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Michigan Radio Wraps Up December Membership Drive

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Michigan Radio finished its first December membership drive on Tuesday evening with over $400,000 raised from more than 3400 donors. The additional drive this month was the result of a need to get more first time contributors. Station donors have been extremely generous over the years, however the number of people giving (about 6% of the station’s total listeners) hasn't risen fast enough to produce the funding needed to address the increases associated with a multi-platform news organization.

In addition to the station’s over-the-air signal, Michigan Radio distributes news, programs and features via the station website, email, social media, the Michigan Radio smartphone app and the new NPR One app.  Over the past several years, the station has also added a daily local news/interview show (Stateside with Cynthia Canty, M-Th, 3pm and 10pm), embarked on a multi-year reporting initiative looking at childhood poverty in Michigan (State of Opportunity), launched the innovative MI Curious project that involves listeners in editorial decision-making, and greatly expanded the number of news oriented outreach events, among other new projects.

“We decided to do two things this membership drive,” said Executive Director and General Manager Steve Schram.  “Focus on getting more of our listeners to give and build up the number of people giving monthly through our sustainer giving program. The winter drive was tied directly to the need for a steadier revenue stream in order for listeners to have the public media they expect and have come to rely on."

20% of contributors during the December drive were first time donors, and more than 1400 contributors became sustaining donors. The station now has a total membership base of more than 30,000 donors. Michigan Radio receives funding from diverse sources, with approximately 64% coming from individual donors, 22% from business underwriters, and 6% from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.