Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Mother Jones

Nonprofit, Independent Journalism

aka Foundation for National Progress, FNP, MoJo, MJ

San Francisco, CA

Mission

The nonprofit Foundation for National Progress publishes Mother Jones magazine and its website and directs the Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program. Mother Jones produces revelatory journalism that, in its power and reach, seeks to inform and inspire a more just and democratic world.

Ruling Year

1975

CEO

Ms. Monika Bauerlein

Main Address

222 Sutter Street Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94108 USA

Keywords

Foundation for National Progress, Mother Jones, MotherJones.com, internship, journalism, publishing, media, radio, communications, environment, activism, progressive, politics, healthcare, security, peace, labor, military, human rights, women, gender, social justice, globalization, corporate responsibility, climate change, global warming, civil liberties, gay rights, immigration, education, reproductive rights, public policy

EIN

94-2282759

 Number

7106093329

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Media, Communications Organizations (A30)

Printing, Publishing (A33)

Other Art, Culture, Humanities Organizations/Services N.E.C. (A99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

For 43 years and counting, Mother Jones has sought to safeguard the truth through unflinching, independent, and award-winning investigative journalism that reaches a broad, diverse, and engaged community of readers. We shine a light on corruption and speak truth to power. We believe accurate, truthful reporting is essential to a vibrant, healthy democracy. Named the 2017 Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine editors, Mother Jones’ reporters investigate wrongdoing, expose injustices, and reveal abuses of power. Our innovative non-profit business model ensures we are beholden to no one.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Program Overview

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of overall donors

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Program Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollars received in contributions

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Program Overview

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of periodical subscribers

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Program Overview

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Total circulation including subscribers and newsstand copies sold.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Mother Jones’ works to safeguard the truth through independent investigative journalism. Our nonprofit newsroom of more than 100 staff and fellows based in three offices in San Francisco, New York, and Washington DC, produces news that brings an issue to life, illustrates the humanity of those involved, and points to ways in which engaged citizens can impact our laws, policies, and practices. We are committed to producing fact-based, compelling, truthful journalism that informs citizens and strengthens our democracy. We work hard to ensure that our journalism reaches a broad audience – currently averaging 8 million people each month - influences opinion-shapers and policymakers and has real impact on people’s lives. We do this, in part, by integrating innovative distribution methods into our work. While known for our print magazine, we also deliver our reporting across a broad range of platforms – the web, of course, but also on social media, with our podcasts, through documentary video, and at live public events around the nation. Mother Jones also trains tomorrow’s investigative journalists – and ensures truly diverse voices, backgrounds, and communities are represented in the field. Our Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program offers intensive hands-on training in investigative journalism for emerging journalists. The fellows have the opportunity to work alongside our staff and learn how a great magazine is assembled, how to cover breaking news, and how fact-checked investigations come together. The results have been impressive: since the program launched in the 1980s, the Ben Bagdikian Fellowship Program has graduated more than 900 alumni – nearly all of whom have gone on to work full time in journalism and communications.

Mother Jones delivers in-depth coverage of the biggest issues of the day. We present our journalism predominantly via the following outlets: • Six bi-monthly magazine issues showcase longform stories by award-winning investigative journalists, reach more than 200,000 subscribers, and make an impact at the state and national level. • Daily: Articles and news updates are posted on our website, social media feeds, and blogs, and reach 8 million people each month. Mother Jones digital news operation publishes content seven days a week. • Weekly: Episodes of the Mother Jones Podcast and Bite Podcast are produced in house and cover national affairs, investigations, food, agriculture, health, and sustainability. Each episode reaches around 15,000 listeners. • Weekly: We publish four electronic newsletters focusing on politics, ongoing investigations, food, and news highlights of the week.

Mother Jones has one of the deepest and most experienced journalism benches in the business. With over 100 staff and fellows based primarily in our headquarters in San Francisco and bureaus in Washington DC and New York, we have grown from 600,000 readers a decade ago to more than 8 million today. We have transformed ourselves from a print-driven bimonthly to a truly digital-first newsroom – bringing the best in deep, contextual investigative reporting together with a digital-native’s savvy sense of what people are talking and thinking about right now. The Mother Jones public affairs, social media, and reader engagement teams manage a range of projects that aim to broaden the organization’s audience, deepen the relationship with current readers, and demonstrate the nonprofit newsroom’s overall impact. Mother Jones coverage is often cited in Congress, via other national news outlets that build on our reporting, and by organizations doing important policy work on issues including criminal justice, climate change, food and agriculture, and human rights. Mother Jones events attract audiences as large as 800 people and have covered topics including voting rights, racial justice, and climate change, with other great topics like food justice and civic engagement forthcoming. We have accomplished all of this thanks to a business model that is powered by reader support: two-thirds of our annual budget of $17 million comes from our readers, either as subscriptions or donations (the balance is evenly split between advertising and foundation grants). In fact, we have built one of the largest networks of reader support outside of public broadcasting – some 46,000 individual donors. Combined with revenue from 200,000 annual subscribers, a nimble advertising operation, and careful budgeting, this hybrid model has enabled us to successfully navigate the disruptive media business, and to thrive and excel in that mission. It also protects Mother Jones from the whims of the market or an unhappy advertiser, and ensures the organization will receive a consistent stream of funding for the long term.

We measure success by: • Producing an ongoing and significant body of innovative, professional journalism. • Tracking how frequently we are cited by other media outlets as well as policymakers and advocates. • Gaining visibility through outreach efforts led by our public affairs team. • Providing information and ideas that help engaged citizens follow and shape the national debate, particularly on issues of critical importance to our democracy: political corruption and cronyism; war and peace; and attacks on public education, the environment, and human rights. • And by reporting that reaches new audiences through social media, traditional media outlets, and live events.

In what promises to be an historic era for American public debate, Mother Jones is reporting on the underlying forces and larger issues that have the potential to truly shape the conversation, including: The Fate of American Democracy: The presidency of Donald Trump is many stories wrapped up together – the man, the corruption and disinformation, the appeals to white supremacy and anti-immigrant interests, and the transformation of the GOP into a lapdog of the Trump administration. Washington DC bureau chief David Corn leads a team of reporters and editors on this ongoing investigative reporting assignment. The New Civic Energy: Perhaps the most remarkable outcome of the 2016 election has been the resurgence of civic energy that it sparked. Leading a team of staff reporters, Tim Murphy is assigned to this beat full-time, profiling emerging leaders and exploring the creative ways people are organizing at a moment when traditional institutions do not always seem to reflect the urgency of the moment. Dark money: For 43 years, investigating the influence of money on political life has been one of our core beats. It still is, which is why we’ll be looking into who the dark money players are today trying to influence the next Congress. We’ll be investigating the tectonic shifts in how big money is deployed to shape public life and policy. Information warfare: From influencing social-media discourse to disrupting society’s core infrastructure attacks on vulnerable information networks are one of the most significant threats facing America in the 21st century. This is a new and important reporting assignment for Mother Jones. Voting rights: The full scope of the voter-suppression tool box, and the stories behind the most important battles, demand to be told. Mother Jones is one of the only journalism outfits with a full-time reporter, Ari Berman, assigned to this topic. Gender justice and the courts: Gender is at the core of so many public debates today. Key stories we are targeting include the fight over all aspects of women’s reproductive choice, from abortion to contraception: the ability for working women and families to access child care, health care, and education; discrimination, harassment and assault; and the way these rights, and women’s access to political and economic power, are being defended in new and interesting ways. Climate change and our future: With a backdrop of ever-increasing extremes of climate-related natural disasters, the Trump administration’s commitment to the fossil fuel industry, and a new Democratic majority in the House pushing for climate-friendly federal policies, climate change is a central issue in the 2020 presidential election. Led by reporter Rebecca Leber, and as part of the Climate Desk, a partnership of 17 publishers with potential reach of nearly 400 million people, Mother Jones will continue to report on the threats and innovative practices that shape this arena of conflict and change.

External Reviews

Financials

Mother Jones

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable