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KPCW winter fundraiser now underway

 The KPCW news team celebrates during the 2022 Winter Pledge Drive.
The KPCW news team celebrates during the 2022 Winter Pledge Drive.

The Winter Pledge Drive includes more than 20 Park City area nonprofits.

The KPCW Winter Pledge Drive began Monday. It is one of two pledge drives the public radio stations holds each year. The money raised from those pledge drives makes up 25% of KPCW’s annual budget.

It costs $2.1M to run KPCW. The station has been on the air since 1980, covering Summit and Wasatch counties. Last July, the station started "The Local," a free, daily email newsletter. More than 5,000 people subscribe to the service. KPCW General Manager Renai Bodley Miller hopes they will donate in return.

"We are getting such strong positive feedback about that service that I’m hoping it helps people become aware we don’t stand still," said Miller. "As you support us, we don’t keep it status quo. We keep increasing the service to our community. As the community grows what we need to do also becomes bigger and we  need everyone’s donations to help us do that."

To sign up for "The Local," click here. Readers can also find KPCW's news coverage on the station's website, kpcw.org, any time. The station doesn’t require any registration or paywall. KPCW’s content is available for anyone, anywhere, any time for free.

A new study from Harvard University details the decline of local news sources. In the past 20 years, more than 200 local daily newspapers have closed. And the number of employees at daily papers has dropped more than half - from 75,000 to 30,000. The study finds that when a community has no local news outlet, civic engagement declines, awareness of local affairs goes down, political polarization goes up, and local officials become less responsive to constituents.

Miller says that’s why the station launched the daily newsletter - to help keep Summit and Wasatch counties informed, and hold elected officials accountable. KPCW has five full time reporters and two part-time reporters, as well as news-sharing partnerships with the Salt Lake Tribune and other public radio stations in the Mountain West.

In addition to the two pledge drives every year, KPCW’s operations are funded by underwriting revenue, which also makes up 25% of the station’s budget, and the KPCW Broadcasters Club, which has more than 600 members who are major donors to the station, and enjoy social benefits in return.

"It is a minimum $1,000. That’s for two people to join (the Broadcasters Club)," said Miller. "That gets you membership for two. It gets you access to 6 - 8 events a year, and  two of those events, our Summer Barbecue and Ski Season Kickoff Party, you can bring two friends to. So if you pencil it out, you get a lot more than $1,000 in value for that $1,000 donation."

The radio station invites other local nonprofits and their sponsors to host more than 20 hours of the pledge drive. For every dollar those organizations raise for the station over $1,000, they get the equivalent value in underwriting on the station for six months. Miller said listeners tell the station they appreciate hearing many voices from the community during the four-day pledge drive.

The KPCW Winter Pledge Drive begins Monday at 8 a.m. and ends Thursday at 6 p.m., but you can donate any time by clicking here.