Sustaining Members Feature Prominently in KUT Fall Membership Drive
AUSTIN, Texas — Oct. 24, 2012—KUT 90.5, community supported public radio, ended its fall membership drive by raising more than $700,000 to support the unique music, news and information programming that reflects Austin and Central Texas.
More than 4,800 individuals and businesses contributed during the semi-annual membership drive, which began Oct. 16 and concluded at 9 a.m. today. The drive was suspended during the Oct. 16 and 22 presidential debates and the Oct. 19 Texas Senate debate in order to provide uninterrupted coverage.
Sustaining membership, in which members make continuous monthly gifts via credit card — with no need to call in during membership drives — has become a popular way to support KUT with more than 30 percent of members choosing this option. KUT currently has nearly 6,000 sustaining members and that figure is expected to grow.
Community leaders and longtime KUT supporters joined KUT staff in on-air fundraising including: Ben Bentzin, McCombs School of Business; Rabbi Neil Blumofe, Congregation Agudas Achim; Elizabeth Christian and Bruce Todd, Elizabeth Christian and Associates and Bruce Todd Public Affairs; Jim Cousar, Thompson and Knight, LLP; Sandy Dochen, IBM; Helen Foster and Pete Schenkkhan of Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody; John Kunz, Waterloo Records; Evan Smith, The Texas Tribune; Mary Gordon Spence, speaker; and Tyson Tuttle, Silicon Labs.
Volunteers and the community played a significant role in the success of the fall membership drive. More than 250 volunteers, including employees from Austin Harmony Chorus, Convio, Karma Badgers, Tapestry Singers, United Way and Yoga Yoga answered phones in the Community Room in the KUT Public Media Studios. Nearly 30 local restaurants donated food and beverages for those volunteers.
A KUT branded rain gauge was the signature gift for this drive with nearly 1,000 members requesting it as a thank-you gift at the $60 level. KUT “Eklektikos” host John Aielli, a self-proclaimed weather aficionado, frequently talks about the rain gauge in his garden and is encouraging members to report rain totals in their gardens when they receive their rain gauges in six weeks using the Twitter hash tag #KUTGarden.
A limited edition “Best of KUT Live” CD was the $120-level thank-you gift. The 20-track CD features some of the best KUT Studio 1A performances from The English Beat, Lee Fields, The Head and The Heart, The Heavy, Graham Nash, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, The Shins and KT Tunstall, among others.
KUT depends on individuals and businesses for 87 percent of its annual operating budget. One hundred percent of those contributions are used for direct programming and broadcasting expenses, such as maintaining a news bureau at the state capitol, reporting on Central Texas news and paying for programming such as “Morning Edition,” “Eklektikos,” “This American Life,” “Texas Music Matters,” “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” and “Twine Time.”
For more than 50 years, KUT 90.5, listener-supported public radio from Austin, Texas, has striven to be the most trusted radio source for news and music in Central Texas. A founding member of NPR, KUT established a news department in 2002. Since then, KUT News has won more than 100 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence.
In a move to expand its public service, audience and community engagement, KUT will launch KUTX 98.9, a noncommercial public radio station broadcasting full-time music programming for audiences seeking the Austin music experience. KUT 90.5 will become a full-time news and information station. These enhancements are expected in early 2013.
Contact: Erin Geisler (512) 475-8071