What Has Been Done, What Can Be Done
Now in its 12th year of existence, Consortiumnews.com gets about one-quarter million "unique visitors" a month. Beyond that, our investigative stories and political essays are picked up by thousands of other Web sites, blogs and print publications. One academic who has studied our site told me that our articles have reappeared at about 172,000 other Internet locations. In other words, our groundbreaking journalism regularly reaches millions of people in America and around the world.
Yet the total cost of our operation for all of 2006 was only $109,000. That's everything: salaries, payments for articles, Internet service providers, computer costs, everything. As I have written before, we don't talk about bang for the buck here; we talk about bang for the penny. We also want everyone who has contributed to our unique Web site to know that not only do we appreciate that support, but we honor it by doing as much as humanly possible with very limited resources.
But the sad reality is that we have had to forego planned expansions and have shelved promising investigative projects because our resources have been so thin. If we could raise more money, we would take those plans off the shelf. We would expand our investigative reporting on more topics of importance to American democracy. We would press ahead with our goal of recruiting a team of professional journalists, editors and producers, and we would make our stories available in multi-media formats (print, radio, TV) for new and existing journalism outlets.
However, to get there -- indeed even to continue at our current pace -- we need more money. So, please consider one of the following steps:
First, if you can afford it, make a tax-deductible contribution either by credit card at the Web site or by sending a check to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Suite 102-231, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201. For donations of $100 or more, we will send you an autographed gift copy of my last book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq.
Second, if you know anyone who has the means to make a large donation or someone who is involved with a public-interest foundation, contact them and urge them to consider a grant to Consortiumnews.com. We have approached many potential big givers ourselves, but it is often more effective if someone from the public sends in a recommendation. In the case of "Working Assets" or the "Tides Foundation," a nomination must come from a person involved with the group.
If you do know a potential large donor, you might want to write a brief letter or e-mail explaining who we are, attach the article "Why We Need Investigative Reporting" or samples of our stories, and – if needed – include our IRS letter on tax-exempt status and our 2006 tax filing. (Many foundations, as well as "Working Assets," require that information.) Also, you can see our 2005 tax filing and our 2004 tax filing. We appreciate whatever help you can provide. Thanks.
Robert Parry, Editor
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