Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local journalism.
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KBBI AM 890 is hosted an on-air remote ‘Concert on YOUR Lawn’ Fundraiser- a socially distant homage to our Concert On The Lawn days and an opportunity for us to celebrate our amazing listener-supporters. Throughout the two days listeners heard the regular shows they love as well as live music, KBBI testimonies, and giveaways all culminating in the Concert on Your Lawn Event with local musicians broadcasting from their homes.
WUFT created a first-time event for North Florida fans of Downton Abbey. This in-person event included a costume contest, admission to a movie screening and an opportunity for the community to interact with other local PBS supporters to discuss their one of their favorite shows. Two events took place in one day and participants were able to give back to WUFT monetarily with a donation for admission to the event.
WCTE’s largest fundraiser asks for donations and then auctions off everything on live TV. This helps promote businesses in our community.
Helplessness, fear and uncertainty are feelings most of us have experienced as we navigate the global pandemic created by the COVID-19 virus. Inspired by the words of Fred Rogers, LPB’s “The Helpers” is a digital series that aims to help people cope with their negative feelings by showing them that good things are still happening in their communities as their neighbors find ways to overcome their own challenges and fears.
Donate a Recorder is a “give back” initiative that tackles a genuine need in our region while embracing the mission of WDAV – to build a community focused on classical music. Donate a Recorder combines fundraising, education, musical discovery and community engagement all in one initiative. When people make a membership gift on air or in renewal mailings, instead of receiving a CD, coffee mug, or baseball cap, they can choose the “Donate a Recorder” option as a benefit at the $100 level.
Beginning in 2017 Boise State Radio decided to take a different spin on Giving Tuesday. Instead of focusing on the station, we decided to celebrate other local nonprofits. Local residents nominated their favorite local nonprofits, and then the station awarded a $1,000 underwriting package to randomly selected winners
In May 2018, Houston Public Media launched the Young Leaders Council with one overarching goal in mind: creating lifelong public media ambassadors. A nominating committee selected an inaugural class of 16 members following interviews with candidates. Ultimately, 30-35 young professionals will represent a cross section of the many communities Houston Public Media now serves and actively encourage others to engage with the station’s content.
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, PBS in Topeka created this two-hour community conversation with students and teachers from the segregation era. Shot in a modern-day Cinema Verite’ style on a single day in 2019, students and teachers from the four segregated Black schools in Topeka talked about their lives prior to and after integration. The five-part series included: Growing up in Topeka’s Black Community; Family, Friends, Neighbors; School and You (Segregation); School and You (Integration); and After-effects (outcomes, impact).
In November of 2018, KVMR raised over $43,000 dollars in just one day for the survivors of the catastrophic Camp Fire in Paradise, CA located just an hour and a half away from the station. In addition to KVMR’s commitment to supporting their neighbors through efforts like this, the station is also the official Emergency Broadcaster in the region. During summer 2019, a team of 10 broadcasters were trained to take the lead in case of emergency.
Concert on Your Lawn
The COVID-19 pandemic struck weeks before our Spring Membership Drive. As a public radio station, our largest source of income is membership contributions and we rely on the two annual drives each year to make our budget. This spring with businesses shutting their doors and no way to host as an event we decided to postpone our event indefinitely. As the months continued it became clear that hosting an in-person event in the Fall would not be possible and that asking for donations from the community would be difficult. Simultaneously we begun hosting an evening musical program that hosted local musicians live from their homes on Friday nights on a show we called ‘Social Distance’. This program provided musicians a place to perform when no live music was an option as well as served as a great morale boost and connection point for the community.
As we approached the need of the fiscal year, and quarantine continued the idea of Concert on Your Lawn came to being. In years past we had hosted Concert on the Lawn- a live fundraiser concert for the community- hence the name. Instead of our regular call for pledges and testimonies we opted not to interrupt any programming but simply add in live music on all our local music shows for two days and end the event with a two hour long live concert special all facilitated remotely. We sent out a call to musicians to submit a musical sample as well as an outline of their recording equipment and in home set up. During the day we aired prerecorded KBBI testimonies from members of the importance of the station asking those to donate if they could by calling in- these aired during normal ad breaks and did not interrupt any programming. During the concert we had one host in the studio to do the technical work needed to connect live feeds to air and one person in the office answering phones. Spread out over the two days we were able to host nine different musicians and provide the only ‘live’ music in town. The event ended up being a fantastic fundraiser for the station a great platform for the musicians, and a great piece of entertainment for our listenership.
KBBI is a community institution. In rural Alaska public radio is an essential tool for emergency updates, local news, communications, and entertainment. It is a resource that is free to the public but does rely on the donation of members to provide 24/7 programming. Concert on Your Lawn had two direct impacts on the community. As a fundraiser, it ensured KBBI met it's budget for membership donations for the year and helped to support the ongoing services we provide the community. As entertainment, it provided the community with a virtual gathering place during a time of isolation and provided a platform for local artists to perform and promote their work.
This event was a fundraiser for the station. Over the course of the two days we requested monetary donations in the form of radio memberships. Some of these donations came from members renewing their annual spring membership, some were ew members who had started listening in the last few months and many were additional donations to "buy a ticket" to the concert. We raised a total of $14,170 in two days and continued to see an uptick in donations the following week.