I'm happy to announce the start of Reason's annual webathon, a week-long event during which we ask readers of this website to support our efforts as the planet's leading source of news, politics, culture, and ideas from a principled libertarian viewpoint. This year, we're looking to raise $200,000 through December 4. Your support is absolutely vital to our success. Go here now to see swag levels and to give.
We're published by a 501(c)3 nonprofit (more here), so your donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Some generous Reason donors have agreed to match the first $25,000 in gifts from people who have never given before; they will also match the first $25,000 from folks who are giving more this year than last year. So if you give early, your donation will have twice the impact.
Regular readers know that we just celebrated our 50th anniversary of fighting for "free minds and free markets," for a world in which individual liberty flourishes and the size, scope, and spending of government is limited. Reason was founded in 1968 as a mimeographed monthly magazine and has since evolved into a multimedia juggernaut that includes this website; a policy think tank that champions public pension reform, school choice, infrastructure innovation, and privatization; the pioneering online video service Reason TV; a thrice-weekly podcast; and more.
Over the years, Reason was among the first commentary magazines to push ideas, policies, and mind-sets that seemed crazy at the time but are now taken for granted: deregulating the airline industry and interstate trucking, legalizing pot and other "illicit" drugs, marriage equality for gays and lesbians, and school choice (especially for poor kids). During the financial crisis, we were virtually alone even among market-friendly outlets in denouncing TARP and the useless stimulus spending that started under George W. Bush and continued under Barack Obama. While most "think" magazines clutch their pearls at the mere thought of someone else using new technology, we launched our website in the early 1990s, published the very first mass-personalized edition of a consumer magazine in 2004, and with the help of Drew Carey embraced online video back in 2007. Reason staffers fan out across other publications, cable news channels, podcasts, radio shows, and social media, acting as your voice in national debates over economic, political, and cultural freedom. Always and everywhere, we're arguing in favor of perennial values such as individual rights and pluralism while also defending such innovations as the internet, the sharing economy, and cryptocurrencies.
The challenges in front of all of us are enormous. In the few short weeks since we celebrated our first half-century, President Donald Trump and his allies in Congress have spent more money we don't have on things we don't need, Tim Cook of Apple has announced the death of "free markets" and the "inevitable" regulation of the tech sector, and the Washington Post and New York Times have run hysterical "exposés" about how Russian trolls and pranksters have successfully subverted our elections. An apparently resurgent left is calling for "Medicare for All" and not even pretending to come out with a way to find $40 trillion in new spending ("You just pay for it").
Tell us in the comments what you think we should do for an encore in our second 50 years.
You can donate via basically any means that you want (including bitcoin, of course). Here's the swag list for contributions:
$50: a Reason bumper sticker
$100: that PLUS a Reason magazine subscription (includes print or digital; digital includes access to archives of 50 years of Reason magazine), PLUS invitations to Reason events in your area.
$250: all of the above PLUS a newly designed Reason T-Shirt
$500: all of the above PLUS books by Reason authors
$1,000: all of the above PLUS a private lunch in Washington, DC with a Reason editor and an invitation to Reason Weekend 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.
$5,000 all of the above PLUS 1 ticket to Reason Weekend for first-time attendees.
$10,000 all of the above PLUS 2 tickets to Reason Weekend for first-time attendees.
There's another option, too, especially if you're active on Facebook: You can create a fundraiser for Reason on your personal Facebook page. The best part of that is that Facebook is matching the first $7 million donated to charities via the site on "Giving Tuesday," so again, your dollars go farther. Search "create fundraiser" on Facebook and then click on the "Giving Tuesday" shortcut, and pick "Reason Magazine" as the nonprofit you're supporting. It's pretty straightforward, but this graphic below might also help out.
However and whatever you decide to give—whether $10, $1,000, or anything else—your contribution will make a huge difference not just to Reason but to the broader society. As Friedrich Hayek wrote:
We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a [libertarian] Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly [libertarian] radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty.
That's been our mission for the past 50 years and it remains our mission for the next 50 years.