FIRE receives all kinds of donations from our supporters. While most gifts traditionally come as checks or credit card donations, FIRE sometimes receives stock gifts and other kinds of donations—one supporter even gave FIRE a car! (We had to sell it—we’re not just driving it around…)
Here is a picture of one of FIRE’s most unique gifts. It’s the first dollar (or two) FIRE ever received back in 1998. Technically, it was a token of appreciation to FIRE co-founder Alan Charles Kors from William E. Simon, former United States Secretary of the Treasury (1974–1977). Simon sent on this one-of-a-kind contribution after Alan mailed him an inscribed copy of The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses, the book that in many ways served as the catalyst for FIRE’S founding, written by Alan and his fellow FIRE co-founder and current Chairman of the Board, Harvey Silverglate.
The $2 bill was issued on July 4, 1976, our nation’s 200th birthday, and on the back is a picture of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which occurred right across the street from the building in which FIRE’s office now resides. As Simon notes in his letter to Alan, "We had to shrink the picture down somewhat to fit on the bill, and accordingly left off four signers. Their descendents vehemently protested my decision!"
Today, this $2 bill hangs framed with Simon’s letters to Alan in the FIRE office.
FIRE relies solely on the generosity of donors like Simon and you to carry out our work. While the past 13 years since our founding have been wonderfully successful in the fight for free speech, due process, and fundamental fairness on college campuses, the fight is not over. There is still much work to be done. While FIRE’s goal has always been to put ourselves out of business by making campuses truly safe for free inquiry, until that day, we hope we can count on your support to continue and eventually finish the fight. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today—the last day to donate in 2012—and have a safe and happy New Year!