How much to charge?

Currently we are making major improvements to our magazine layout with increases in colour pages adding to the cost and meaning we need to increase the price. Currently we charge 50p and there has been no increase since 2008, the magazine costs between 90p and £1.10 to print but we are an inner city parish where the locals can struggle financially. How much would be justifiable to charge? We also need to increase our advertising to allow those who cannot pay the cover price to take a copy which is either free or subsidised. What are people's current charges, it is unknown when we last had a price increase. Thank you
Our monthly newsletter is delivered by hand, free of charge, to every house in our united benefice of three small country parishes. We do a print run of 1600 copies per month, which gives us a few extra to have in church for any visitors who would like one. It is a fundamental principle of our PCC that the newsletter is free because it is the one outreach tool we have that goes into every home. Until about 18 months ago we printed it ourselves but now have it done by a local Academy for roughly the same as it had cost us to print it ourselves but at a better quality. We usually have 16 pages of A5 (folded A4). We carry around a dozen adverts each month, 4 to a page, and will be increasing the cost of these from February 2015 to £15 for one insertion, £70 for half a year and £130 for a whole year. Before we started taking adverts we were running at a loss but these days we have been breaking even or making a small profit. We print in black and white only, except for the cover of our Christmas issue - it would be too expensive to do this all year round.
One has to be realistic in this world. When I took over PARISH NEWS (St Andrew's, Ashingdon with S. Fambridge) we were not charging the advertisers as much as it cost to print their advertisements. We print 300 copies 28 pages A5 ( 7 A4 sheets folded in half ). We now charge £14 for 12 monthly insertions of 1/8 of A5 page. That works out as £56 for 1/2 a page for the year. About half of this is the printing cost of the ads the rest helps reduce the magazine cost which is 50p. We make a small profit for church funds.
When I took over our magazine several years ago, I was asked to keep it self-financing. We produce a professionally printed 40-page (including covers) magazine, finished to A5, with full colour front and back covers. The cover price is 50p, which together with advertising, produces a small surplus. The monthly print run is 425.
We have an A5 Parish Magazine with slightly stiffer covers but completely monochrome. Of the 52 pages 23 are adverts nearly all local businesses. They effectively do not change during the year so are contracted annually. (I just don't have the time to change them monthly) This year there are 71 different advertisements. There is simply not room enough to accommodate all the requesting advertisers. We charge (2015) £16.50p for every centimetre down the A5 page meaning we receive just about £300 a page totalling £6,900 from advertising. We have an appeal for magazine funds each February and generally receive between £1,000 - 1,200 from this; the Parish Councils of the 2 villages generally donate £275 a year for dedicated space to summarise their meetings and discuss local matters and sometimes the better off regulars (WIs) send in a donation. We have a print run of 1430 copies costing about £750 a month. All households in 3 villages served by the magazine are delivered a copy by a network of loyal deliverers. We do not charge for copies of the magazine. So we just about break even across the year and the PCC are happy to carry any losses as part of their mission to the community. A pdf copy goes on the church website if you are interested.
I have recently take over editing of a Parochial Parish Magazine (32 x A5 pages, greyscale) with a print run of 240 copies, 30p each/£3 for an annual subscription of 12 copies, distributed by volunteers, a few posted and a few emailed as pdfs. Most of the income comes from subscriptions and advertising with a grant of £200p.a. from the secular parish council. From January the charge has been increased to 50p/£5.

Part of my brief is to:
  • transfer it from the parochial parish to the secular parish,
  • put it online while keeping a small print run for those who can't/won't access it online and,
  • turn it into a community magazine.

It's a work in progress (aren't they all) but I've put the archive online as far back as I can. There's still some wrangling to do with the Parish Council to ensure what I do with the initial release of the 'proper' web site will meet their obligations/requirements but the idea does seem to be gaining favour amongst the readership. Fortuitously (perhaps), a couple of calendar events were changed/postponed at short notice very soon after printing so I have been able to emphasise the value of being able to respond very quickly on a web site - but not at all in the print edition. My hope is that the benefits of the online edition will encourage sufficient readers to abandon the print edition, reducing total printing costs sufficiently to allow the charge per copy to be waived, and that more varied content will attract a wider cross-section of the community.

I am hoping that an increased readership might inspire some to visit and support our church. There will also be more likelihood of the groups cross-feeding each other ("Oh - I didn't know there is a sewing/pool/table tennis/dog training/whatever group. I'll give that a try.")

If you're interested it's at Constructive comments welcome on