LAWRENCE — It was a KPR membership drive of firsts — first drive to take a day off for breaking news coverage, first drive to come back on a second Monday and first drive to raise more than $300,000.
After 10 days of on-air fundraising, Kansas Public Radio ended its spring membership drive with $305,306 in pledges. At 8:26 a.m., Monday, April 29, pledges from KPR listener-members pushed total donations past $300,000, the goal set to end the spring drive.
The membership drive began April 16 with more than $120,000 raised through a direct-mail campaign. Ten fundraising days later, more than $185,000 was raised on-air by pledges from new and renewing members.
On the first regularly scheduled day of the membership drive, KPR suspended fundraising to carry National Public Radio's daylong breaking news coverage of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects. As a result, the membership drive was extended by one day to April 29.
“We heard from listeners that they greatly appreciated the news coverage from Boston,” KPR Development Director Sheri Hamilton said. “It was important to scale back the membership drive for news coverage. KPR donors were generous and helped us make up for the day we took off.”
After the numbers were tallied Monday, almost 2,500 listeners had pledged by direct mail, on-air appeals or at KPR’s website. The overall total does not include challenge grants, in which a company or individual will donate money if KPR can raise a certain level of funding during a specific time period. More than $35,000 was raised through challenge grants.
All donations during spring and fall membership drives directly support KPR’s local and national programming.
In each hour, KPR interrupts programming for about 10-15 minutes to ask for donations. Regular programming resumes for the rest of the hour. The membership drive featured “Super Tuesday” on April 16 when an entire day’s fundraising was compressed into just 90 minutes. That raised more than $36,000.
More than 100 volunteers answered phones from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. during the drive. Area restaurants donated meals and beverages for volunteers’ breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.
KPR, a 14-time Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute, and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. KPR can be heard online. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, which can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.