Welcome to fall! Before our summer break, we reported that we had formed a community steering committee to help plan our future and to develop new opportunities for you, our readers. Committee members include Tim Borton, Robert Curran, Pam Erdos, Paul Green, Ron Ostberg, and Charlie Sennott.
We’re ready to move forward with the committee’s most significant recommendation—stabilizing income by asking for subscriber commitments in early autumn each year, so the following year’s budget can be prepared in November. We’ll send all notices in September, asking for payment or commitment for the coming year instead of sending renewal notices throughout the year. By understanding our anticipated income, we’ll be better able to prepare a budget not only for business as usual, but also for exciting new initiatives.
This week we emailed all subscribers registered on harvardpress.com with a link to view a video that asks the question, “Why do you subscribe to the Harvard Press?” Robert Curran produced this powerful and entertaining video with footage of Harvard friends and neighbors talking about the value of the Press. If you didn’t receive the email and you’d like to view the video, go to https://bit.ly/2lBMMxW, and please call 978-456-3700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update our email lists.
You may already be familiar with our sustainer program. Begun two years ago to improve Press finances, more than 200 subscribers have paid up to $500 to extend their subscription, one year for each $100 paid. Now we’re inviting subscribers to become premium sustainers, defined as anyone whose sustainer payments total $500 or more. We’ll award extra benefits to those supporters, including access to advance and discounted tickets to this year’s speaker series events. The first of these is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 20, when journalist Tina Cassidy, author of “Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?” helps us celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage. Sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy and political writer Ben Bradlee Jr. have also been invited as part of the series, which will be moderated by journalist and Harvard resident Charlie Sennott. We’ll elaborate on other premium sustainer benefits in future emails.
Next week we’ll send another email, this time with our first appeal for 2020 subscriber and sustainer commitments. We hope sustainers will commit to yet another year, and possibly upgrade to premium sustainer. And we hope that if you’re not already a subscriber or sustainer, you’ll sign up. With the response we expect, budgeting in November will lay out a plan for a stronger Harvard Press in 2020 and beyond.
We need your help … EVERYONE’s help. The Press is the community’s newspaper: for the community, by the community!