Non-profit

Jacobin

Jacobin fall 2013 cover (link)
Website:

jacobinmag.com/

Location:

BROOKLYN, NY

Tax ID:

46-4332395

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $1,446,156
Expenses: $1,243,884
Assets: $856,081

Jacobin magazine is an explicitly Marxist publication founded in 2010 by Bhaskar Sunkara. Sunkara has said his goal in creating Jacobin was “the broader political project of rebuilding the socialist movement in the US…” Jacobin produces a quarterly print publication with 50,000 subscribers and a website with 2 million monthly views. Sunkara initially recruited colleagues from the Democratic Socialists of America to write and edit the magazine. [1] [2] [3]

Examples of Jacobin‘s radical content include headlines such as “Burn the Constitution,” [4] “There’s No Such Thing as Good Philanthropy,” [5] and “Yes, a Planned Economy Can Actually Work.” [6] Jacobin has received praise from left-leaning public figures such as radical academic Noam Chomsky and MSNBC host Chris Hayes. [7] [8] David Sirota, a left-leaning journalist and political consultant frequently employed by the U.S. Presidential campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I—Vermont), has also been an editor-at-large for Jacobin. [9]

The Jacobin Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, operates Jacobin. In 2018, the Jacobin Foundation had total revenues of $1.52 million, with $1.34 million coming from subscriptions, $107,000 from contributions and grants, and $69,000 from advertising. [10] In 2017 the Jacobin Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the left-of-center Annenberg Foundation. [11]

Background

Jacobin was founded in 2010 by Bhaskar Sunkara, who holds the titles of founding editor and publisher. [12]

Sunkara has said his goal in creating Jacobin was to represent “a politics that was neither Leninist nor the kind of broad liberal-left opinion you get in, say, The Nation or In These Times,” and that his “broader political project” was “rebuilding the socialist movement in the US…” He has described Jacobin as “explicitly Marxist,” “programmatically socialist,” and “crassly political…” [13]

Jacobin claims a readership of 50,000 subscribers for its quarterly print publication and 2 million monthly online views. The magazine’s average “print-run” is 42,000. According to a Columbia Journalism Review profile, most of Jacobin’s subscribers joined during and immediately after the 2016 election campaign when it became “the unofficial house organ of the [Bernie Sanders] movement.” [14] [15] [16]

Jacobin is primarily funded by subscriptions. In 2014, approximately 20 percent of Jacobin revenue came from donations, but this percentage declined as Jacobin achieved a wider circulation. Subscription options provided on the website include comments such as, “If life has treated you well, you should feel guilty about it and subscribe at the high-income rate for the cause,” “The more years you select, the better we can construct our master plan to seize state power,” and “We want as many people to read Jacobin as possible. Postal rates are beyond our control — for now.” [17] [18]

Jacobin Magazine also produces “Jacobin Radio”—podcasts from its contributors and editors. [19]

Reception

Jacobin has steadily received positive media coverage, including major profile pieces from a variety of mainstream media outlets. These occurred even in Jacobin’s early years when it had a much more modest following. A 2013 New York Times profile of Jacobin and Sunkara was published when Jacobin Magazine had just 2,000 subscribers. [20] A 2016 Vox profile was posted during a period when the magazine had 20,000 subscribers. [21] And a 2019 Columbia Journalism Review profile occurred when Jacobin Magazine had 38,000 subscribers. [22]

Endorsements

In an online solicitation for donations, the Jacobin editors refer to radical-left academic Noam Chomsky as “Jacobin Comrade #1” and quote an endorsement Chomsky gave of their work:[23]

“The appearance of Jacobin magazine has been a bright light in dark times. Each issue brings penetrating, lively discussions and analyses of matters of real significance, from a thoughtful left perspective that is refreshing and all too rare. A really impressive contribution to sanity, and hope.” [24]

In a 2013 New York Times profile of Jacobin founder Sunkara Bhaskar, left-leaning MSNBC host Chris Hayes called Sunkara, “really remarkable,” and said Sunkara had “the combination of boastful assurance and competence of a very good young rapper.” [25] Elsewhere, Hayes has praised Jacobin, saying that even though there is “a lot in there that I don’t necessarily agree with,” Jacobin is “a really well-done publication, almost preternaturally good” and “bracingly rigorous and polemical in a really thought-provoking way.” [26]

Vox’s Dylan Matthews praised Jacobin as “perhaps the most relevant and important publication of the American political left today.” [27]

Personnel

Jacobin is led by founder, editor, and publisher Bhaskar Sunkara, who created the website and magazine in 2010 while a student at George Washington University. He recruited other young colleagues as writers and editors, initially in unpaid positions. Jacobin began paying writers and editors in 2013. The first paid editor was Micah Uetricht. [28]

Sunkara is the former vice-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America. [29] [30] He is the author of The Socialist Manifesto The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality, a book that “explores socialism’s history since the mid-1800s,” and a “vision for its future” in America. [31]

Remeike Forbes is the creative director. [32] He is also a member of the board of directors of the Jacobin Foundation Ltd. [33]

David Sirota, a left-leaning journalist and political consultant frequently employed by the U.S. Presidential campaigns of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I—Vermont), has also been an editor-at-large for Jacobin. [34]

Financials

The Jacobin Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation, operates Jacobin Magazine. In 2017 the Jacobin Foundation received a $100,000 grant from the left-of-center Annenberg Foundation. In 2018, the Jacobin Foundation had total revenues of $1.52 million, with $1.34 million coming from subscriptions, $107,000 from contributions and grants and $69,000 from advertising. [35] [36]

Jacobin Foundation reported revenue of $301,000 in 2014, $534,000 in 2015, $1.03 million in 2016, and $1.45 million in 2017. [37]

Jacobin refers to donors as “Jacobin Comrades” and solicits them online with this pitch:[38]

“Lenin didn’t have Ford Foundation money — he had Stalin rob banks instead. We here at Jacobin are in a tough position: we’re not much for physical courage, but we too want to avoid asking rich donors for money.” [39]

References

  1. Jacobin Magazine, About. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/about ^
  2. New Left Review, Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara, November-December 2014. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://newleftreview.org/issues/II90/articles/bhaskar-sunkara-project-jacobin ^
  3. Baird, Robert P. “The ABCs of Jacobin.” Columbia Journalism Review. January 02, 2019. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://www.cjr.org/special_report/the-abcs-of-jacobin-socialist-magazine.php ^
  4. Ackerman, Seth. “Burn the Constitution.” Jacobin. March 26, 2011. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/2011/03/burn-the-constitution/ ^
  5. Bessner, Daniel. “There’s No Such Thing as Good Philanthropy.” Jacobin. January 08, 2020. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/01/george-soros-defense-of-open-society-philanthropy ^
  6. Phillips, Leigh; Rozworski, Michael. “Yes, a Planned Economy Can Actually Work.” Jacobin. March 21, 2019. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/2019/03/economic-planning-walmart-democracy-socialism ^
  7. Jacobin Magazine Editors. “Become a Jacobin Comrade Today.” Jacobin. December 5, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/become-a-jacobin-comrade-today ^
  8. Jacobin Magazine, About. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/about ^
  9. Twitter, Bhaskar Sunkara profile, May 11, 2020. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://twitter.com/sunraysunray/status/1259865408607326208 ^
  10. ProPublica, Jacobin Foundation Ltd. 2018 990. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/464332395/01_2020_prefixes_46-47%2F464332395_201812_990_2020013017086987 ^
  11. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Queries conducted May 14, 2020. ^
  12. Sunkara, Bhaskar. “Jacobin in Print.” Jacobin. October 28, 2010. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2010/10/jacobin-in-print ^
  13. New Left Review, Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara, November-December 2014. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://newleftreview.org/issues/II90/articles/bhaskar-sunkara-project-jacobin ^
  14. Baird, Robert P. “The ABCs of Jacobin.” Columbia Journalism Review. January 02, 2019. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://www.cjr.org/special_report/the-abcs-of-jacobin-socialist-magazine.php ^
  15. Jacobin Magazine, Advertise. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/advertise ^
  16. Jacobin Magazine, About. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/about ^
  17. New Left Review, Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara, November-December 2014. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://newleftreview.org/issues/II90/articles/bhaskar-sunkara-project-jacobin ^
  18. Jacobin Magazine, Subscribe. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/subscribe ^
  19. Blubrry Podcasting, Jacobin Radio. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://blubrry.com/jacobin/ ^
  20. Schuessler, Jennifer. “A Young Publisher Takes Marx Into the Mainstream.” New York Times. January 20, 2013. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/books/bhaskar-sunkara-editor-of-jacobin-magazine.html ^
  21. Matthews, Dylan. “Inside Jacobin.” March, 21, 2016. Vox. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.vox.com/2016/3/21/11265092/jacobin-bhaskar-sunkara ^
  22. Baird, Robert P. “The ABCs of Jacobin.” January 02, 2019. Columbia Journalism Review. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.cjr.org/special_report/the-abcs-of-jacobin-socialist-magazine.php ^
  23. Jacobin Magazine Editors. “Become a Jacobin Comrade Today.” Jacobin. December 5, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/become-a-jacobin-comrade-today ^
  24. Jacobin Magazine Editors. “Become a Jacobin Comrade Today.” Jacobin. December 5, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/become-a-jacobin-comrade-today ^
  25. Schuessler, Jennifer. “A Young Publisher Takes Marx Into the Mainstream.” New York Times. January 20, 2013. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/books/bhaskar-sunkara-editor-of-jacobin-magazine.html ^
  26. Jacobin Magazine, About. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/about ^
  27. Matthews, Dylan. “Inside Jacobin.” Vox. March, 21, 2016. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://www.vox.com/2016/3/21/11265092/jacobin-bhaskar-sunkara ^
  28. Baird, Robert P. “The ABCs of Jacobin.” January 02, 2019. Columbia Journalism Review. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://www.cjr.org/special_report/the-abcs-of-jacobin-socialist-magazine.php ^
  29. New Left Review, Interview with Bhaskar Sunkara, November-December 2014. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://newleftreview.org/issues/II90/articles/bhaskar-sunkara-project-jacobin ^
  30. Hartman, Matt. “Overcoming Individualism.” DSUSA.org. June 30, 2017. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://www.dsausa.org/democratic-left/overcoming_individualism/ ^
  31. Sunkara, Bhaskar. “The Socialist Manifesto.” Basic Books. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://www.basicbooks.com/titles/bhaskar-sunkara/the-socialist-manifesto/9781541674004/ ^
  32. Jacobin Magazine, About. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://jacobinmag.com/about ^
  33. ProPublica, Jacobin Foundation Ltd. 2018 990. Accessed May 11, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/464332395/01_2020_prefixes_46-47%2F464332395_201812_990_2020013017086987 ^
  34. Twitter, Bhaskar Sunkara profile, May 11, 2020. Accessed May 12, 2020. https://twitter.com/sunraysunray/status/1259865408607326208 ^
  35. ProPublica, Jacobin Foundation Ltd. 2018 990. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/464332395/01_2020_prefixes_46-47%2F464332395_201812_990_2020013017086987 ^
  36. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Queries conducted May 14, 2020. ^
  37. ProPublica, Jacobin Foundation Ltd. 2018 990. Accessed May 11, 2020.
    https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/464332395/01_2020_prefixes_46-47%2F464332395_201812_990_2020013017086987 ^
  38. Jacobin Magazine Editors. “Become a Jacobin Comrade Today.” Jacobin. December 5, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/become-a-jacobin-comrade-today ^
  39. Jacobin Magazine Editors. “Become a Jacobin Comrade Today.” Jacobin. December 5, 2017. Accessed May 12, 2020.
    https://jacobinmag.com/2017/12/become-a-jacobin-comrade-today ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2015

  • 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 Dec Form 990 $1,446,156 $1,243,884 $856,081 $12,207 N $219,861 $1,226,117 $178 $106,500 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,026,203 $774,354 $648,853 $7,135 N $74,493 $953,253 $8,599 $91,109 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $631,032 $365,817 $0 $0 N $32,760 $448,425 $0 $72,943 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $300,516 $86,333 $1 $0 N $101,619 $198,897 $0 $0 PDF

    Jacobin

    388 ATLANTIC AVENUE
    BROOKLYN, NY 11217-3399