My count for pickups of Garrison Center op-eds by "mainstream" and "non-libertarian political" media in October comes to 53. Except for one kind of slow month with 40-something, we've been beating the 50 mark since last spring. Hold on to that number. I'll be coming back to it.
Over on the financial end, things are somewhat less peachy.
The Garrison Center's "nut" -- the minimum amount of money it needs to bring in to be worth the work that I put into it -- is $250 a month. Actually, that's the goal I've set for several projects -- Garrison, this blog, my weekly podcast -- combined. "The Garrison Center" is not an organization, really. It's just me, and occasionally someone I'll pay out of my own pocket to write an op-ed instead of writing it myself.
Let's just say that ALL you get for $250 a month is the Garrison Center material (no KN@PPSTER, no podcast, just Garrison). How does that break down as price for value?
If I'm able to make 50 op-ed placements per month for $250, that comes to $5 per placement.
I think it is. Other people and organizations do this too. For example, the Cato Institute puts a lot of material in a lot of publications. The quality of their material versus mine is, of course, a matter of opinion, but I think I do a pretty good job. I'm asking my supporters for $250 a month. Cato runs, last time I noticed, an annual budget of $18 million. Nothing against Cato or Cato's budget, of course, but I think I'm pretty damn cost-effective by comparison.
An angel donor who prefers to remain anonymous committed $250 for the first six months, then extended his or her commitment by three more months. Two other donors who aren't anonymous (Jake Parker and Chris Lempa) are in for a total of $27 per month.
The gap should be kind of obvious there. When the angle stops showering money on me, I'm going to be coming up $223 per month short.
I don't expect to miss any meals if that happens. Civilization will not collapse. Jesus will not strangle a puppy. Your love life will not tank (OK, maybe it will, but not because you didn't rescue my project ... probably). What I do expect will happen is that I'll shut down Garrison and find other things to do with my time -- things that will probably bring in more than the $250 per month that I'm seeking, but that I'll personally find less satisfying and that I believe you, if you value cost-effective libertarian outreach, won't find quite as cool.