Kansas Public Radio just wrapped up what the station is describing as its most successful fall fund drive to date — though not successful enough to nullify a $100,000 budget cut.
The drive, launched Sept. 20, raised $288,000, KPR announced this week. A typical fall fund drive raises $250,000 for the station.
“Going into the drive, we knew that it had to surpass previous fall drives by a considerable amount in order to ensure the health of the station,” Feloniz Lovato-Winston, KPR development director, said in a statement. “Fortunately, our listeners came out in droves to contribute.”
The fall drive began soon after the University of Kansas-based public radio station learned KU would cut its budget for fiscal year 2017 by $100,000, following state cuts to higher education. Last year the station’s projected operating budget from KU sources was $1.3 million, according to KU’s fiscal year 2016 budget. Lovato-Winston said the total fiscal year 2016 operating budget including other revenue sources was just over $3 million.
“KPR is dealing with the budget cuts though a combination of internal budget cuts, not filling open positions, tapping into some reserve funds and increased fundraising,” KPR director Dan Skinner said.
Skinner said the station did not fill its open communications position or the administrative position in charge of the reception desk.
News of the budget cut, and a fall fund drive goal set by KPR for 1,000 new and upgrading members, inspired thousands of dollars in new donations and increased donations from existing members, according to KPR. The drive garnered 396 new pledges, and 382 existing members increased their gifts.
For the second year, the station will again have a short two-day fundraising drive in December, in addition to the regular week-long drives in the spring and fall, Lovato-Winston said.
The KU-based Audio-Reader Network, a radio reading service for the blind and visually impaired, also incurred a $100,000 budget cut this year.
KPR broadcasts on 91.5 FM and 96.1 FM in Lawrence, other frequencies in several other Kansas cities and online at kpr.ku.edu. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk programming stream, available via HD receiver or on KPR’s website.