Membership - Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in supporting Northwest Public Radio! Here are answers to frequently asked questions about NWPR membership. If you don't find what you're looking for, please call Membership Services at 1-800-842-8991 or send an email to nwpr@wsu.edu. Our staff is happy to help!

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1.  Why should I be a member of Northwest Public Radio?

Listener support is the single largest and most reliable source of funding for Northwest Public Radio.  Your annual financial support helps make the programs and broadcast service possible.

2. How much of my donation actually helps pay for the Northwest Public Radio programs I listen to?

About 75% of all funds received this fiscal year are expected to go directly to pay for programming and broadcasting expenses. That means that for every $1 donated to Northwest Public Radio, 75 cents spent on making or acquiring the program and then broadcasting them to you.

3. How much of Northwest Public Radio’s funding comes from the government?

This fiscal year we expect about 8% of our total funding to come from government sources, mostly in the form of a community service program grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Other funding sources include local grants and businesses in the community.  Our licensee Washington State University provides some resources financially as well as in-kind, such as studio space and offices, that would otherwise have to be paid for through other sources. Contributing Members provide the largest and most reliable source of program support.  More information is available from our Annual Report.

4. How does Northwest Public Radio compare to other nonprofits as far as how much they spend on fundraising?

In fiscal year 2013, (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013), the most recent year for which data has been compiled and audited, 15% of all NWPR expenses were fundraising expenses. NWPR conforms to the Better Business Bureau recommendation to spend less than 35% of related contributions on nonprofit fundraising.

5. How much money does Northwest Public Radio need in order to operate and broadcast programs each year?

The total revenue goal for this fiscal year (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) is just over $4 million, of which we expect approximately $610,000 to be raised from local businesses in the form of sponsorship underwriting, and $1.38 million to come from contributing listeners. To reach our listener contribution goal, we count on renewal gifts and additional gifts from our current members, donations from brand new members, and donations from rejoining members. Our methods for raising this money include on-air pledge drives, direct mail, email and web campaigns, on-air promotions, and telephone outreach the and vehicle donations program.  Other sources of funding will come from our licensee WSU, local foundations and grants and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

6. How many pledge drives do you have each year?

Typically, NWPR has two dedicated membership drives per year, one in the spring and one in the fall.  Since 2008, Northwest Public Radio has condensed the traditional week-long pledge drives into one-day on air fundraisers.  Northwest Public Radio responded to requests from listeners who know fundraising is vital to public radio operations, but encouraged NWPR to be as efficient as possible.   While the drive is short, the funds required to produce an excellent radio service are the same and must still be raised.  Listeners work together in helping to raise those funds as they call in, or pledge online to help reach the pledge goal during the Fall and Spring “Super Thursday” drives to help meet the goal in the shortest amount of time possible.

7. Is my donation to Northwest Public Radio tax-deductible?

Yes. Northwest Public Radio is a part of the Washington State University Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your receipt (for gifts of $250 and up) will come from Washington State University and will show the total tax-deductible amount. Receipts are sent approximately two to three weeks after a gift is paid in full, and in January for any installment gifts made during the year.   Per IRS Regulation 1771, your bank record will be your receipt for all other gifts.  For contributions made from outside the US, please consult your financial advisor.

8. How many contributing members does NWPR have?

We currently have about 9,500 active members. "Active" is defined as people who have made a financial contribution in the past twelve months.

9. What is a Sustaining Membership?

Sustaining Memberships help support Northwest Public Radio with ongoing contributions. They are designed to renew automatically at the same time every year. You simply use a credit/debit card or bank account to set up a contribution schedule that works for you. These regular contributions continue until you either want to change the amount or stop the payments.

Sustaining Memberships save on paper and postage since we don’t need to send letters to remind you about your renewal date. As a result, more of your member dollars go to providing the programs you enjoy and rely on from NWPR.

Sustaining Memberships also allow you the option of spreading out your contribution over the course of the year. You can learn more about the Sustainer program by visiting http://www.nwpr.org/sustaining-membership  or calling Sue Sheppard at 1-800-842-8991

10. Is there a minimum contribution to be considered an active donor to Northwest Public Radio?

We do not recommend a specific dollar amount. We ask that listeners contribute an amount that fits their own budget. Annual membership gifts to NWPR have ranged from $15 to $15,000.  The average gift is about $126.   Members of the Northwest Public Radio Leadership Circle make annual contributions of $1,000 or more.

11. When will I be asked to renew my support?

We ask you to renew your support once every 12 months. You’ll receive your first renewal request a few months before the 12 month period is over. The sooner you respond, the fewer reminders we will send.

12. My employer participates in the employee matching gift program. How do I enroll?

Simply obtain a matching gift form from your human resources department, fill it out and send it to Northwest Public Radio.

13.  I have not received a tax deduction acknowledgment from my contribution earlier this year. I need one now.

Your receipt will be mailed from the WSU Foundation for gifts of $250 or more. If you need one during tax season, you can contact Sue Sheppard at 1-800-842-8991.

14. Can I make a contribution to Northwest Public Radio in someone else’s name as a gift?                                                       

Yes, and it makes a great gift for the public radio listener in your life! You make the contribution, and the recipient will become a new member. To do this, call Sarah McDaniel at 1-800-842-8991, or send a check. Whichever way you choose, please be sure to let us know the name and address of the gift recipient.

15. Why did I receive another renewal notice when I already sent my contribution?

If your contribution and our renewal notice cross in the mail, please accept our apologies and our sincerest thanks for renewing your support. This happens when your contribution gets posted to our database after we’ve mailed renewal notices for that month. It could be that your last contribution was counted as an additional gift instead of a renewal.  Occasionally an extra letter is the result of a duplicate file or other issue with our database. If you have any questions, please contact Sue Sheppard, membership coordinator, at 1-800-842-8991.

16. Will NWPR sell or share my mailing address, phone number or email address?
No, NWPR does not sell or exchange your personal information with anyone.