All across the country, public radio stations are in the midst of their Fall Fund Drives. Any regular listener knows that a few times a year their public radio station will ask their listeners to pledge their financial support to the station. Public radio is there every time you turn on your radio. Every once in a while, public radio asks you to be there for them when they ask for support.
Here at Mountain Stage we encourage you to give what you can to your favorite station or, if you feel so compelled, you can donate to the mother-station of Mountain Stage, WV Public Broadcasting. You can contribute on-line here or call 1-800-RADIO-87.
Why Do Stations Hold Pledge Drives?- The federal government supplies funds through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to many public broadcastingstations but this never covers their operating costs. Additional money may come from other institutional support- universities, state government, boards of education. Mostly, it comes from the station's community through underwriting and listener support. That money helps pay programming fees for the shows you enjoy as well as equipment maintenance, transmitter costs and on-line streaming. A single hour of programming could cost over a hundred dollars alone.
Basically everything we do to bring the radio to you is funded, in part, by the support of "listeners like you." Here at WV PBS our listener contributions make up 22% of our operating budget. The station in your community could rely on even more support from listeners.
Why Should You Pledge?- The truth is that your public radio station will still be there whether you pledge your support or not. However those who choose to contribute believe in the ideals of public broadcasting, they care about the programming and appreciate an alternative to the main-stream, commercial fueled media. Pubic Broadcasting is free from commercial influence allowing for more in-depth news analysis and informative, expansive and independent reporting. It's certainly something you won't find elsewhere.
When Should You Pledge?- You can show support for your favorite programs by calling in during their time-slots. Often times pledge coordinators base hourly goals on what programs have historically brought in the most dollars. If you have more than one favorite, as many of us do, be sure to leave your comments along with your pledge amount in order to cast your vote for that particular program. This helps the programmers stay in touch with their audience and make decisions based on listener support. If you listen every day, tell them so. If you always turn off a certain program, tell them so. If you've never pledged, or you've been giving your entire adult life, tell them so.
How Much Should I Pledge?- The amount is entirely up to you because every single pledge counts. We are not naive to what is happening in the financial world but we look at a contribution as an investment into something tangible. If you pledge $60 a year, that equals $5 a month. Now, compare that to the amount you pay for cable TV, Satellite, newspaper or internet service. Would they allow you to "pick your price"?
So think about the local and global news you receive from your public radio station. Consider the entertainment, music and events you enjoy. Think about how much you listen and place a dollar amount on how much you value your favorite public radio programs. Then make the call and become a part of the Public Broadcasting family.
If you've already contributed to Public Radio, THANK YOU. If you're yet to do so, click HERE to contribute to WV Public Broadcasting.