CT's sister publication Books & Culture had a problem. It was one that had plagued the publication for much of its history.

The problem was money—more to the point, a lack of money.

It's a malady common to nearly every thought journal, religious or secular. It seems not even award-winning content, like the kind in the magazine you're reading, is enough to ensure financial success.

Enter an aggressive fundraising strategy (another commonality between thought journals) that convened college presidents, some high-end donors, and a devoted community of longtime Books & Culture readers.

Following some initial tweets from editor John Wilson and me, responses moved quickly from a trickle to a torrent. The Twitter nation spoke with an appreciation and generosity that still has us both stunned and humbled.

In the end, the largesse of all those giving donations ranging from $20 to $25,000 not only secured the 18-year-old journal's financial stability in 2014, it also laid a track for its ongoing financial health and strength for several years after that. And all we had to do, according to one donor, "was ask!"

"The Ask" is something that CT has not done much since founder Billy Graham relied on Sun Oil's J. Howard Pew to help underwrite this ministry for its first 20 years. But times have changed. And as we heard directly and indirectly from assorted Books & Culture "angels," our own renewed willingness to step up and ask for operational help was a wake-up call to readers concerning the publishing realities that have brought big-dollar revenue dips to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other lauded titles (remember Newsweek?).

Such realities have kept CT magazine ...

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