National Review, the conservative magazine founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955, is becoming a nonprofit, the On Media blog has learned.
Since its launch, the magazine has operated as a not-for-profit business, even as it came to rely on more and more donations in recent years. Starting next month, it will become a nonprofit organization, which will make it exempt from federal taxes. National Review also plans to merge with the nonprofit National Review Institute, its sister organization, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.
Reached for comment, editor Rich Lowry said the move to nonprofit status officially recognized "what has always been the case: We're a mission and a cause, not a profit-making business." He added, "The advantage of the move is that all the generous people who give us their support every year will now be able to give tax-deductible contributions, and that we will be able to do more fundraising, in keeping with our goal to keep growing in the years ahead."
"We are making the change from a position of strength. We are the largest opinion magazine in the country (150,000 circulation all told) and employ more people than we ever have," he said. "We want to go out and tap the conservative philanthropic community to get even bigger and better."
"Most similar publications — from Commentary on the right to Mother Jones on the Left — are nonprofits, a reflection of the fact that publishing a serious opinion magazine has never been a profitable business, and never will be," he added. "We are just changing in keeping with the industry standard."
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