WKSU collects $335k in pledges

Kristen Russo

What would you do with $335,000?

While some people might need time to think about it, 89.9 FM Station WKSU already knows what to do with the money.

After the station finished its nine-day pledge drive at 11 a.m. Saturday, Bob Burford, WKSU’s director of public relations, said the money the station raised will go toward operating expenses. Expenses include National Public Radio bills, programs and salaries for workers.

The station exceeded its original fundraising goal of $305,000 by $30,000.

“It was simply fantastic,” Burford said. “We are really thrilled at the response from the community. We have a very tight budget this year, so this is really helpful.”

Membership manager Joyce Adams said $330,000 came from phone pledges and $5,000 came from an e-mail campaign the station did in the middle of the drive.

“We let people know we were accepting pledges if they were interested,” Adams said. “It wasn’t an on-air pitch. It was basically just a short e-mail we sent to them.”

Burford said about 75 percent of WKSU’s operating budget comes from community support. The station holds three pledge drives per year: one in the spring, summer and fall.

Volunteers sign up for shifts and come in to take pledges. Burford said there is one morning shift, from 6 to 9 a.m., and there are three afternoon shifts based on the times of the afternoon programming.

Adams, who is also WKSU’s senior development associate, said the station had more than 90 volunteers for this fundraiser.

The station reaches 22 counties, so pledges were coming in from a lot of different places, Burford said. But the most support came from the greater Akron and Cleveland areas.

“I think the positive attitude we had throughout the drive kind of resonated with the people,” he said.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Kristen Russo at [email protected].