By Joe Stumpe
With 2020 here, it’s interesting to note that the active age has now been around for all or part of six decades.
Originally called Active Aging, the newspaper was started at Wichita State University in 1979 and found a home at Friends University from 1988 to 1999. At that time, community members formed a nonprofit organization to keep it going. We’ve been located at 125 S. West St. ever since.
That time period encompasses a lot of history, from the serious to the absurd. Remember mullets and Beanie Babies, the Atkins diet and speed dating?
One thing that hasn’t changed is the necessity for the active age to remain solvent in order to keep publishing. Readers have always generously supported the newspaper. In 2016, our board of directors realized that the increasing cost of printing and mailing the newspaper to about 55,000 subscribers each month was outstripping our combined revenue from advertising, donations and an annual grant we receive through the Older Americans Act. Unless something was done, they knew, the active age might be forced to reduce the size of the publication, cut the number of issues each year or go to an online format.
That year, the active age started its “silver” fundraising campaign, with an annual goal of $75,000. The next year, the goal was raised to $85,000, which remains our target today.
Last year at this time, I was able to report that the fundraising campaign had generated $92,000 in 2018, thanks partly to a single $10,000 bequest. This year, the news is not quite as good: donations through mid-December totaled just over $79,500.
That being said, it would be wrong not to recognize how amazing that level of support is and how important a role it plays in our operations. By comparison, our advertising revenue in 2019 was about $250,000. Our grant through the OAA was $35,000.
A fairly small percentage of our readers contribute; many of them make more than one donation per year. We are grateful and humbled that they believe in the newspaper enough to help keep it going. The staff and board of the active age recognize that not everyone can afford to donate and that there are many other causes worthy of support in our community. Whether or not you can help support the active age, we are committed to bringing you the best publication we can.
If you have suggestions for the active age, please do not hesitate to call or email me. More than anything, we want the newspaper to reflect your interests and concerns and be something you look forward to receiving each month.
If you haven’t given, please consider doing so. Your donation is tax deductible and can be made in a variety of ways:
A one-time gift by check or card.
A monthly donation with your credit card.
An online PayPal donation
For more information about donating, call us at 316-942-5385
Here’s to a great 2020!
Editor,The Active Age,
125 S. West St., Suite 105, 67213
Joe Stumpe has been editor of the active age since August 2018.