Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 3 - No. 1
Spring, 1999

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Institute for Anarchist Studies Update
by Chuck Morse

We anticipate that 1999 will be an exciting year for the Institute for Anarchist Studies (IAS). In addition to awarding grants and publishing this newsletter, we have begun a concerted effort to strengthen and expand the Institute.

Specifically, we intend to raise $10,000 for the IAS endowment by the end of the year. Although building the endowment has always been a priority, we are making an extra push because we are eager to enhance the IAS’s durability and to establish the financial basis necessary to increase our grant awards and fund additional projects in support of anti-authoritarian social criticism.

Building our endowment is essential to this for two reasons. First, when our endowment reaches a certain size it will produce a significant annual income that we can use to fund our present grant program, thus freeing us to raise money to increase our grants and/or other initiatives. Second, as a defensive measure, it is important to build the endowment because its annual income will provide a financial safety net for the IAS should it ever be needed (one that will enable us, for example, to continue awarding grants even if we confront a financial crisis).

Our intention to increase the endowment by $10,000 has its origins in two very welcome and related events. Last November an extremely generous IAS supporter pledged to donate $8000 to our endowment upon the success of our 1999 fundraising campaign. In response to this exciting pledge we have decided to increase the amount of money we intend to raise for the IAS this year in order to place a greater percentage of fundraising income into the endowment. We have thus set a $10,000 1999 fundraising goal and have designated $2000 (20%) for our endowment. The combination of these sources will result in a $10,000 addition to our endowment.

I am happy to note that Perennial Books of Conway, Massachusetts - long time IAS supporters and distributors of high quality radical literature - have stepped in to help us meet our 1999 fundraising challenge. They have not only pledged to continue making books available to IAS donors but have also expanded the list of available titles from eight to forty-eight (please see the insert accompanying this issue). In addition, they have increased the discount they offer to IAS donors by five percent: now all IAS supporters contributing $25 or more will receive a twenty percent discount on Perennial’s entire stock.

We hope that everyone who values radical scholarship will help us meet our 1999 fundraising goal. It is the generosity of comrades around the world that has enabled us to award $6000 in grants every year, publish Perspectives biannually, and build a small but growing endowment. It is this same generosity that will enable us to build the IAS’s organizational strength, increase our grants, and offer other contributions to the development of radical social criticism.

It would be hard to convey our enthusiasm for the future without mentioning some of the developments that have occurred since the last issue of Perspectives. We completed our 1998 grant cycle with a $2000 grant award to Sam Mbah for his Military Dictatorship and the State in Africa (see page 1). I am also excited to report that Will Firth and Melissa Burch have recently completed their IAS supported projects and that Paul Fleckenstein has just published his. We anticipate the completion of many more IAS sponsored works in the near future (see page 3 for details).

The IAS’s 1998 fundraising campaign was also a great success thanks to the generosity of IAS supporters. Their contributions allowed us to exceed our $9200 fundraising goal by $700, enabling us to award another set of grants to talented and committed radical writers, publish two issues of Perspectives, and build the IAS endowment by $1315. We are very grateful to everyone who made this possible. The fact that we met and exceeded our 1998 goal (and every fundraising goal we have set thus far) is a testimony to the continued vitality of the anarchist tradition of mutual aid.

The IAS has developed a track record of significant contributions in its three years of operation. We are excited to build upon this and believe that with careful planning, hard work, and the support of allies that we will increase the IAS’s long-term strength and our ability to support the development of radical social criticism and ideals of freedom.