KRTU’s annual fall membership drive began and will continue until October 15. The radio station hosts two membership drives throughout the year in the fall and the spring. During the membership drives. KRTU works to raise funds through donations and membership dues from listeners. This year the fundraising goal for the fall is to raise a total of $85,000. KRTU aims to raise a total of $175,000 throughout the year to cover their operating expenses.
Jeanette Reynolds, the director of development for KRTU, explains the overall goal of the membership drives.
“The membership drives are the culmination of fundraising that happens on a rolling basis twice a year through mail, email and online campaigns. The membership drives are our on air effort to give listeners the opportunity to support KRTU and become part of our vibrant music-lover community,” Reynolds said.
The membership drive is part of a larger fundraising campaign during the fall which lasts six months.
“The membership drive generates the most income during our membership campaigns. So far we’ve raised $40,000,” Reynolds said.
KRTU is working to raise the remaining $45,000 of their goal during the fall membership drive.
During the membership drive, the KRTU staff, student interns and volunteers move up to the fourth floor of the Richardson Communication Center for the duration of the membership drive.
Jaime Lopez, the general manager of KRTU, describes the daily occurrences during the membership drive.
“The whole fourth floor becomes “˜pledge central’ as we call it. We have six telephone lines that are taking calls from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we have volunteers taking calls and member pledges,” Lopez said.
KRTU broadcasts live from their recording booth on the third floor, however during the drive, they broadcast live from two recording booths on the 4th floor.
“Usually we have one air booth, and during the membership drive we have two. We have our lead host, who is running. And the daily host who is always accompanied by a co-host. Together they make the case as to why you should become a KRTU member,” Lopez said.
Lopez explains that new and renewing members of KRTU have a variety of reasons for joining.
“For our members there is that common thread “” many of them enjoy jazz, many of them enjoy the fact that we support the community in the way that we do with small businesses, non-profits and local musicians. And in turn that’s why we are able to do these things. It’s because of member support,” Lopez said.
During the drive, volunteers ask KRTU members to provide a testimonial as to why they become members or donate. The KRTU hosts read the testimonies on the air during the drive. Reynolds described one testimonial that KRTU received from a couple during a previous membership drive.
Reynolds read the testimonial card which stated, “We listen to KRTU all the way from Berlin, Germany. Thanks for being the best jazz station in the world.”
During the drive, KRTU receives phone calls both locally and internationally, according to Lopez.
“It’s not just local “” we’ll get calls from South America, Europe, Ireland and many more. We’re internationally recognized,” Lopez said.
Reynolds explains that 50% of the operating budget is attributed to individual donations received during their membership campaigns.
“Since KRTU is a majority listener-supported nonprofit, over 50% percent of the operating budget comes from individual donations, 20% comes from Trinity University support and 30% from underwriting from local businesses and organizations,” Reynolds said.
Members receive access to 40 or more KRTU sponsored events and gifts depending on the amount the member donates.
The KRTU staff relies on volunteers during their membership drive to make phone calls, send mail and help wherever necessary. The majority of these volunteers are students within the KRTU communication department courses, who are required to volunteer during a two-hour slot during the drive.
“We’re always really grateful for the students who volunteer their time, otherwise we couldn’t do it. We’re only a six person staff “” two of which are on air, two are managing the floor, someone will be off running an errand “” so it’s students and community volunteers answering the phones and helping us process mail. We couldn’t do it alone,” Lopez said.
During the drive, volunteers able to learn nonprofit fundraising skills that could be used in future careers.
“Volunteers not only get an idea of everything that happens during the membership drive, including being present during our upstairs broadcasts, but it’s a great way to interact with our donors personally and learn fundraising skills that you might use later in life. If you’re interested in being involved in philanthropy, working at the membership can help benefit your future experiences in a positive way,” Reynolds said.
KRTU’s five student interns are an integral part of the membership drive, according to John Morgan, the indie manager of KRTU.
“Student interns help with programming, organizing events and dedicate many hours to this station, but they also find the time to reach out to the station’s surrounding community and become an integral part of receiving donations from lifelong members,” Morgan said.
As a non-profit, KRTU has a liberty in programming that differentiates itself from a commercial radio station, according to Lopez.
“In another radio station model there are different factors that are driving fundraising. If your on air content is how you raise money, like with advertising, that’s not the case here,” Lopez said. “Because many contribute to KRTU, we have a liberty in programming. We can program the music the way that we do. There are no factors getting in the way, it’s all about the music.”