Public Radio raises $604K in week-long fundraiser

By Missoula Current

After a week of on-air banter, Montana Public Radio ended its annual spring fundraiser with more than $600,000 in listener pledges.

At midnight Sunday, the tally reached $604,824, concluding the nine-day event that raised nearly 92 percent of the organization’s $660,000 goal. There were a total of 4,364 listener pledges during the on-air fundraiser, which ran from April 1 to April 9.

“While we’re disappointed we didn’t reach our ultimate goal, we’re so thankful to all of our listeners for their confidence in our service,” said Ray Ekness, director of the University of Montana Broadcast Media Center. “We expect the number to grow slightly as the mail continues to come in over the next week or so.”

The drive concluded April 9 with the popular “Pet Wars,” where this year dogs outnumbered cats 1,027 to 950. The pet competition also included many pledges for chickens, horses, goats, turkeys and others.

“We’re very grateful to receive this incredible support,” said MTPR Development Director Linda Talbott. “We’re happy listeners appreciate our Montana news, the hand-picked music, the NPR programming and our uniquely MTPR pledge drive.”

MTPR’s hopes to raise nearly $1.7 million – 72 percent of the total operating budget –from listeners, sponsors and events during its fundraising year.

“This week is our report card,” said Michael Marsolek, MTPR programming director. “It’s a two-way conversation with our audience and a community event across the state.”