KRTU, the radio station of Trinity University, held its bi-annual membership drive to raise funds and spread awareness of the station.
This spring, the drive helped ensure future advancement of the station with a record day of giving, with donors giving close to $17,000 in one day.
The radio station, formed back in 1976 by students, is a non-commercial format, meaning the majority of funding comes from individual donors in the San Antonio community.
The station is a unique hybrid model that combines student interaction with professional work in a non-profit setting. Laura Calo, Development Director for KRTU, notes that while some of the station’s funds are generated though business promotion called underwriting and from the university itself, the majority is from donors who participate in the drive.
“We get some of our dollars though our underwriting, and about 15-20%, depending on how much we raise, from Trinity,” Calo said. “All the rest of the funds we have to generate ourselves.”
The drive allows members to participate and help out the station, while also spreading awareness to those who may not know about KRTU in hopes that they may come to support it as well.
“The goal for the membership drive is to share with the listening audience that we are listener supported and they can become a member and support us financially,” Calo said. “The drive lets us not only bring in funds, but also raise awareness of the station.”
KRTU is looking for more student involvement here at Trinity as well, in the form of student memberships as well as more student engagement.
“What we are trying to do now is get more students involved outside of our interns and our student hosts,” Calo said. “We are trying to engage students more not only as student members, but also as volunteers who we can engage with and teach more about the station.”
Likewise, to junior and KRTU intern Joseph Erik Montano the station is a not only a chance for students to get involved and have fun, but also to learn about music.
“Even if you don’t know about jazz, you can listen in to people’s shows that are essentially teaching you what is going on in jazz and indie,” Montano said. “We also try to do lots of local events, have bands come in and record them, sponsor events, things like that; it’s that kind of community involvement that we want to have the students here on campus a part of.”
With a push for further student engagement, the station and those involved are excited for what possibilities the future may hold with more students involved here on campus, outside of working interns and hosts.
“We are looking to put on more events come next fall if students are interested, particularly more indie events,” Montano said. “We are hoping to put on some sort of festival or shows and bring in more local bands here on campus in the future.”
To those involved with the radio, this push for student involvement is a chance for students to see what makes this station unique.
To sophomore and KRTU intern Bria Woods, the station isn’t just a place for professionals but also a place where students can expand their skills and enjoy themselves.
“Our station really is a learning lab, it isn’t just where the professionals go, students have access to this too,” Bria said. “The booth is as much a classroom as it is a place to execute actual radio.”
With the spring membership drive finished, KRTU looks to push forward into new endeavors, with their members backing them each step of the way. To the station, it is the members who keep the radio going, and it is these members of the community who the station looks to engage with and further connect with.
“On April 26 we’re having an appreciation party for our members where we can create a personal touch and really get to know our members,” Calo said. “We want to have them come in and connect with the station and realize we are a community station for them.”