On May 29, 2020, the Britannica® Group announced its acquisition of ProCon.org, the country’s leading source for information and research on all sides of the controversial issues of the day. Britannica is one of the most prominent educational publishers in the world, producer of not only the famed Encyclopaedia Britannica, the oldest continuously published (since 1768) and revised work in the English language, but also a large suite of resources for students, schools, and teachers in multiple languages. The Britannica Group is headquartered in Chicago.
Steven C. Markoff, Chairman and CEO of A-Mark Financial Corporation in Santa Monica, California, founded ProCon.org in 2004 with the following mission: to promote critical thinking, education, and informed citizenship by presenting the pro and con arguments to controversial issues in a straightforward, nonpartisan, freely accessible way. It was begun as a nonprofit charity in California and was initially funded primarily by its founder. For most of its tenure as a nonprofit organization (2004-20), ProCon.org received funding from outside sources including private companies, foundations, and individual donors, many of whom are acknowledged on the Donors & Sponsors page.
The award-winning ProCon.org website serves more than 20 million people each year, including students and teachers in more than 11,000 schools in all 50 states and 90 countries. Additionally, 37 U.S. state governments, 17 U.S. state departments of education, 31 foreign governments, 25 U.S. federal agencies, and thousands of media articles have cited ProCon.org.
For each of its U.S. presidential election sites since 2008, ProCon.org has attracted millions of readers with its coverage of the candidates and their positions on key issues. In 2012, the New York Times (“Great Free Websites for Teaching Election 2012,” September 5, 2012) hailed the ProCon.org election site as “the most comprehensive teaching tool for researching the candidate’s stance on issues.” The Times recommended ProCon.org again in 2020 as among the essential election sites for students wanting to engage with that year’s presidential campaign (Natalie Proulx and Katherine Schulten, “Election 2020: 11 Ways to Engage Students From Now Until November,” nytimes.com, May 21, 2020).