Progressive magazine looks for donations after 110 years

The Progressive is looking for donations as the magazine founded by Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette nears its 110th birthday.

Editor Bill Lueders says he wants to raise $110,000 to "get our head above water." Lueders donated $10,000 of his own money to kick off fundraising, and hopes to prompt 10 other people around the country to do the same, The Capital Times reported Sunday.

"That will go a long way toward erasing our debt and putting us on firmer financial footing so we're not just getting by, we're able to take a breath," said Lueders, who was promoted from The Progressive's managing editor to editor in October.

Donations to The Progressive can be made online. Lueders said he also would love to have an endowment for the Madison-based magazine, which turns 110 in January, but acknowledges that is "quite the dream from where we are."

La Follette, a political reformer, founded the magazine in 1909, while serving as a U.S. senator. The Progressive is a nonprofit publishing a bimonthly magazine and online news. It also runs The Progressive Media Project and the Public School Shakedown project .

"We are, not for the first time and perhaps not the last, in critical need of a cash infusion. The magazine is tens of thousands of dollars in debt; our income is not keeping up with our outgo. It's serious," an editor's note in a recent issue of The Progressive said.

A veteran journalist, Lueders said his $10,000 donation is about half of his total savings and checking. But Lueders said the magazine's journalism is vital, and he pointed to a number of full-length original reporting pieces included in The Progressive.

"We're not just surfing the web and spewing opinions. We're doing reporting on things that are happening, and we're trying to shine a light on the good work that people of conscience are doing all around the country," Lueders said.


Information from: The Capital Times,