Why we’re not celebrating a completed grant application

We’ve mentioned a little lately the great big grant application that we had underway. We mentioned doing our finances and trying to make up our paid circulation quota. The application was due March 1. This week (and last, and the one before), if we’d done it, we’d be celebrating. Instead, we’ve just released issue 1.2, sans grant.

So, what happened?

The answer is that lots of things happened. Mostly, what happened was that we didn’t make our paid circulation quota. In order to qualify for the grant (the Canada Council for the Arts Grants to Literary and Art Magazines, new magazine component), we needed to be able to show that we’d had average circulation, over the course of all of our issues, of at least 200 copies, with paid circulation making up half that amount.

Tactically, we made a mistake. We printed 1000 copies of issue 1.1. Which means that, in order to qualify for the grant, we needed to sell 500 of those copies. While we did sell a couple hundred copies (which, all by itself, is great), we didn’t make it to 500. Taking that into account, no matter how well we did with 1.2, if we’d released it before March 1, we wouldn’t have managed the average half paid circulation required to qualify for the grant.

So instead, seeing that, we took a little more time with 1.2, made it great, made it the magazine we wanted it to be. And we’re plugging along. As we go, we’re picking up more and more subscribers (big shouts go out to those who have bought supporter subscriptions), chasing down more potential advertisers, and just generally going about our business, on a shockingly small budget.

That’s the story behind the grant. Thanks to those of you who bought cheap copies of 1.1 to help us with our paid circulation numbers. It did help. And it does help us in the long run. Now, we’ll keep on keeping on and, the next time March 1 rolls around, chances are way better that we’ll be prepared to apply for that grant and get it. Fingers crossed.

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