All Commentary
Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Special Thanks to Friends of FEE

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, said William Arthur Ward, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Thanking our friends and supporters for their generosity is a present I enjoy wrapping and giving many times over. In November, I sent you our year-end update and appeal. We posted it on the FEE web site and Facebook fan page. We e-mailed it to our “In Brief” subscribers and included a condensation of it on the inside cover of the January issue of “The Freeman” that was dispatched in December. We called many of you on the phone. Then we said a prayer, held our breath and watched the mail.

Our year-end letter is always very important to FEE, yielding as much as 30 percent of our annual budget. The most recent one was especially critical because the economy didn’t do us any favors in 2009, yet we very much wanted to build on the achievements of last year to do more and bigger things for liberty in 2010. (If you did not get a chance to read the letter, you can still see it here) .

It’s now far enough into January to close the books on 2009. We didn’t quite meet our optimistic budget projections but I’m happy to report that we came close—close enough that I want to supplement the normal thank you and receipt with this second note of appreciation. It may be trite to say so, but we really can’t thank you enough!

Our founder, the late Leonard E. Read, always believed that if you do your best and it’s of value to others, support will follow. No need to beg or borrow; just perform and make your case. Friends of liberty know that the cause is important enough to pitch in. He was proven right again. In spite of a difficult year for many of you, your gifts to FEE since late November will help us hugely to set new records for outreach in 2010. Though we fell a little short of projections, we’re not like the Congress. We’ll spend what we have, and not a nickel more.

You have many options with your hard-earned dollars. You’re under no obligation to give any of them away. No organization should ever feel “entitled” to any portion of what’s yours. At FEE, we want our work to merit your endorsement and we miss it greatly when for any reason you decide our work doesn’t measure up. So when you come through for us, we are grateful. Very grateful.

Thank you once again for being our partners for a noble cause. We promise you we will do our best (and get better at it every year), that we will not waver from the principles we share, and that our faith in our friends will never flag. Best wishes for the new year!

— Lawrence W. (Larry) Reed
Foundation for Economic Education

  • Lawrence W. Reed is FEE's President Emeritus, having previously served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is also FEE's Humphreys Family Senior Fellow and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty. His Facebook page is here and his personal website is