Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WUIS fall fund drive ends close to goal

Public radio station WUIS 91.9 finished its fall fund drive short of its goal; however the station still raised nearly $125,000 to support programming. WUIS' goal for the drive was 1,400 pledges; almost 1,300 pledges were received. The on-air portion of the drive was conducted October 16 through 24. A pre-drive renewal campaign accounted for approximately one quarter of the total pledges.

Listener support from two annual fund drives is the station's largest source of revenue, covering 30 percent of the WUIS budget. Pledges can still be made online.

The fall drive occurred in the midst of the station's coverage of the current economic crisis, which led Development Director Randy Eccles to reflect, "Considering the mood, listeners stepped up and were generous in their support." Eccles said that many listeners commented that they would like to make a larger gift, representing the value they feel WUIS provides, but couldn't afford it.

General Manager Bill Wheelhouse said that while total funds pledged were down from campaigns in the past two years, he was pleased with the response. "Many listeners let us know that the in-depth reporting on the economy and elections were major reasons they listen to WUIS," he said. "It is gratifying to know there are so many passionate supporters of public radio in the region."

WUIS hopes to cover the shortfall with additional events and alternate fundraising plans, such as the WUIS Passports Tour listener trip to Belize. In March, Statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky will accompany listeners to the Central American country for a tour led by Dave Cox of Lincoln Land Community College. Everyone who made a pledge during the fall fund drive has a chance to win a spot for two on the trip.

WUIS is listener-supported and a National Public Radio affiliate. WUIS content is available in the Springfield/Central Illinois area in HD at 91.9 FM, in West-Central Illinois at 89.3 FM, and worldwide online. The station's mission is to satisfy a curious, engaged audience through programming and community outreach. Program schedule, events, and other information is available online, or call the station at 217/206-6516.

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