Quarterly Letter from the President - September 2013
SEPTEMBER 03, 2013 by LAWRENCE W. REED
Dear Friends of FEE:
I don’t know where the summer went but by every measure at FEE, the direction was up—and in most categories, up dramatically.
We set new records for summer seminar applications and attendance. About 700 attended from high schools and colleges all around the nation and abroad.
As you’ll recall from my last quarterly update in June, we finished the last fiscal year that ended March 31 with contributions up 23% over the previous year. With five months of the current fiscal year behind us, we have exceeded budgeted contributions each month and are on track to do so for the rest of the year. That expansion of support is allowing us to sponsor more all-day Saturday “Freedom Academies” around the U.S., host more webinars online for students, accept more invitations to make presentations before large audiences in many states, and grow our network of active seminar alumni. I can’t tell you how gratified and excited our staff is because YOU have responded so positively to our ambitious programs and redesigned publications.
Among the new initiatives launched since my June update is our exciting “Blinking Lights Project” (BLP). Encouraging young people to “turn on” to the indispensable connection between liberty and character and to become “blinking lights” for the ideas FEE promotes is resonating with audiences of all ages.
One of the components of BLP is the distribution of the 2005 film, “Amazing Grace,” with a list of questions to prompt discussion. In the first month of the offer, we filled orders for more than 12,000 DVDs of the film. In coming months, we will distribute another 18,000—thanks to Walden Media. If you haven’t requested your copy yet, please visit the BLP page to do so!
It’s been a year since Max Borders took the helm as the editor of our journal, The Freeman. As we promised, the magazine is evolving as we experiment with younger voices and more innovative features, and here too, the direction is decidedly positive. Readership is growing at its fastest pace in 15 years, both online and in the print edition. If you read only the print version, please know that there’s so much more content in the online version. The editorial team is posting at least ten articles per week from many of the best writers in the liberty movement. Check it out at www.FEE.org/the_freeman.
If you’ve been watching us or have kept your ear to the ground to hear what others are saying, you know that there is a lot of exciting “buzz” about “the new FEE.” We’re taking the time-tested ideas we’ve always stood for and repackaging them for the times and for new, younger audiences. Not everything we try will work or be to your liking, but that’s the nature of dynamic change. We don’t want to be a sleepy institution that just cranks out publications or attempts to be milquetoast so as to appeal only to a small, dwindling, “safe” audience. We want to be a major force for liberty, an organization that aims to win hearts and minds and with them, our future as a free people.
I’m especially proud of the fact that we are accomplishing so many new things and reaching far greater numbers of people with a smaller staff today than we had when I became president exactly five years ago this month. We don’t just preach about productivity—our Board of Trustees demands it!
Thanks for the tremendous vote of confidence you’ve given us in recent weeks and months. I hope we will continue to merit your support. As we approach the season of giving at year’s end, I ask that you think of FEE—Freedom’s home since 1946—as a worthy investment in the future.
Lawrence W. Reed