From institutional sponsorship to self-sufficiency

A SUBSIDIZED magazine tends to be a dull magazine. Living on handouts from its parent institution, it lives distant from its readers and their needs.

For years Back to Godhead lived on funding from the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. We came out regularly but readers lost interest, circulation dwindled, and the Book Trust found Back to Godhead increasingly hard to keep afloat. Something wasn't working.

Then, nearly two years ago, we made a decision: No more handouts. The magazine would have to stand on its own.

The Work Begins

That was a tough decision. It forced us to suspend printing, reexamine what we were doing, and virtually start again from scratch.

We had only two thousand subscribers.

The work began. We assembled a new team of editors, argued and debated our editorial assumptions, began re-working our pages. We started recruiting new writers and coming up with new editorial features.

On the financial front, we cut our overhead and started planning how to survive on our own.

Finally, we started working to enlist new subscribers.

Doing this work has been a struggle and still is. But the result, we believe, is a better magazine, a magazine more thoughtful, relevant, bold, and enlightening, a magazine you look forward to receiving and sharing with others.

Your Role is Crucial

Now, that point about sharing is crucial. Because to reach our goal of self-sufficiency, we need you.

We've gone from two thousand subscribers to nearly seven thousand. But our goal now is to double that and do it by the end of the year.

Well, more than double it. We want to grow from seven thousand subscribers to fifteen thousand. And not only do we want to we need to.

We need to reach more people with our message. We've got a mission: to drive away maya and spread the light of Krsna consciousness. And that mission is urgent, for ourselves and for the world. Nothing is more urgent than the need for spiritual realization.

We want to inspire and unite the friends and devotees of Krsna. And we want to offer new people the opportunity to find freedom and shelter from material illusion at Krsna's lotus feet.

We want to build a wave a wave of Krsna consciousness that just keeps growing and growing and growing.

Apart from that, fifteen thousand subscribers is how many we need to keep from going broke. Sparing you the details, printing in small numbers is costly. At larger numbers, things fit into place. We start standing strongly, steadily and growing.

How to Do It

We're not going to reach the whole world at once. The world frankly isn't interested.

But you're interested and, surely, so are other people near you. Those are the people we want to reach now. And the person who can reach them best is you.

The great spiritual master Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura once wrote that Krsna consciousness is like an electrical force communicated from one sympathetic soul to the next. And Back to Godhead is an instrument a powerful instrument for that communication.

Now that Back to Godhead is back, let's use it. Here's what you can do:

1. Tell people about Back to Godhead. Your friends, your relatives, your neighbors. Anyone who might be interested in Krsna. Show it to them. Share it with them. Spread the word!

2. Encourage them to subscribe. No, you don't have to be pushy. But give them a chance. Make it easy: Take a subscription card from this magazine and place it gently in their hands. Invite them to enjoy the benefits of personally receiving Back to Godhead.

3. Maybe you know many people who'd be interested. Maybe whole groups. Great! Do them a spiritual favor give them the opportunity to subscribe. We'd be happy to send you more subscription cards as many as you'd like. Just drop us a line and let us know.

4. Give a gift subscription to a relative, a friend, someone at work, your local school or public library.

There's no greater gift than Krsna consciousness. And through gift subscriptions alone, we can nearly reach our goal.

If each subscriber gives a gift of Back to Godhead, we'll have almost fifteen thousand subscribers. And why only one gift? Think about giving several.

Double the Light

We've got exciting plans for upcoming issues: New themes. New features. New photography and art. New ideas for coming closer to one another and closer to Krsna.

Srila Prabhupada started Back to Godhead as a way to spread the