The impact of Covid-19 had presented numerous challenges, including the temporary cessation of print production for our magazine, The Emerald. We were excited to distribute the Winter 2022 (125th Anniversary) issue to nearly 5,000 brothers across the landscape of Sigma Pi. Unfortunately, that level of distribution is not sustainable for a standard issue of The Emerald. However, we are excited to share an initiative that will allow us to continue providing you with the printed version of the magazine.
After testing a new distribution model internally over the last two issues, we have made the decision to offer a printed version of The Emerald exclusively to select donors who generously contribute an unrestricted gift of $100 or more annually. Additionally, if you have reached a lifetime giving level of $5,000 or more, or have a documented planned gift with Sigma Pi, you will receive a copy of the magazine. By doing so, we can effectively manage the rising costs associated with print production and shipping, while ensuring the sustainability of our magazine operations.
As an initiated brother, you will continue to receive a digital subscription to The Emerald. Rest assured that as long as your contact information is up-to-date in our database and you have opted-in to receiving our emails, you will receive the much-anticipated issue release email each time it becomes available. We are committed to delivering the same high-quality content directly to your inbox, providing you with an immersive reading experience despite the shift in delivery method.
It is important to note that the decision to discontinue mass distribution of the print edition was influenced by several factors. Primarily, the costs associated with paper have skyrocketed, increasing multiple times over the past three years with our publisher, as well as their competitors. We have explored alternative publishing options and engaged in discussions with various publishers, but the prices offered did not allow for a production model that met the minimum requirements of those companies. Additionally, we have been grappling with substantial shipping expenses, as postal rates have risen. Historically, the postage aspect alone accounted for approximately 40% of the total cost of each issue release.
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this transition may cause, but we believe it is a necessary step to ensure the sustainability of The Emerald and provide the additional services that our members need in today’s fraternal experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the print production of The Emerald temporarily suspended?
The print production of The Emerald was temporarily suspended due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Sigma Pi began testing a print distribution to unrestricted donors for the Fall 2022 issue, and distributed to the same audience again for the Spring 2023 issue. Due to the reduced cost load associated with this distribution method, we have made the decision to move forward with this model for the foreseeable future.
How can I receive a printed version of The Emerald?
In order to receive a printed version of The Emerald, you can make an unrestricted gift of $100 or more annually as a donor to Sigma Pi. This exclusive benefit is offered to select donors who generously contribute to our organization.
As an initiated brother, will I still receive The Emerald?
Yes, as an initiated brother, you will continue to receive a subscription to The Emerald. However, your subscription will be in digital format. As long as your contact information is up-to-date in our database and you have opted-in to receive our emails, you will receive the issue release email for each new edition.
Why was the decision made to discontinue mass distribution of the print edition?
The decision to discontinue mass distribution of the print edition was made due to several factors. The costs of paper have significantly increased, rising four times over the past two years with our publisher. Furthermore, shipping expenses, including postal rates, have continued to rise. These factors have made it financially challenging to sustain the print production and distribution of The Emerald.
Will mass production of The Emerald return in the future?
The return of The Emerald print version being distributed to all members will likely not return. However, there remains a possibility that the printed magazine production could expand beyond the current audience in the future. We will take into consideration all aspects of the production of The Emerald, and are continuously researching new ways to get our content in the hands of as many brothers as possible.