Fund raising is the economic engine that pulls public radio’s programming forward.
An important Station Resource Group goal is to increase significantly the financial
support of member stations, especially community-based support from individuals and
Funding Local Journalism
Many stations are considering major investments in local journalism. These investments will require more than incremental funding.
Working in partnership with DEI, SRG has been exploring how public radio can best make the case
for philanthropic and major donor support of these initiatives.
Review a presentation at Public Radio Development and Marketing Conference, July 2011.
Gifts from individual listeners, from basic membership to major contributions, are the single
most important source of revenue for most public radio stations. SRG tracks public radio's progress
and explores that factors that make a difference.
Go here for an in-depth report and links to other resources.
From the SRG archives
In the late 1990s SRG launched four projects to accelerate stations’ financial
growth. Each was supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Future Fund
and investments by participating SRG member stations.
In 1996 SRG and six members with outstanding records in local development launched a
collaboration aimed at fund raising "breakthroughs." The theory was that
our best performers in recent years would be a rich source of ideas about next steps
to move our field forward and skilled "testers" of how those ideas work in
The partners decided to focus on major gifts from individual supporters. Working
together, we retained a major gifts consulting firm, Results Group International, and
designed and implemented a year-long work plan.
After one year, the stations increased their major gifts ($1,000+) by 62%, bringing
$371,000 in new funding to public radio.
Learn more about The Leaders Partnership.
Brilliant on the Basics: Listener Support
Contributions from individual listeners arrive a few dollars at a time. But
together, these contributions are the largest source of unrestricted funds for most
SRG members. If we can boost, even just a little, the amount of the average gift,
the renewal rate, or the number of additional gifts, these differences will translate
as major gains when they are multiplied across the tens of thousands of such
transactions per year.
Brilliant on the Basics was a collaboration of seventeen SRG members aimed at
discovering and implementing the very best practices in the art and science of
listener support. The project tapped leading fund raisers from within and
outside public radio for analysis of membership programs and databases, performance
benchmarking, research, and reviews of our current operating techniques.
Learn more about Brilliant on the Basics.
Major Gifts Initiative
Building on the success of the Leaders Partnership, SRG developed a one-year
curriculum to start or strengthen major gifts programs at additional member stations.
Twelve stations started the Major Gifts Initiative in 1998 and a second group
completed the program the following year.
Learn more about the Major Gifts Initiative.
The Foundation Project explored SRG members’ experiences with foundation
funding and looked to projects and strategies that might make stronger case to the nation’s foundation community. We especially focused on
Learn more about the Foundation Project.
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