April 20, 2012; Source: United Press International

The Terrorism Research Center (TRC), founded as a commercial think tank in 1996 on the one-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, has reorganized as a nonprofit organization. TRC co-founder Brian Houghton states the conversion to nonprofit status enhances the anti-terrorism organization’s collaborative research and exchange. “Our intent,” Houghton says, “is to open the dialog[ue], provide valuable counter-terrorism resources and advance the latest thinking in counter-terrorism for the public good.” TRC co-founder Matthew Devost adds, “We believe there is still a strong need to continue the research and collaboration on such critical topics in the public’s best interest.”

What is going on here? TRC’s announcement lacks any detailed analysis of just why and how the organization will thrive by adapting a wholly different financial model. And Neal Pollard, the group’s third co-founder alongside Houghton and Devost, doesn’t clarify matters, vaguely noting, “We want to put the 15-year legacy and goodwill of TRC to continuing benefit for the public, rather than focus on a specific business model.” The notion that reorganizing as a nonprofit frees an organization from having to consider issues surrounding its business model does not make sense to us. What are we missing here? –Louis Altman