It’s been a busy time here at JPR and I thought I’d take a moment in this month’s column to provide listeners a quick summary of recent developments.
Spring Fund Drive
We completed our Spring Fund Drive in April and, as usual, it was a wild ride. It took us a few extra hours past our 8pm deadline on the last night to reach our $190,000 goal and over half of the funds we raised were pledged during the last two days of the drive. As important an accomplishment as reaching our goal, was the fact that we significantly increased the number of sustaining members from 26% of our supporters to 32%. This huge jump will have a positive impact on our operations in the months ahead, lowering our overall fundraising costs and evening out cash flow to fund our expenses. With April now behind us, we’ll continue to work with listeners mostly off air during May and June to raise $140,000 in order to reach our annual listener support goal for our fiscal year which ends on June 30th. We appreciate the generous support and many comments about how much listeners value our service.
After a national search for a new producer of the Jefferson Exchange which attracted a very talented pool of journalists, we welcomed Emily Cureton to the JPR staff beginning April 20th. Emily comes to JPR from Crescent City where she’s been a senior reporter for the Del Norte Triplicate. Emily’s experience reporting on regional issues important to citizens of Southern Oregon and Northern California made her stand out among other candidates for the position. In applying for the job, Emily highlighted her experience “learning what issues make this region tick – about the intersection of health care and business, about water rights and resource management, about how cultures collide on public land.” While at JPR, Emily will complete a reporting project she began at the Triplicate after earning a 2015 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship to support reporting on domestic violence. We look forward to Emily’s contribution to the JPR newsroom.
Congressional budget negotiators agreed on a common blueprint for the coming fiscal year, the first time that’s happened under a conference process since 2009. The House approved the common-ground measure and the Senate is expected to follow. Importantly for public broadcasting, the budget plan includes continuation of the two-year advance funding feature which enables stations to engage in long range planning and protects stations from potential political interference. No money has been appropriated yet, but retaining the two-year advance is a step in the right direction.
Jalopies For JPR
JPR listeners have embraced the idea of donating their old vehicles to support JPR. In 2014, JPR listeners donated a total of 125 unwanted vehicles to support JPR’s service to the region. These vehicles were sold at an average price of $443, generating over $55,000 to support inspired public radio. The highest value vehicle donated was a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL, contributed by an Ashland listener that generated $3,938 for JPR. Coming in a close second was a 2001 Toyota Highlander contributed by a Jacksonville listener which yielded $3,788.
Thanks for all you do to support our work – and, stay tuned, there’s lots of great public radio ahead!
Paul Westhelle is JPR’s executive director.