April 15, 2008
Words can't fully convey our gratitude for your support. The outpouring of encouragement we received in response to our recent appeal letter touched us to the core. It's a much-maligned phrase, but I can't come any closer to how I feel personally than to say that I am honored — both to have founded and to have published for four years the kind of magazine that your letters, emails and calls describe. It is profoundly moving to find that The Polishing Stone means as much to so many of you as it does to us.
I deeply regret to have to share that we did not raise the funding we needed to continue. After much deliberation, our Board has suspended publication of The Polishing Stone magazine indefinitely. We have scaled back our organization, and shifted to an all volunteer effort while we are regrouping. Our website — which is a storehouse of information on quality of life, community and care for the earth — will remain open as a public service, allowing us to carry on fulfilling our mission. We will continue to accept donations, and offer back issues in print and paperless format. The funding we receive will offset pending obligations and support our educational work through community-based programs such as and our E-newsletter, Stepping Stones. We also hope to rebuild toward the possibility of future publication.
As we've communicated over these four years, funding an independent press is a daily challenge, with every penny received covering an essential current expense. As such, we made an appeal to the Independent Press Network (IPN), and six fine indy publishers stepped forward to offer their magazines to fulfill the outstanding issues in your subscription. We've posted their contact information to assist you in your selection. We are tremendously grateful for the support we have received from the member titles of the IPN over the years, and it is our hope that you'll be inspired to continue on with one of these unique magazines.
If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please select one of these magazines and mail your response by May 15, 2008 to our offices at 20104 87th St. SE Snohomish, WA 98290. (You are also welcome to email your response.) We will then send each of the publishers a list of the subscribers who chose their magazines, so they can fulfill your remaining issues. You'll find the number of issues remaining in your subscription in the Expire section of your address label on the letter you will receive. We look forward to hearing back from you about this opportunity to complete your outstanding subscription. Should you not respond, we will understand that you've chosen to let your subscription go unfulfilled.
Our issue #19, Spring 2007, which did not go to press, is available to you in paperless PDF format. You may access it via our website: http://www.polishingstone.org/Online-Issue19. When prompted, key in the username: OLissue19 and the password: ujS943y07sa . (Note: You may have to key these access codes in multiple consecutive attempts. Your patience during this high-volume period is appreciated.)
Many who have contacted us in the last few weeks have asked how to support the possibility of The Polishing Stone resuming publication. We would gratefully receive your tax-deductible donations and purchases of back-issue sets for yourself, friends, or local community hubs — we're told they are lasting gifts of life-enhancing information and inspiration. If you aren't sure where best to send a set, consider a donation through our CornerStones program, and we'll find a community in need of a lift.
Thank you — for everything.
Kylie Loynd, Publisher
February 7, 2008
This is the letter I never wanted to write, have heard is business suicide and yet feel is essential to send.
Today, we stand at a crossroads. Words cannot possibly convey how much your appreciative calls, emails and letters have meant to us, every week. Your stories about magazines you've loved that have closed — and how much you miss them — have touched us. So has your encouragement that we keep up the courage and the will to continue on. Our spring issue is ready, but on hold due to lack of funding.
I've been publishing The Polishing Stone since spring of 2004 — each and every day not sure we'd make it to the next week. By the time you receive this, Corinna and I and our Board will be mid-point in a funding drive. We set a two-week goal to raise $25,000 through a combination of donations, issue sponsorships, and magazine sales from our office and through fundraising partners. These funds are needed for immediate operations and to lay the groundwork to continue. If we do not raise them, we will have to close. (Should that happen, in keeping with the tradition of the Indy press community, you'll receive a letter with a list of fine publishers that would be honored to fulfill your subscription with their own magazines.)
In addition to your encouragement, we have been surrounded by other supporting people. We have had the early inspiration of Barbara McNally of A Real Life, who wrote to us: "It seems that some things are meant to be — against the odds." And ongoing mentoring from Fran Korten, the publisher of Yes! magazine, who recently shared: "I am constantly and brutally aware of the fragility of our industry." Right now, I'm recalling the stream of practical, essential advice we've valued from another dear mentor, Anne Newkirk Niven of SageWoman, which unfailingly arrives with the closing: "Just my nickel. Your mileage can (and probably will) vary." In the last month, I've had 5 different people share the same Margaret Mead quote: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Together we are that small group.
We've continued against the odds, funded in part by subscription sales, which, as I share on the flip side, are a fraction of what is needed. A large part of our funding has come from your generous donations. And with our winter issue we launched our Sponsorship Program, which has great potential for increasing business support of our work. Last month we also introduced CornerStones, a program by which your donations supply magazines to libraries, schools, community centers and other gathering places.
$25,000 is a lot of money — and it's not, at the same time. Literally, it's each person in this community giving one gift subscription. It's many sending a quick email to friends to request support. It's some picking up the phone to call a local business or a community leader asking them to sponsor our upcoming issue. It's a few connecting us with a group in need of their own funding that would be willing to set goals and raise the monies they need through selling The Polishing Stone. (Please see our How to Help page for details.)
If you, or someone you love, feels that the world needs the voice of The Polishing Stone — a welcoming voice free of judgment and full of hope, one you can share without hesitation despite differences in backgrounds — then please offer support, today.
Your encouragement and generosity keep us alive and we are deeply thankful for all that you do.
All my best,
Kylie Loynd, Publisher
If you'd like to offer support, please consider
donating to The Polishing Stone.
Thank you for making our work possible...