One of the best parts of my job is visiting with people in our community about Ozarks Public Broadcasting. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many different groups, and sharing a bit about the stations. I’m fairly certain, however, that I’m the one who learns the most in these sessions. I learn as people talk about what they love, what they don’t love, and – perhaps most enlightening of all – from the questions people ask. Here are a few I’ve heard recently:
“Most of the stations’ funding comes from the government, right?”
“Doesn’t the University pay most of your expenses?”
When I hear these questions, it reminds me that we need to do a better job of telling our story. Most groups are surprised to learn that just 25% of the organization’s budget comes from the federal government, and just 14% from Missouri State University. These are critical revenue sources – for which we are grateful – but the biggest portion of our budget by far (about 56%) comes from the individuals and organizations in our community.
“Aren’t most viewers/listeners members of the station?”
People are also surprised to learn that the vast majority of our viewers/listeners don’t support the stations financially. Many are unable to give for a variety of reasons – limited resources, fixed incomes, etc. – but so many more simply aren’t aware how much we depend on the donations of our community members. Again, I’m reminded that we need to continue to communicate this important message to our viewers and listeners.
I appreciate the chance to tell our story in the community, and I appreciate you being a big part of building that story through your financial support of OPT. You make a difference—thank you!