2006 Annual Report



2006 was another year of solid achievement for ProCon.org.

Thanks to our visitors for your continued interest in the information we supply, and thanks to our technical staff, researchers, management, board members, sources, critics, media members, and everyone else who helped our organization grow and develop easy to read, comprehensive, and balanced information to some of today's controversial issues.

Some of our 2006 accomplishments include:


Steven C. Markoff, Chairman


  1. Traffic:Our websites received 2,182,575 sessions* in 2006 compared to 1,517,611 sessions in 2005 -– a 43.8% increase, while our advertising expenses increased by only 8.5%.

    A. Of our ten websites at 12/31/06, the three largest traffic increases were:

    -- ProCon.org itself (65,923 sessions in 2005 vs. 222,011 in 2006 -- a 237% increase), - ACLU ProCon.org (51,170 sessions in 2005 vs. 183,536 in 2006 -- a 259% increase), and - Nuclear Power ProCon.org (15,232 sessions in 2005 vs. 32,627 in 2006 -- a 114% increase).

    B. Two of our sites had less traffic in 2006 than in 2005:

    -- Under God ProCon.org (158,720 sessions in 2005 vs. 149,094 sessions in 2006 -- a 6.1% decrease), and - U.S.-Iraq ProCon.org (347,451 sessions in 2005 vs. 315,873 sessions in 2006 -- a 9.1% decrease).

    C. Traffic Chart:

    WEBSITE
    (Alphabetical order with parent site first and archived sites last)
    Date Website Began
    2004
    2005
    2006
    ProCon.org[Parent Site]
    (www.ProCon.org)
    May 1, 2002 72,124 65,923 222,011
    ACLU
    (ACLU.ProCon.org)
    September 2002 83,886 51,170 183,536
    Born Gay?
    (BornGay.ProCon.org)
    September 2003 113,100 111,991 170,610
    Euthanasia
    (Euthanasia.ProCon.org)
    January 8, 2007 N/A N/A N/A
    Israeli - Palestinian
    (IsraeliPalestinian.ProCon.org)
    May 2002 67,161 275,957 446,958
    Medical Marijuana
    (MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org)
    April 2001 301,337 481,500 618,002
    Under God
    (UnderGodProCon.org)
    November 2003 49,384 158,720 149,094
    U.S. - Iraq
    (USIraq.ProCon.org)
    February 2003 136,355 347,451 315,873
    Voting Machines
    (VotingMachines.ProCon.org)
    May 23, 2006 N/A N/A 31,002
    Nuclear Power
    (www.NuclearPowerProCon.org)

    [Archived - no longer updated]
    August 13, 2003 6,354 15,232 32,627
    Rose Bird
    (www.RoseBirdProCon.org)

    [Archived - no longer updated]
    August 23, 2003 5,462 9,668 12,862
    TOTALS
    835,163 1,517,611 2,182,575
    Year Vs. Year Performance
    - 81% 44%
    *A session is any 30-minute or less period of time in which an individual IP address accesses one or more files from one ProCon.org website. This definition of a "session” comes from Urchin (now owned by Google) – the software program used to track our website traffic as of 12/05/06.

     


     

  2. Staff: Our organization grew from a full-time staff of eight to a full-time staff of nine – seven researchers, one Managing Editor, and me.

     


     

  3. Board of Directors: ProCon.org welcomed two new Board Members during 2006 – John Kurtz, J.D., and Stan Shimohara, J.D., C.P.A., M.B.A. Jadwiga Markoff, Ph.D., M.D., remained as a Board Member, and I continued as Chairman.

     


     

  4. New Content and Topics: During 2006, we added 62 new questions and made improvements and updates to over 300 questions on our existing websites.

    A. On August 31, 2006, ProCon.org launched the website Voting Machines ProCon.org to explore the question "Do electronic voting machines improve the voting process?” The website was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer on Nov. 5, 2006, and was discussed on 89.3FM, an NPR radio affiliate in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 9, 2006. It received 31,002 sessions in 2006.

    B. After research, internal debate, and external consultation, we narrowed down the list of websites we plan to research and/or launch in 2007 to the following six (at minimum):

     

      -"Should euthanasia be legal?”

      -"Should felons be allowed to vote?”

      -"Should prostitution be legal?”

      -"Is milk good for human health?”

      -"Is illegal immigration good for America?”

      -"Are human beings causing global warming?”

     


     

  5. In the News: ProCon.org had seventeen references in the media during 2006 (compared to five in 2005). The references started in January 2006 when we received the Yahoo! Pick award. Throughout the year we participated in five radio interviews (AM, FM, and online stations), and we were referenced on the 60 Minutes website, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times, Wired, and several other newspapers and magazines.

     


     

  6. VIP Correspondence: We've received beneficial feedback and/or content from many VIPs and well-known organizations. Here’s a random sample (in alphabetical order):

     

    • Al Jazeera

    • Caitlin Borgmann, J.D. (Professor at NYU Law School)
    • Kelly Ceballos (Senior Director of Communications for the League of Women Voters)
    • Dr. Sherry Colb (Professor & Frederick B. Lacey Scholar at Rutgers Law School)
    • Dr. Roger Daniels (Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Cincinnati)
    • Joseph K. Grieboski (President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy and Secretary General of the Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom)
    • Dr. Susan Hattis Rolef (Senior Researcher of the Israeli Knesset)
    • Dr. Jeremy Gunn (Director of ACLU Program on Religion and Belief)
    • Dr. David Jefferson (Chairman of the California Secretary of State’s Voting Systems Advisory Board)
    • Joan Krawitz (Executive Director of VoteTrustUSA)
    • Abe March (author of To Beirut and Back: An American in the Middle East)
    • Marc Mauer (Executive Director of The Sentencing Project)
    • Fared Mohammad (Webmaster of the Muslim Brotherhood)
    • Rob Noble (Director of AVERT, an international AIDS charity)
    • PLO Department of Arab and International Relations
    • Jim Ritter (Reporter at Chicago Sun Times)
    • Dr. Alan Sanders (Director of Center for Psychiatric Genetics, Northwestern University)
    • Dr. John Scott (Co-Editor of the Journal of Sociology)
    • Mark Silva (Reporter at Chicago Tribune)
    • Kathryn Tucker, J.D. (Legal Director of Compassion & Choices)
    • Dr. J. Michael Walker (Director of the Gill Center for Biomolecular Science at Indiana University)
    • Dr. Michelle Waslin (Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza)
    • J. Robinson West (Founder and Chairman of PFC Energy)

     

     


     

  7. Reader Comments Pro & Con:

    A. Pro:

    • "I like your site very much. We are bombarded with info, often biased. It is so good to have a clear, fair presentation of the issues and facts. This is a wonderful resource. Thanks so much. I am forwarding to friends and family."
      Hassie 1/24/06

       

    • "I am writing a paper for my senior government class. My topic is religious implications in the pledge and/or motto. I would like to thank you for creating this site. It has been an abundant help. Your unbiased representation and distribution of facts is informative and appreciated. Thank You."
      Ariana 4/17/06

       

    • "I enjoy this website. I recommend this to friends so that they can see both sides of an issue from the center."
      Dave 12/6/06

       

    B. Con

    • "You folks need to find a real job, the aclu is bad for the U.S.A.!"
      L. 1/29/06

       

    • "This is a new site, and I have pondered it read through it, and I find its just another Liberal biased website. In my opinion and as an American I can give it, this website, does not benefit the public and I am sure it is not a nonprofit corp. You do not represent both sides. I am sure [Michael] Moore is funding your site."
      Christine 02/19/06

       

    • "You think we are all stupid! You are trying to write the Jews out of the land of Israel! Your web-site and its so-called pertinent information is simply lies...your Goebellisian approach is telling in its transparency. Tell a lie often enough...!"
      Debra 12/4/06

       

     

     


     

  8. Logo: The Summer 2006 ProCon.org logo contest yielded 166 logos from 42 contestants in 8 countries. The winning entry was from a reader in Spokane, Washington who submitted the design below and won $500 and our deepest thanks.

     

    The new logo should be on our site in mid 2007 when our website makeover goes online.

     

     


     

  9. Linked Sites: At the end of 2005, 200 other websites linked to ProCon.org websites. At the end of 2006, nearly 16,000 other websites linked to ProCon.org websites.

     


     

  10. Financials:2004-2006 Financial Information for ProCon.org:

    A. 2006 Financial Summary
    In 2006 ProCon.org received total gross income from donations of $516,726 up from $373,120 in 2005. Of our $526,862 in 2006 expenses, $482,615 (91.6%) was spent on program services, $30,247 (5.7%) on management and general expenses, and $14,000 (2.7%) on fundraising expenses. ProCon.org operates with such a high percentage of its expenditures in program services for several reasons including: we pay no rent, we incur no accounting expenses, we spend small amounts to yield large amounts of funds raised, our operation is remarkably efficient, and our Chairman has refused a salary since we started.
    B. 2006 vs. 2005 Expenses: A Graphical Breakdown

     

     

    C. Detailed Chart of Financial Data, 2004 – 2006

     



    For the 12 Months
    Ending Dec. 31, 2006
    Percent of Total For the 12 Months
    Ending Dec. 31, 2005
    Percent of Total For the 6 Months
    Ending Dec. 31, 2004
    Percent of Total
    1. Fundraising:

    - Total Contributions (Unrestricted) $ 516,726 100% $ 373,120 100% $ 86,326 100%

    - Total $ 516,726 100% $ 373,120 100% $ 86,326 100%
    2. Efficiency of Expenditures:

    - Program Services Expenditures* $ 496,436 91.4% $ 319,027 92.2% $ 77,629 90.4%

    - Management and General Expenses** 32,512 6.0% 27,128 7.8% 8,173 9.6%

    - Fundraising Expenses 14,000 2.6% 0 0 0 0

    - Total $ 542,948 100% $ 346,155 100% $ 85,802 100%
    3. Excess <Deficit> of Operating Revenue
    over <under> Expenses:

    <$26,222>

    -

    $ 26,965

    -

    $ 525

    -


    4. Balance Sheet: as of 12/31/06 as of 12/31/05 as of 12/31/04

    Assets:

    - Cash and Cash Equivalents $ 17,183 - $ 33,746 - $ 534 -

    - Receivables $ 2,720 - 2,098 - 0 -

    - Total Assets $ 19,903 - $ 35,844 - $ 34 -

    Liabilities:

    - Payables and Accrued Expenses $ 18,636 - $ 8,354 - $ 10 -

    - Total Liabilities $ 18,636 - $ 8,354 - $ 10 -

    Equity:

    - Total Equity $ 1,268 - $ 27,489 - $ 525 -

    Total Liabilities and Equity $ 19,903 - $ 35,844 - $ 534 -

     

     

As always, we appreciate feedback from our visitors and friends. Please Contact Us any time you wish to share any thoughts or suggestions that could make ProCon.org even better.

My thanks again to everyone who helped us achieve so much in 2006.

Sincerely,

Steven Markoff
Chairman, ProCon.org

P.S. If you like our sites, please tell your friends.