The blog that you are reading is published by the Reason Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to "Free Minds and Free Markets." Like all magazines of political opinion (think National Review, The Nation, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard) Reason is unable to cover its editorial expenses through circulation and advertising alone, which essentially leaves you with two options: exist at the whim of a mercurial rich person whose enthusiasms for losing money may run hot and cold, or organize as a nonprofit with as diverse & dispersed funding base as possible.
We choose the latter, which is why our annual Webathon–which ends tomorrow!–is so important. It's not just that we could really use the money (of course we could use the money!), but we need as broad a donor base as humanly possible, so that we are not reliant on any one or even handful of sources or sectors. That's why our target here isn't a dollar figure, it's a donor figure: 800 of you we want, and we're only around halfway there. Can't afford the $100 minimum to get some swag back? No worries–give us $10, $5. Please! It's all fully tax-deductible.
SPEAKING OF WHICH. That might not be true next year. As we never tire of reminding you, Washington's budget/governing process has deteriorated so badly that whole sets of basic tax rules are subject to unpredictable, clown-bro crisis negotiations among camera-hogging, government-hearting economic illiterates. Among the rules up in the air are those concerning the tax deductibility of donations to nonprofits like Reason. Check it out:
The New Year may not hold a lot of promise for nonprofit organizations threatened by a looming fiscal cliff.
Should sequestration become reality, it would have a profound effect on all nonprofit organizations. That's not only because it would limit or eliminate deductions for charitable giving, but it is also expected to cut or eliminate federal funding for nonprofits.
Needless to say, Reason doesn't receive any government funding, and we do not grieve when governments divest from the nonprofit sector. But any new cap on tax deductions could affect us. Here's how:
Most deductible expenses that would be subject to a cap or limit are non-discretionary. For instance, we must pay state and local taxes and many of us must continue to pay mortgage interest. But charitable giving is entirely discretionary. Thus, a taxpayer trying to squeeze all of her deductions into a fixed dollar cap is more likely to reduce her charitable giving– though by how much is a matter of debate.
So if your donation strategy is impacted by tax law governing the deductibility of charitable giving, here's a suggestion: Give us money now, while you still can!
And know this about the way we spend and approach money: Your contributions last year made possible the terrific Reason 24/7 project, which for us involves more than just a terrific new news-aggregation site that you should totally bookmark right the hell now. It also occasioned a top-to-bottom website redesign and re-think, in which one of the primary concerns was finding ways to bring in more revenue. And you know what? It's working. Magazine revenue, particularly online, is shooting upward right now, bucking basically all industry trends.
So we don't use your money to get lazy and dependent, we use it to kickstart ambitious new projects while protecting and extending our independence. You wouldn't have it any other way.