KU News Release


April 18, 2011
Contact: Phil Wilke, Kansas Public Radio, 785-864-5016

Kansas Public Radio membership drive nets highest total ever

More Information

LAWRENCE — It was a great week for Kansas Public Radio, and it’s all thanks to listeners.

After eight days of on-air fundraising, KPR ended its spring membership drive with more than $295,000 in pledges. At 9:30 a.m. April 15, pledges from KPR listener-members pushed total donations to $297,673, the most a single membership drive has ever raised.

The membership drive began April 6 with more than $124,000 raised through a direct-mail campaign. Eight days later, more than $173,000 was raised through on-air appeals to new and renewing members.

“This was KPR’s most impressive membership drive ever,” said KPR Development Direct Sheri Hamilton. “We told our listeners that state and federal funding cuts are a very real possibility and they told us, via their pledges, that KPR is important in their lives every day.

“We raised almost $300,000 during this drive, about $50,000 more than last fall. That will go along way toward offsetting any budget cuts.”

After the numbers were tallied, more than 2,450 listeners had pledged through 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 $32,000 was raised through challenge grants.

On April 14, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback stopped by to help with on-air fundraising. His budget proposes cutting from the $1.5 million from public broadcasters across the state, including $105,000 from KPR. Brownback said the state doesn’t have the money to support public broadcasting, so it’s more important than ever for listeners to donate. After he was finished with his on-air shift, Brownback made a donation to KPR on behalf of his family.

All donations during spring and fall membership drives directly support programming services.

In each hour, KPR interrupts programming for about 10 to 15 minutes to ask for donations. Regular programming resumes for the rest of the hour. The membership drive featured a “Power Breakfast” on April 6, when an entire day’s fundraising was compressed into just 90 minutes. That raised more than $40,000.

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.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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