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National Geographic makeover – Renovations, technology in works

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The National Geographic Society will fund a $24.3 million makeover by selling tax-exempt bonds, Bloomberg reported August 16.

The nonprofit will use the profits of its first-ever bond sale to renovate its Washington offices and museum, to buy new computers and software for mining its member database. The society is also planning to sell licensed products through the Internet.

Moody’s gave the bonds a top short-term rating because of the society’s reputation and name recognition. The society hopes and needs to capitalize on those assets, especially since its memberships are down.

One way the society is planning to do so is by launching the National Geographic Channel, which already operates in 64 countries, on U.S. cable.

International growth may also set off the nonprofit’s domestic decline. The magazine has recently expanded with native-language editions for Brazil and Taiwan. The magazine has also opened its pages to more advertising.

For the full story, go to America Online.

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