For the first time since May 2001, AAN has sold a donated ad through its AAN ADvantage program. The full-page ad was purchased by Eckerd Youth Alternatives, a non-profit organization seeking counselors to work with at-risk youth in wilderness camps. Eckerd also runs national classified ads in the AAN CAN classified network.
The donated ad program was established in the 80’s, when members agreed to fund association activities by providing ad space that AAN sold at a discounted rate. Before the advent of AAN CAN, the program was AAN’s primary funding mechanism; at one point it represented over half of the association’s annual budget. But as AAN CAN grew, the donated ads were scaled back, from eight half-pages to four in 2000, and from four to two in 2001.
Donated ads have been included in each of the association’s last two budgets but AAN has been unable to sell them. The new ad from Eckerd was sold in September — the final month of AAN’s FY03 — but will count toward the FY04 budget since it will run this month. As a result, the Eckerd ad will be the last donated ad that AAN member papers will be asked to run until — at the earliest — October 2004.
The ad will run between October 12 and October 26. AAN members will run the ad only once during that three-week window; each paper can fit the ad into its schedule when it is most convenient.
AAN has distributed insertion orders to every paper. The deadline for returning the insertion orders is Wednesday, October 8.