Sandi Billings

Major Gifts Officer

Sandi joined the Northwest Public Radio listening audience in 1995 when she moved from Florida to the Palouse for a development director role at the University of Idaho. She took her first step into the world of radio when she began producing a weekly talk program on KRFP Moscow in 2006. Sandi combined her passion for public radio and her 20 years experience in fund development when she joined Northwest Public Radio in 2011.

Sandi enjoys learning from hands-on experience, and thus has become a competent “Jane-of-all-trades” and master of few. She loves astronomy, as evidenced by her education: a B.S. in Space Science from Florida Institute of Technology and an M.S. in geophysics (planetary studies) from the University of Idaho. Sandi has delved into craft projects and painting, and she might be called a “Bard-o-phile” for her love of Shakespeare. She has been a competitive fencer (Florida Women's Epee Champion 1985), has traveled to great places (“not nearly enough,” she says), and has flown in zero-g on NASA's "vomit comet," the KC-135.

The great thing about her work, she says, is that “I help people realize their dreams. When people imagine what difference they can make in the world through public radio, I get to be a part of the dream and help them make it happen. I get to help them know they are making a real difference—that their lives and decisions matter. There’s nothing more important than living a life that matters.”  


Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Bob Finlan

I'm a listener to 100.9 FM in Enterprise, OR, and I just want to say how much I enjoy listening to the Retro Cocktail Hour out of Kansas City!

My living room has to sub for the Underground Martini Bunker, but I enjoy my martini shaken....not stirred....with jazz, space age pop, and the strangest music EVER. Darrell is a fabulous host and very responsive as they try to get out that playlist to listeners who have signed up.

Gregory Johnston


In December 2015, Congress made some popular charitable giving tax incentives permanent--including the charitable IRA rollover incentive. Now donors can now plan their giving through IRA rollovers any time of the year. 

Jennifer Thompson introduced herself to Northwest Public Radio with a note about how the station’s classical music threads through the day she shares with her grandson Wesley. Wesley was just a toddler when his mom—Jennifer’s youngest daughter—was deployed with the Navy. I saw Jennifer through this lens: a nurturing grandmother sharing classical music along with story time, nap time and dance time at home.

I should have known there was more to her story.

In May 2011, I became a proud Washington State University alum with a bachelor’s degree from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. One of the most significant educational experiences I had at Murrow College was working at Northwest Public Radio (NWPR).

Courtesy of Adele Little Caemmerer

“I live in a rural area and commute an hour each way to work as a teacher. In the winter this can be as much as one and a half hours each way. Lucky for me, as a resident of the Wenatchee Valley of central Washington, my drive is beautiful and traffic free. Each morning I look forward to my morning coffee, listening to Northwest Public Radio and taking in the stunning landscape as it changes from alpine forest to rolling scrub hills. Each evening, I sip my tea and make the trip in reverse.

Courtesy of the Fordans

"To us, donating through our [Revocable Living Trust] has helped us feel better knowing that some things we loved in life can benefit others for a long time to come. We appreciate everything public radio gives us - all the hours of staying informed, the entertainment, the music, and all the other things public radio brings to its listeners. We want future generations to experience the same, and so in our small way we will help that happen."

Paulette and Robert Fordan

Courtesy of David Willis

“I am a full time night student at Charter College in Pasco. I am a computer science major and by day I work for a plumbing company. I just wanted to say thank-you for providing a wonderful, calming, intellectually stimulating soundtrack to my day. Whenever I am driving the plumbing truck alone during the day, I listen to your show, and find a measure of sanity. I am the only person in my circle of friends who listens to classical music, and it's sometimes difficult being a black male, working in the trades, to be ‘that guy’, but I love it.

“Please keep up the good work.”

Photo: courtesy of Mary Ann Brookhart

One evening I was returning home to University Place from a stressful meeting in Gig Harbor and I could not keep my mind on driving. I turned on the radio to hear about someone else’s bad news and get my mind off of me. A miracle happened as soon as I turned stations. I heard the most amazing, calming radioman's voice introducing a Russian men's choir and a spiritual song. Their voices, the music, the sounds, I cannot even find the words for what I heard. I felt comforted and touched to my very being. I felt human and OK right then. The word “grounded” comes to mind.

William Bragg

NWPR has been an invaluable tool for sustaining arts in our community. As Music Director and Conductor of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra, I have found that NWPR has had a direct impact in increasing audience size, audience awareness, and music education. Each concert that I present, I have new audience members who attended because they heard the announcement on NWPR. Robin Rillette was kind enough to speak with me as part of the Prelude Series preceding a Wenatchee Valley Symphony Orchestra concert.

© Lorianni | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Congress has renewed the Charitable IRA Rollover for 2015.

The charitable IRA rollover, or qualified charitable distribution (QCD), is a special provision allowing certain donors to exclude from taxable income -- and count toward their required minimum distribution -- certain transfers of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets that are made directly to public charities, including Northwest Public Radio through the WSU Foundation.

Donors age 70-1/2 or older can use this popular option to support charities with tax-wise gifts of up to $100,000. Rollovers can count toward your minimum required distribution.

courtesy of Neil & Tamara Caulkins

Retro Cocktail HourWe love your show and have organized a series of parties around your program. We get together every Saturday (when our local affiliate, NWPR, airs the fabulous Retro Cocktail Hour), dress retro on different themes (last week was tiki and next week is From Russia With Love), drink retro cocktails, eat retro snacks and foods from retro cookbooks I have collected, and of course listen to the Retro Cocktail Hour. Your show is THE BEST, and an inspiration to the free world.

Congress has yet to take action on a bill that would reinstate the IRA Charitable Rollover, which offers tax savings for some donors 70 1/2 and older.

The bill that includes the IRA Charitable Rollover has been with the U.S. Senate since early August. It is part of a bill that includes other expired tax provisions.

We will continue to monitor the bill's progress and provide you with updates on this page and on air.

Why I Give to NWPR

Dec 11, 2015
Steve Doctor

As a resident of eastern Washington, there are two reasons why I feel personally responsible for making sure NWPR continues to provide quality radio programming to our communities: classical music and NPR news. The thought of losing these services is truly scary.

Courtesy of Brian and Monique Force

"NWPR is our source for news and entertainment. We associate public radio with so many activities in our everyday life. Listening to All Things Considered while cooking dinner, catching Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me on the way home from snowboarding or laughing at Car Talk while driving to the fishing hole. Although we prefer to spend time outdoors and away from TV, phones and internet, we know we can rely on NWPR to provide regional and world news coverage and analysis upon flicking on the car radio and heading back to civilization."

Howell at the Moon for NWPR

“Without public support the station wouldn’t survive. And it brings information to our community that we would not get otherwise. I feel so strongly about Northwest Public Radio that I’ve included it in my estate planning. So when I’m no longer here, and can no longer go out and watch the Apple Sox play, part of my estate will go to help support Northwest Public Radio. It, again, is one of the things that makes our community a great place to live.”

Jim Corcoran Owner and General Manager
Wenatchee Apple Sox Baseball Club

Courtesy of the Bennetts

We support Northwest Public Radio because since we do not have TV, NPR is our primary source of daily news. The NWPR staff members seem like family to us. We look forward to informative and entertaining reports every day with Morning Edition and All Things Considered, plus the fun weekend programming. Many times we share interesting reports that we've heard with our friends. And each Sunday we start off our morning with our all-time favorite, the Puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Simply put, NPR/NWPR enriches our lives.

John and Susan Bennett

Howell at the Moon for NWPR

Carrie Rehkopf Michel is a violin professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and first violinist in the Kairos String Quartet. She's given solo recitals in Chicago, London, Atlanta and Detroit, and soloed with orchestras across Germany and Austria. Carrie has performed under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Georg Solti. She's also a Northwest Public Radio listener, and in this short video, explains how classical music on NWPR inspires her work as a performer and teacher.

Bill McKee/NWPR

"When I think about Northwest Public Radio I get a sense of excitement. Sometimes I’ll drive somewhere and listen to a great story and just think about how happy I am that I learned about something I didn’t know about before.

"It helps inform people and is truly a way to continually challenge my knowledge and challenge me to understand the world and what’s around me. NWPR provides me with intellectual challenges and education that are important to anyone who wants to grow in life and expand knowledge. It helps me understand the world and my place in it.

Courtesy of Susan Mallery

"I'm passionate about Public Radio. Seriously. Ask my friends, my husband, my editor or agent and each of them will nod and say "Yes, she's a complete freak when it comes to NWPR." Some will even roll their eyes. I have every local NWPR station in my car radio from here to Spokane. When we moved to Yakima a few years back and I realized my local station went to classical music at 9 in the morning, I raced out and got satellite radio so I wouldn't miss a favorite show.

Courtesy Lad and Sharla Libera

The information and entertainment that we receive via NWPR is unmatched in today's world. Even now, as we enjoy NWPR from our off-the-grid cabin on Lake Ozette, this station is our ONLY connection to the world, one that we have come to rely on, and now couldn't imagine our time at the lake without!!

Thank You NWPR!"

-Lad and Sharla Libera

Courtesy of Patricia Kidd

"Northwest Public Radio reaches thousands of listeners in British Columbia—and many listeners join in supporting the station. Valuable media and community support cross international boundaries.

"I'm honoured to be a member of NPR. Indeed, as one of the commentators said, once you are a member, everything you listen to takes on a special significance.

"I've known for years that NPR has the best radio in America (North, South, and in between), and I'm proud to be part of the team that makes it possible."                  -Patricia Kidd, Victoria, BC

Sandi Billings / NWPR

If your zucchini garden (or a stealthy zucchini donor) is overwhelming you with its bounty, you may getting bored with the standard ways to use it: cake, bread, muffins, or pasta. If you're open to a little kitchen experimentation, there are easy ways to employ this vegetable's mild flavor in savory dishes: when cooked with a stronger flavor, it usually absorbs that flavor.

Sandi Billings, NWPR’s Major Giving Officer, spends considerable time with generous people and regularly notices our emotional responses to philanthropy - both as giver and as receiver. Here she shares some thoughts about the giving season - and the Thanksgiving season.