How is KWBU doing?
Well, on-air - great! KWBU provides Waco with NPR News, statewide and regional stories, plus programs from and about our community, not to mention talk, entertainment, and classical music.
But financially, it’s a different picture. KWBU’s board of directors just passed our FY 2020 budget, and this coming year is the tightest we’ve seen since 2010 – the year KWBU-TV ceased operations.
Here’s a quick picture of our situation:
KWBU’s receives funding from several primary sources:
- Baylor University (by far the largest, most generous source);
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting (about 15% of our budget);
- “Underwriting” (corporate support); and
- Donations from individual (and family) listeners.
Of these, individual donations make up the most important source, reflecting the value placed on Waco’s NPR station by the listeners who most use the service.
Nielsen Ratings tell us that KWBU’s weekly listenership has increased by approximately 50% over the past five years.
Over the same period, the number of individual supporters has actually declined by an average of 25 per year. Some moved, some passed away, some had changes to their financial situations, and every year some first-time donors step in to fill the gap – but still not enough to make up the difference. Today, only 5 out of 100 listeners give.
On average, those who do give have increased their giving every year. Still, total membership revenue has declined about 1% per year.
In the coming years, in order to keep up with the 3½% annual increase in expenses, membership and underwriting support will have to increase on average 7½% per year. Based on the current number of members, this is unsustainable.
Significantly increasing KWBU’s member base is the only way to assure the station’s financial health beyond the next fiscal year.
Your new and on-going support is vital.
You can stop by for a donut and some coffee in the morning as well as give to KWBU in person!