Non-profit

American Prospect

Cover of the February 1, 2006 issue of the political magazine The American Prospect (link)
Website:

prospect.org/

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

52-1617061

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,702,885
Expenses: $1,790,565
Assets: $231,497

Formation:

1989

The American Prospect is a left-progressive publication that promotes left-of-center public policy through articles on its website and in print. Founded in 1989 by Robert Kuttner, Paul Starr, and former Clinton administration Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, the Prospect has received grants from a number of left-of-center organizations, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, William and Florda Hewlett Foundation, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. [1]

History

Founded in 1989 following the Democratic Party’s loss of three successive presidential elections, the American Prospect was created with the intention of restoring “plausibility and persuasiveness to American liberalism” by addressing national economic and social policy issues. [2]

The Prospect was created with help from a group of founding sponsors including Michael Weinstein, a Nobel-winning economist;[3] Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund;[4] Shirley Williams, a prominent left-wing politician in the United Kingdom;[5] and John Kenneth Galbraith, an economist and adviser to President John Kennedy who also worked as president of the left-of-center Americans for Democratic Action. [6]

The first issue of the Prospect appeared in spring 1990 and intended to contribute to “the creation of a durable liberal majority.” Beginning as a quarterly magazine, the publication started with a paid circulation of 2,700. By 1999, it claimed that circulation had reached more than 24,000 subscribers. [7] An early adopter of electronic journalism, the magazine launched a website in 1994 that highlighted pieces from the print magazine, published online articles responding to breaking news, and hosted a group blog called “Tapped.” [8] The Prospect’s print circulation continued to grow, and the magazine adjusted publishing to accommodate a biweekly magazine that later became a monthly magazine. [9] Today, the Prospect publishes six issues a year, in addition to maintaining its website. [10]

The Prospect claims that its online audience has grown significantly between 2019 and 2020. In April 2019, the Prospect reported receiving about 97,000 online users each week, a figure that the Prospect claims more than doubled the following year. [11]

The Prospect has served as a starting point for the careers of a number of prominent left-of-center journalists. One of the Prospect’s first managing editors, David Callahan, created Inside Philanthropy, while the other, Jonathan Cohn, become a senior national correspondent at HuffPost. [12] Other Prospect alumni include The Atlantic editor Scott Stossel, GEN by Medium executive editor Garance Franke-Ruta, Bloomberg Businessweek national correspondent Joshua Green,[13] The Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer, Vox editor Kay Steiger, New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie, and Vox co-founders Ezra Klein and Matthew Yglesias. [14]

Finance

The Prospect’s tax returns for 2018 reported total revenue of over $1.2 million and expenses of over $1.4 million. The previous year, the Prospect reported total revenue almost twice that of 2018, coming in at just over $2.4 million. [15] In 2015 and 2016, the Prospect reported about $1.9 and $1.7 million in total revenue each year, respectively. [16]

The Prospect has received grants from various organizations over the years, including $25,000 each year from 2017 to 2019 from the Bauman Foundation, a left-of-center foundation with ties to the Democracy Alliance. [17]

In 2019, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund supplied a $50,000 grant for a “Green New Deal Edition” of the Prospect magazine and an additional $50,000 grant in 2020 for added content on the Green New Deal, left-of-center legislation supported by radical environmentalist groups. [18] In 2018, the Hewlett Foundation provided a $150,000 grant for a series of articles on neoliberalism. [19]

The left-of-center Surdna Foundation awarded the Prospect a $125,000 grant for general operating support in 2017,[20] and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, provided $375,000 for general operating support between 2013 and 2015. [21] In 2013, the Chorus Foundation granted $15,000 for the promotion and digital release of “The Shale Rebellion,” an article against fracking in the United States. [22] In 2004, the Carnegie Corporation granted $50,000 to the Prospect, and the corporation granted an additional $25,000 in 2008. [23]

Leadership

The Prospect was founded by Robert Reich, Robert Kuttner, and Paul Starr. After co-founding the Prospect, Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. He co-founded Inequality Media Civic Action, a left-leaning digital media company, and is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Reich is also the chairman of Common Cause, a left-of-center advocacy group focused on advancing left-of-center policies. [24]

Kuttner is a co-founder and co-editor of the Prospect and is a professor at Brandeis University. [25] He also co-founded the Economic Policy Institute, a left-of-center research institute supported by labor unions. [26]

Starr is the author of eight books and is the co-founder and co-editor of the Prospect. He is also a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University. [27]

References

  1. “The American Prospect 2013-2015 Gen. Operating Support.” W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.wkkf.org/grants/grant/2013/06/the-american-Prospect-2013-2015-gen-operating-support-p3023648. ^
  2. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  3. Weinstein, Michael. “Kenneth Arrow, Nobel-Winning Economist Whose Influence Spanned Decades, Dies at 95.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 22, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/business/economy/kenneth-arrow-dead-nobel-laureate-in-economics.html. ^
  4. “Marian Wright Edelman.” Children’s Defense Fund. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.childrensdefense.org/staff/marian-wright-edelman/. ^
  5. “Shirley Williams.” Somerville College Oxford. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.some.ox.ac.uk/about-somerville/somerville-stories/shirley-williams/. ^
  6. “John Kenneth Galbraith.” Econlib. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Galbraith.html. ^
  7. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  8. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  9. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  10. “Subscribe to The American Prospect.” Subscriber management software for today’s publisher. Accessed February 22, 2021. https://simplecirc.com/subscribe/the-american-Prospect. ^
  11. Zimmerman, Steph. “How the American Prospect Grew Its Revenue and Site Traffic Without Losing Sight of Its Mission.” metropublisher.com, October 12, 2020. https://www.metropublisher.com/news/how-the-american-prospect-grew-its-revenue-and-site-traffic-/ ^
  12. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  13. Starr, Paul, and Robert Kuttner. “Little Magazine, Big Ideas: The American Prospect at 25.” The American Prospect, May 12, 2015. https://Prospect.org/culture/little-magazine-big-ideas-american-Prospect-25/. ^
  14. Tanzer, Myles. “American Prospect Mass Exodus Begins.” BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed, June 2, 2014. https://www.buzzfeed.com/mylestanzer/american-Prospect-mass-exodus-begins. ^
  15. The American Prospect, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018 ^
  16. The American Prospect, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016 ^
  17. “The American Prospect.” The American Prospect | The Bauman Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.baumanfoundation.org/index.php/grantee/241. ^
  18. “American Prospect, Inc.” Carnegie Corporation of New York. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.carnegie.org/grants/grants-database/grantee/american-Prospect-inc/#!/grants/grants-database/grant/26303.0/. ^
  19. “American Prospect – for a Series of Articles on Neoliberalism.” Hewlett Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://hewlett.org/grants/american-Prospect-for-a-series-of-articles-on-neoliberalism/. ^
  20. “Surdna Foundation Announces $14 Million in Grants.” Surdna Foundation, July 21, 2017. https://surdna.org/news-insights/surdna-foundation-announces-14-million-in-grants/. ^
  21. “The American Prospect 2013-2015 Gen. Operating Support.” W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.wkkf.org/grants/grant/2013/06/the-american-Prospect-2013-2015-gen-operating-support-p3023648. ^
  22. “The American Prospect.” Chorus Foundation. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://chorusfoundation.org/what-we-fund/the-american-Prospect/. ^
  23. “American Prospect, Inc.” Carnegie Corporation of New York. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.carnegie.org/grants/grants-database/grantee/american-Prospect-inc/#!/grants/grants-database/grant/26303.0/. ^
  24. “About Us.” Inequality Media Civic Action. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://www.inequalitymediacivicaction.org/aboutus. ^
  25. “Robert Kuttner.” The American Prospect. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://Prospect.org/topics/robert-kuttner/. ^
  26. “Biography.” Robert Kuttner, August 25, 2019. https://robertkuttner.com/biography/. ^
  27. “Paul Starr.” The American Prospect. Accessed February 21, 2021. https://Prospect.org/topics/paul-starr/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Janet Shenk
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 1989

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Jun Form 990 $1,702,885 $1,790,565 $231,497 $411,444 Y $1,510,100 $121,849 $0 $278,616 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,906,264 $1,689,636 $317,106 $409,373 Y $1,688,110 $142,986 $0 $219,694 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $1,387,391 $1,763,151 $155,152 $464,047 Y $1,109,947 $173,059 $0 $211,672 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $4,117,546 $3,111,771 $582,055 $515,190 Y $2,490,065 $242,079 $0 $504,645 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $2,793,411 $3,363,567 $881,715 $1,833,130 Y $2,257,934 $270,603 $0 $411,625 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $4,147,268 $3,606,177 $1,422,977 $1,804,232 Y $3,417,591 $326,472 $0 $350,532 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $2,687,134 $2,862,665 $579,735 $1,502,081 Y $2,080,653 $312,117 $53 $214,723 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    American Prospect

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