KPCW will host a four-day pledge drive next week
Money will help keep programs on the air
KCPW General Manager Larry Warren said there is a constant need to fund the local radio station.
“You can’t broadcast 24 hours, seven days a week for 365 days without people,” Warren told The Park Record. “While we have a lot of great volunteers who do it for fun and community service, but our biggest part of our budget is payroll.”
The other thing that takes a chuck of change is purchasing national programs.
“We’re experimenting with more ways to keep the ball rolling in new areas,” said Warren who will retire in June. “Three years ago, we started the Broadcasters Club, which is a high-dollar donor group with 140 members. That has helped with income stability.
“We are also experimenting to cutting the length of our pledge drives,” he said. “We’ve gone from five to four days.”
This year’s first pledge drive will run from Monday, Feb. 13, to Thursday, Feb. 16. The goal this year is $125,000 and those who call in will receive an array of gifts.
In addition to the pledges, KPCW will raise money in an online auction that runs through Feb. 17 at http://kpcw.org/post/kpcw-online-auction-0#stream/0.
Auction items include overnight stays, golf packages, dining packages, spa and beauty packages and more.
The funds will help continue these on-air programs:
- Lost & Found
- Interviews with community leaders
- Expanded local news and local news staff
- Free Announcements for local nonprofits
- Home-grown music and events
- KPCW morning news
- KPCW noon news
- The Local View with Randy Barton
- Community forums
- Local sports
- Neighborhood weather and traffic
- Live snow reports
- Reports: Leslie Thatcher, Rich Brough, Renai Bodley, Carolyn Murray and Melissa Allison
- Volunteer music hosts“I hope as people respond favorably to getting the drive done sooner, we will cut it down more in the future as long as the revenue comes in,” Warren said. “The national trend for pledge drives is three-, two- or one-day marathons.”
KPCW’s annual income is a budget of about $1.5 million.
“Federal funding accounts for about 8 percent of our budget and what you get from that funding is based on the amount you raise locally,” Warren said. “So if we raise more in the fund drive, we receive more federal funding.”
Although the Trump Administration has made threats to cut budgets from the public broadcasting, Warren said there is not immediate threat to federal funding.
“Philosophically, Republicans, by and large, oppose to federal funding of public broadcasting, but I’ve been in conference calls with NPR as recent as two days ago, and they told me they are secure for at least the next two years,” he said.
That doesn’t mean the cuts aren’t coming.
“While there is nothing on the table, there always could be and there have been past attempts to stop it,” Warren said. “So, we have tried to prepare for the day that may come where federal funding is now yanked. We’ve consciously been trying to reduce our dependence on federal funding, by raising more money from donors.”
That’s why the pledge drive is important, but Warren wants to find another more effective way to raise money.
“I don’t see pledge drives as the best way to fundraise in the future,” he said. “I would rather see a loyal sustaining membership of people who will allow us to charge or debit monthly or yearly.
“Now, don’t get me wrong,” Warren said. “Fund drives are fun, but they are exhausting for staff. We would rather spend our time doing things more productive for content.”
For information about the KPCW Pledge Drive, visit http://www.kpcw.org.
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