The cause of National Review — and it is that, a cause — is a thing of true consequence and impact and meaning. But from the financial perspective, it is also a thing of great deficit. Many readers understand this is the fate of opinion magazines and websites. Many don’t. As things that produce and market controversy, opinion magazines are anathema to your typical advertiser. Minus the reliance on Sugar Daddies or billionaire owners, an institution such as ours must depend on the kindness, generosity, and selflessness of a broad base, of many people of good will.
And so our current webathon — contrived, as these things are, to help alleviate the staggering annual deficit that is part and parcel of this journalistic mission and business of defending our principles, this being done through your participation — seeks to raise ample funds to offset these deficits.
Ample — what is that? We initially set a goal for this webathon of $250,000. It is not reflective of our reality — and the reality is seven figures, the kind that come with two commas, and all that before the decimal point. That is the annual fiscal difficulty with which we battle, and, with your help, surmount. Think about that problem, and then layer onto it the legal costs of this crazed suit from Michael Mann. It too has cost seven figures to our insurer, and many additional hundreds of thousands of dollars above and beyond that to NR. And there are still bills incoming. And, though we received wonderful news about this case on Friday, we are confident that there will be more bills to pay. There is, after all, a limit to insurance.
We have revised our goal to $350,000 — which sounds a speck more achievable than the daunting reality of $1,000,000, no? Our needs are more in line with the latter, but let us focus on the former — since this effort began on March 8, we have been the beneficiary of 2,325 donations, totaling $267,422. Which means in this campaign’s upcoming final week, we hope to raise an additional $87,000 or thereabouts. And if that happens, it will indeed be a great achievement — but it will also be nowhere near to NR’s real needs.
But let us admit: The kindness sent us these past two weeks means that this has already been a great achievement. The amount, yes, and also the love and inspiration that attend the gifts. Here are a few examples:
- Tom makes kindly with $50 and utters: “NR was a favorite of mine in college, when Buckley was the face of U.S. conservatism. In those days, the 1960s, one could discuss differences, not just yell them. I could even study under a conservative professor (Morgenthau) and a liberal (Herman Finer) without being cast into the sea. I rarely agree with anyone on The Right these days but the freedom to say whatever you believe isn’t negotiable. Who knows, enough speech might produce something of lasting value.” Love this Tom, and thanks.
- Jennifer finds 100 bucks for us, and tells a tale: “NR has been my intellectual lifeline ever since I found Up from Liberalism in my school library in the tenth grade. Sooooo many years ago. Keep up the fight and maybe (if not just now) somewhere down the road the same kind of resource may be available to high-school sophomores of another generation.” Amen, Amen. Thanks, Jennifer.
- Ron sends along $100 and explains why: “Combat vet who fought a war 50 years ago to stop these kinds of people. Yet they are now in our Congress. The war isn’t over.” It’s an honor to fight it alongside you, Ron.
- Betty offers a Twenty and explains her addiction: “I simply cannot manage without NR. My small contribution is but a cheer for the brilliance and hope I count on every day from your many sources. I also appreciate those who are the actual BIG contributors . . . thank you, thank you for your generosity, we must thwart vile censorship, we must live and speak free. WIN BIGLY! Betty you are one gracious lady.
- Trent tenders $50, and anxiety: “I feel like I’m living in the time of the Spanish Inquisition, the Puritan witch trials; the Nazi book burnings, the Chinese ‘Cultural Revolution.’ What’s going on in our country is sheer insanity. There has to be a voice of reason.” You sound pretty reasonable yourself. It matches your selflessness.
- Joshua offer a repeat $50, and encouragement: “Recently I contributed $50 towards your campaign to defend this outstanding publication. It is my hope that you will use this $50 to pursue Michael Mann, and his enablers, to recover all fees, costs, and expenses incurred in your defense of his baseless lawsuit. For nearly 30 years NR has enlightened and entertained me, and been a beacon of sanity in a world that seems to get less sane every day. God bless.” He has, with you!
- Laurie donates a sweet $100 and gives a marketing perspective: “A lot of people CAN SELL the CANCEL culture but we don’t have to buy. Thank you NR for fighting the good fight! I’m very grateful and behind you all the way. I learn so much every day reading all the brilliant articles from your talented writers. Know that you are educating the world one day at a time!” None of that happens minus comrades like you, Laurie.
- Charles spots us $100 and his sentiment reflects those of many others: “This Mann lawsuit is (near) the height of ridiculous. I am sorry for the trouble and encourage National Review to keep speaking loudly against incompetence and fraud and in favor of improving the lives of all peoples.” Damn straight, amigo. Thanks.
- John spots us a C-Note and a rumination: “I thought I ought to close out the week and herald the arrival of the spring by reaffirming my support for the valuable work that National Review does. Thank you for keeping your pages open to all strains of right-leaning thought, at a time when so many other outlets have instituted a ‘you’re either with our guy or against us’ editorial attitude. If the GOP and other conservative institutions are going to survive in the present climate, it will be the big tent approach embodied by NR which will lead the way.” You are a blessing on us, John.
Please help us reach our goal, especially if you are a regular reader who has always walked up to the brink of donating but never hit the button. Betty is right: You’re only able to read NR today because many others donated before, selflessly, because they knew it was important for NR to survive and thrive, the economics be darned. If it’s your turn to step up, well, please step. Whatever you can afford, whether $20 or $50 or $100 or even $1,000, donate here. Many have sent donations by check, and if that suits you, then please make yours payable to “National Review” and mail it to: National Review, ATTN: Webathon, 19 West 44th Street, Suite 1701, New York, N.Y., 10036. Thanks so very much.