imagine how our gratification has been multiplied over the last year as more than 13,000 of you have joined in such giving, going so generously past the cost of your own personal membership? If you have already been part of this year’s giving, thank you! If you haven’t been part of that remarkable group, wouldn’t this be a great time? In the next issue of WORLD, you’ll find a reply envelope in which you can include a contribution. Or, go to wng.org to give.

For more than 25 years, I have added a footnote to this column with this request. I have asked each year whether there might be a handful of you who would commit to give $5,000 a year for the next three years. Call me. I’d love to chat before the next renewal notices come out.

Joel Belz

Joel is WORLD’s founder. He contributes regular commentary for WORLD Magazine and WORLD Radio. Joel has served as editor, publisher, and CEO over three decades at WORLD and is the author of Consider These Things. Joel resides with his wife, Carol, near Asheville, N.C.


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