IJ received an extraordinary opportunity last year thanks to longtime donor Robert W. Wilson, who issued a three-year, multi-million-dollar challenge grant to help make IJ the nation’s premier force for liberty. He challenged IJ to do more of our strategic litigation and do it better than ever.
There are two components to the challenge grant. The Campaign to Revitalize the Constitution is aimed at enhancing IJ’s overall capacity in property rights, free speech, economic liberty and school choice—our four pillars of litigation—while the Campaign for Economic Liberty will do for economic liberty what we have done for the issue of eminent domain abuse: Propel it onto the front pages of the nation’s newspapers, to the forefront of constitutional jurisprudence and ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.
So far, both campaigns are off to a great start. IJ donors from 26 states have donated more than $3.2 million and pledged an additional $3.7 million over the next two years. This generosity has made it possible for IJ to not simply maintain but to build our momentum at a time when our work is more important than ever.
In the past 12 months alone, we have launched 10 new cases and won 12 others. Victories ranged from striking down a Florida law that imposed the nation’s broadest restrictions on free speech in elections to vindicating our clients’ property rights in New York and New Jersey—two of the worst abusers of eminent domain the country. In our campaign for economic liberty, we secured two new federal appeals court victories.
But much more remains to be done.
Between now and June 2011, we need to raise $3 million in order to earn the remainder of Robert Wilson’s challenge grant. Under the challenge, Mr. Wilson will provide one dollar for every two dollars in new or increased support of $5,000 or more. There are a number of ways you can participate in the campaign, not all of which involve giving $5,000 in one lump sum. Furthermore, the challenge grant favors multi-year pledges of at least $5,000, and all such pledges will be eligible for matching. For a personalized illustration, please contact me at (703) 682-9320 ext 233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider the stakes for liberty today and you will see why there has never been a better time to invest in IJ. Please help us make the most of this historic opportunity.
Beth Stevens is the Institute’s vice president for development.