When Rich filed his fundraising pitch a few days ago, I was almost ready to surrender my own salary to our fundraiser. It wasn’t only his artful words and persuasive rhetoric — and, let’s face it, the man has a power of persuasion that any Catholic or Jewish mother would be jealous of. For me, the power of Rich’s guilt trip — I mean fundraising pitch — was its straightforward honesty. And I would know, because I’m here at NR World Headquarters, living NRO day after day.
In truth, it’s not just the “suits” (whom we really do love) questioning every dollar that’s spent here. We editors and writers do it too — every cab ride and lunch, every gadget and machine. We’re accustomed to being frugal because we know NR has limited financial resources for all the reasons Rich ably explained.
Like our fulltime team, our freelancers write for dramatically less than they deserve. We’d truly love to pay them more, but reasons of necessity stand in the way. Luckily for us, they’re not in it for the money. They write for NRO because they know the reach and impact that National Review Online has. Our writers know that because they know it is not just me — or Jonah, or Chris McEvoy, or Nathan Goulding, or Max Pakaluk (our core staff) — who lives NRO day after day. It’s our faithful readers too — politicians and policymakers, writers and reporters, voters, students, and just plain anyone who wants to be informed about the issues of the day.
If you’re bothering to read this plea, you’re likely a regular in these parts. You know NRO gives you something no other web magazine can — news, analysis, humor, and so much more, in the cyberized tradition of National Review. And you know that because you, too, have made NRO a part of your life.
Most of us are here at NRO — writing, producing, and reading — because we discovered, in one way or another (for some of us, it was growing up watching Firing Line), the right words and reason to be found in the magazine William F. Buckley Jr. established in 1955. NRO has always been a great way to fill in the gap between issues of the fortnightly print magazine. Over the course of ten years, it has become a web magazine in its own right, as we’ve steadily dedicated more energy, time, and resources not just to keeping you NR-occupied while waiting for the mailman, but bringing you the very latest news and commentary just as quickly as makes sense.
Of course, if you’re reading this, you get it — you don’t need me to explain it. You probably already contribute to the NR enterprise. Perhaps you subscribe to National Review, the traditional print magazine, delivered to your postal mailbox every other week just like the milkman used to deliver the milk. If you do, thank you. In doing so, you are supporting everything we do at National Review. You may subscribe to NR Digital, the digital version of that same print magazine, perhaps to save yourself from adding to your home’s paper supply and having to wait for Cliff Clavan to get it to you. If you do, again, we thank you for your subscription. A subscription to one or the other is a (key) way of supporting us.
If you don’t currently subscribe to either of the aforementioned — NR (on Dead Tree, as we affectionately call it online) or NR Digital — please consider signing up for one or the other. (A link for subscribing to NRODT is here and for subscribing to NR Digital is here.)
And if you’ve done one of the above, you might be wondering why you should give more. Well, if you’re devoted enough to NRO to read 800 words about why we need your help, then we trust you already understand the importance of your donations. NRO is a magazine you get for free, with timely analysis, sharp news filtering, big-picture thinking, amiable (or not so amiable) personalities, and whatever else it is about us you like. You want NRO to keep being here, available to the whole online world (we get reports in from China, Cuba, the frontlines of the war on terror in Iraq…). You want NRO to continue to be here for senior White House officials, key Capitol Hill aides and members of Congress, and state lawmakers across the country to read — as they do now, regularly. They read NRO to know what conservatives are thinking and saying and care about. You want NRO to be here to shoot down the next idiotic bill like the race-based Hawaii legislation we got killed (for now) in the Senate last week. You want to contribute to our 2006 fundraising drive because NRO is a part of your life, and you know that is the way it should be, and you want to be part of something ever-increasing.
Thanks for reading NRO. Thanks for reading this and putting up with a fundraising week. And thanks for your generous donation.