One of my FaceBook friends complained, saying that our hard sell was "shameless" we should rely on advertising revenue. This is a common position among libertarians and I've given a lot of thought to it. This is from my reply:
I understand this sentiment but I do think it's based on a mistaken analysis. VDARE is a 501(c)(3) charity. Donations to it are tax-deductible. It's an entirely legitimate economic form, like a church or a school. Itâ€™s just not been seen in journalism before.
We do sell some advertising, but remember that over a certain low point, income from it is taxable, so itâ€™s not as easy as it looks. Also, as a long-time professional journalist, I can tell you that dependence on advertising revenue leads to some pretty â€?shamelessâ€? things as well.
And remember that what we do is Politically Incorrect. Advertisers are all too easily scared off by thug groups, as for that matter are Establishment foundations, even nominally conservative ones, as we have learned to our bitter cost.
(By the way, the redesign which a foundation reneged on financing last year had a feature allowing donors access to the site during appeals).
Everyone in the 501(c)(3) world looks at the amazing amounts raised for political campaigns wistfully, especially because we know most of it just goes to parasites like Karl Rove. But itâ€™s clear that some people just like giving money to politicians, just as some people like gambling.
I think Ron Paul raised some $28 million in the 2008 cycle. By coincidence, the Southern Poverty Law Center raised $28 million from contributors in F2010. The VDARE Foundation subsists on not much over one percent of that.
I hate asking for money. But there is really no practical alternative to a direct appeal to our readers. Of course, we assume they are not just patriots, but have a sense of humor.
(Some kind readers responded to Crystal and if this continues today, I hope to open the site tonight).