A Letter to Our Readers

Dear Commonweal Reader,

It has been a tumultuous 2008, to say the least, with economic gloom, chaos in the financial markets, and a contentious election season. I’d like to take this annual opportunity to tell you a little about how Commonweal is faring as we conclude the year. Thankfully, although we’re as exhausted as anyone else, Commonweal does not need a bailout. In fact, aside from the general economy, the signs of the times for us are rather encouraging. After a quick overview of financial realities, I’ll give you some reasons why 2009 will, with your help, be another year where Commonweal takes some significant steps forward. 

Like every business, Commonweal is beginning 2009 with a healthy sense of realism. Our annual budget of just $1.5 million has little room for error, and during tough times for the economy and the stock market, we feel the pinch quickly.

Commonweal operates as a nonprofit foundation, but more than two-thirds of our revenue each year comes from subscriptions and advertising. The rest is provided by more than 2,000 generous Commonweal Associates (more on them later) and income from our modest endowment. While subscriptions are holding up well, we’re beginning to see some cyclical slowdown in our advertising, and our endowment’s recent performance in the markets has, unfortunately, been...

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About the Author

Paul Baumann is the editor of Commonweal.