There's no shame in putting on a fundraising drive. NPR does them all the time. So does the National Review. And while they've avoided hitting up any phony Arab oil magnates (so far), there's very little the conservative publication won't try to convince readers to part with their money. Some of their more ingenious (some might say desperate) fundraising ploys:

Keith Olbermann

Along with embodying everything National Review readers dislike and distrust about the liberal media, Olbermann is notoriously combative. So when publisher Jack Fowler joked yesterday about how much he'd hate it if his daughter started dating the former MSNBC host, Olbermann predictably responded by calling out Fowler and magazine editor Rich Lowry during his 'Worst Person in the World' webisode last night. That allowed Fowler to play the victim in a follow-up post today, first declaring "if it weren’t Lent I’d call him a thin-skinned blankety-blank," then urging readers to"[d]rink in all that is Olbermanniacal and let it motivate you to donate."


 

The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories

What kind of kid wouldn't want a book of National Review-approved bedtime stories? (French kids, probably.) The magazine was asking $59.50 for the collection in 2004, which seems high, until you realize every order also included L. Frank Baum's Queen Zixi of Ix and, for some reason, two copies of Volume Two of The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature.

Reader testimonials

Nothing tugs at the heart strings--and the purse strings--like the reader testimonials shared by the magazine's Kathryn Jean Lopez (right) during every fundraising campaign. We dare you to read these three samples and not be moved to write a check:

From an $81 donor in 2010:

My father passed away at 81 last month — an Irish immigrant who was so proud to be an American that he insisted ‘God Bless America’ be played at his funeral — and it was . . . so this one’s for you, Daddy. Keep fighting the good fight, NRO.

From a $90 donor in 2010

On the eve of the Passover holiday, I am contributing $90 which represents five times chai (18) to thank you on behalf of the five members of my family for your defense of freedom and liberty, and in grateful appreciation for the clear thinking of your contributors. I am a daily reader (often multiple times) and this is my first contribution; and hopefully not the las. Without your efforts, the MSM’s twisting of facts and blame America first approach would not be answered. For all of us, no matter what religion, I hope we all hear the call to freedom: “next year in Jerusalem.”

From a $10 donor in 2010

This isn’t as much as you need or deserve.  But now is the time for all conservatives to rally to the cause.

College giving clubs

Worried your alma mater is using your largesse to further a progressive agenda?  Make your annual donation through one National Review's Collegiate Giving Clubs and you won't have to worry about the liberal arts getting your cash. Granted, the magazine takes a small fee, but it's "below the typical overhead of the best [college giving] foundations," which is usually between 10 and 13 percent of total expenditures. And we're just kidding about the "liberal" arts thing. National Review doesn't actually say that--we just couldn't resist.

The ship that hosted last year's Caribbean cruiseCruises. Lots and lots of cruises.

The Nation is credited with sponsoring the first political cruise back in 1997, but National Review has turned it into a cottage industry. You don't even have to like the Caribbean to partake in the fun, sun, and intense discussion of supply-side economics. The magazine has also offered a "Spanish riverboat cruise" with Ralph Reed and Dick Morris, as well as an Alaska option with Robert Bork and Michael Steele.