LAWRENCE — Despite a challenging economy and looming budget cuts — or maybe because of it — Kansas Public Radio donors made the station’s membership drive the most successful fall drive in the station’s history.
After eight days of on-air fund raising, Kansas Public Radio ended its fall membership drive with more than $252,573 in pledges. At 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21, pledges from KPR listener-members pushed total donations to $250,000, the goal set to end the fall drive.
The membership drive began Tuesday, Oct. 11, with more than $92,000 raised through a direct-mail campaign. Eight days later, more than $158,000 was raised on-air by pledges from new and renewing members.
“We had a record-setting spring drive, and now the listeners have made this the best fall drive in KPR’s history,” KPR Development Director Sheri Hamilton said. “Each listener who made a pledge has a direct connection to the station. They take a little bit of ownership in what they hear every day.
“The station couldn’t do what we do if the listener-members didn’t call.”
After the numbers were tallied Friday morning, almost 2,300 listeners had pledged by direct mail, on-air appeals or at KPR’s website, KPR.KU.EDU. 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 show. More than $28,000 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 Tuesday, Oct. 11, when an entire day’s fund raising was compressed into just 90 minutes. That raised more than $35,000.
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, 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 on the Internet at kpr.ku.edu. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk channel on HD Radio. Those broadcasts can be heard on an HD receiver or on KPR’s website.