Lawfare

Please Remember to Contribute to Lawfare

By Benjamin Wittes
Monday, November 3, 2014, 7:00 AM

Editor's Note: For those of you who have already contributed to Lawfare in response to my appeal the other day, many thanks from all of us. For those who have not yet done so, I am reposting the appeal, and will occasionally do so again between now and the end of the year. 

The other day, I listened to a fascinating episode of Freakonomics Radio featuring a lengthy discussion with a noted economist about what actually works in non-profit fundraising. I listened to this with, I suspect, more-than-average attention, as we have been working hard recently to raise money to grow Lawfare. The secret, according to University of Chicago economist John List, is relatively simple and boils down to the following: Don’t appeal to pure altruism, but use a pitch that makes people feel warm and fuzzy about themselves for giving; make clear that they gain transactional benefits from giving; and make sure all your requests for funds---to men, at least---are made by beautiful blonde women. No, I'm not making that last bit up. Listen to the episode if you don't believe me:

Recruiting a cadre of young blondes to canvas for Lawfare is probably impractical, but the other two points are well taken. Lawfare is growing constantly. We have ambitious plans for new content, live events, and a revamped web site---all of which takes resources to make happen.

So here’s my warm-and-fuzzy pitch: You can be part of it. Make a donation and you’ll know that you helped develop Lawfare, that you helped improve the national conversation about security and law, and that you pushed back against the polarized left-right shouting match. You’ll know that because of you, more people got better information before making hard and fateful decisions that affect real people's lives and liberty. You’ll know that because of you, new voices in the field are emerging, as are new forms of scholarship. You’ll feel incredibly good about yourself: warm and fuzzy. Really. I promise.

And here are some transactional benefits, benefits beyond the hand-written thank-you note from me or Wells and the tax deduction that comes from giving to a 501(c)(3) organization like the Lawfare Institute. Every dollar of any contribution you give will enter you separately in a drawing for an array of cool prizes---Lawfare swag, mugs, t-shirts, etc.---the grand prize being dinner with an available Lawfare writer of your choice. That's right: For $100, you get a hundred different chances to win dinner with a Lawfare contributor and a hundred other chances to win the world-famous Lawfare mug.

That and the warm and fuzzy feeling.

Click here or send a check to: The Lawfare Institute, P.O. Box 33226, Washington DC 20033-3226.