December 2002

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Between 1997 and 2001, the Alcohol Research Information Service, a nonprofit organization in Lansing, Mich., undertook a project to increase circulation of its publications, develop a Web site and become self-sustaining.

The Alcohol Research Information Service delivers news and information on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to prevention practitioners in the field.

It collects information published in journals, trade publications, news reports, the Internet and other sources, and makes it available in a reader-friendly format through two publications:

  • Monday Morning Report, a four-page bi-weekly newsletter.
  • The Bottom Line on Alcohol in Society, a 96-page quarterly journal.

Key Results
The Alcohol Research Information Service:

  • Published 86 issues of Monday Morning Report. Approximately 4,000 extra copies of a double issue covering the May 1998 Alcohol Policy Conference XI in Chicago were also distributed.
  • Published 14 issues of The Bottom Line, including several single-topic issues, such as one that addressed alcohol industry marketing strategies toward minorities.
  • Surveyed 600 readers in January 2001, with 200 responding. Among the findings:
    • Ninety percent of readers work in the substance abuse field, either in research, education, treatment, prevention or public policy.
    • Most would prefer that alcohol issues remain the primary focus of the organization and its publications.
    • Implemented a business plan in January 2001 designed to render the organization financially self-sustaining.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the project with two grants totaling $306,958 between October 1997 and August 2001.

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THE PROBLEM

The Alcohol Research Information Service, a nonprofit organization in Lansing, Mich., delivers news and information on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to prevention practitioners in the field.

It collects information published in journals, trade publications, news reports, the Internet and other sources, and makes it available in a reader-friendly format through two publications:

  • Monday Morning Report, a four-page bi-weekly newsletter.
  • The Bottom Line on Alcohol in Society, a 96-page quarterly journal.

The publications had a combined circulation of 1,000 (500 paid, 500 complimentary).

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THE PROJECT

The Alcohol Research Information Service received two grants to help it:

  • Expand circulation of the publications, including providing copies to grantees of one of RWJF's national programs focused on substance abuse, A Matter of Degree: Reducing High-Risk Drinking Among College Students, and to communities working with one of RWJF's resource centers, Join Together: National Resource for Community Substance Abuse Initiatives.
  • Conduct a reader survey to determine the publications' strengths and weaknesses.
  • Develop a business plan to broaden the current subscription base and render the organization financially self-sustaining.
  • Develop a Web site.

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RESULTS

The Alcohol Research Information Service:

  • Published 86 issues of Monday Morning Report. Approximately 4,000 extra copies of a double issue covering the May 1998 Alcohol Policy Conference XI in Chicago were also distributed.
  • Published 14 issues of The Bottom Line, including several single-topic issues, such as one that addressed alcohol industry marketing strategies toward minorities.
  • Surveyed 600 readers in January 2001, with 200 responding. Among the findings:
    • Ninety percent of readers work in the substance abuse field, either in research, education, treatment, prevention or public policy.
    • Most preferred that alcohol issues remain the primary focus of the organization and its publications.
    • Readers valued the publications for their content, clarity and succinctness.
    • About half said they would subscribe to an online Monday Morning Report.
    • Readers use the organization's information for a variety of purposes, including newsletters, op-ed pieces, staff training, testimony for legislative hearings, news conferences and high school classes.
  • Implemented a business plan in January 2001 designed to render the organization financially self-sustaining. The plan included:
    • Combining the two publications into one, a new, six- to eight-page version of Monday Morning Report.
    • Raising the subscription rate to $100 a year and eliminating most complimentary subscriptions.
    • Using direct mail to obtain at least 300 paying subscribers to the new Monday Morning Report.
    • Moving operations to space in the project director's home.

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AFTER THE GRANT

As of July 2002, initial work toward Web site had been completed, and the organization had 350 paid subscriptions to the new Monday Morning Report. The project director continues to contribute substantial in-kind support to the organization, providing unpaid time, free office space and paid utilities.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Information Resources for Substance Abuse Prevention Practitioners

Grantee

Alcohol Research Information Service (Lansing,  MI)

  • Building Capacity to Provide Practitioners with Information on Alcohol and Drug Issues
    Amount: $ 145,958
    Dates: October 1997 to September 1999
    ID#:  031593

  • Information Resources for Substance Abuse Prevention Practitioners
    Amount: $ 161,000
    Dates: March 2000 to August 2001
    ID#:  037925

Contact

Robert L. Hammond
(517) 485-9900
alcoholisadrugtoo@voyager.net

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Journals

Alcohol Research Information Service, The Bottom Line on Alcohol in Society: Published two issues in 1997; four issues in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Articles

Hammond RL. "U.S. Anti-Drug Priorities 'Wrong'." The Globe Magazine, 3: 18, 1999.

Hammond RL. "Fighting Back." The Globe Magazine, 2: 2, 1999.

Hammond RL. "Mixed Messages." The Globe Magazine, 2: 16, 1999.

Newsletters

Monday Morning Report. Lansing, Mich.: Alcohol Research Information Service. 24 issues annually. Until January 2001, 1,000–1,200 copies mailed per issue, with 4,000 additional copies distributed for a special issue. After January 2001, 300–350 copies mailed per issue.

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Report prepared by: Jan Hempel
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Joan Hollendonner

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