Saturday, November 24, 2018

Reed retires after 10 years as FEE president

Giving Thanks for Ten Years of Growth and Progress at FEE - Foundation for Economic Education - Lawrence W. Reed:

November 21, 2018 - "The holidays and final weeks of the year are upon us. It’s a time to count blessings.... I’m thankful for more than anybody has time to read about, but right now I am spending a lot of time appreciating the wonderful opportunity I’ve had to lead FEE for more than ten years as its president. Last June, I announced that when our board of trustees chooses a successor, I will step into an active president emeritus role. That will hopefully allow me more time to write and lecture. The search process is on track and will likely culminate with the announcement of a new president sometime in the first half of 2019....

"My 10+ years represent by far the longest and most consequential of any FEE presidency since that of our founder, Leonard Read. For the benefit of our readers and especially our thousands of financial supporters, I’d like to recap some of our accomplishments since 2008.

"Big and tough decisions were made. One was to move from ... Irvington, New York to Atlanta, Georgia. Many of us felt a deep and long-held attachment to the old mansion on the Hudson.... But the numbers made the case for moving. We chose Atlanta, cut our operating costs in half, avoided a small fortune in future upkeep of a 140-year-old building, and now have an office that fits our needs and mission perfectly. Good stewardship of donor dollars demands their most efficient and effective use in everything an organization does....

"Another big, tough decision was to re-focus and re-staff the editorial/content team. The wisdom of that decision was proven quickly. Our readership had been flat or declining for 15 years but it’s risen dramatically every year since that decision.

"Reflecting where our targeted audience goes to read content, we ended the costly print edition of our venerable monthly magazine, The Freeman. We now publish online every three days the equivalent of an entire issue of The Freeman. And instead of a readership in the thousands, we approach a million unique visitors to most months of the year.

"We also do a lot less preaching to the choir these days.... FEE is now focused, laser-like, on young newcomers to liberty of high school and college age....

"Overall revenues, at $6 million last year, are three times what they were in 2008. Moreover, the million-dollar deficit we faced at that time was erased within two years. Every year for the past eight, our bottom line has been in the black and big. We’ve rebuilt our reserves and put FEE on its soundest financial footing in decades. Our auditors give us the highest marks and Charity Navigator ranks us in its top category for nonprofit soundness and management....

"FEE’s many accomplishments would not be possible without our generous supporters. As we continue to advance the ideas and principles of free markets and individual liberty among the rising generation, I ask that you please consider supporting FEE in this endeavor.... Thank you, FEE supporters, for all that you’ve done for us to make FEE the vibrant and productive organization it is today!"

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