This isn’t your run-of-the-mill pledge marathon. There’s no suave host coaxing the home viewers to dial in and save endangered forest critters or afternoon nature shows and documentaries – only noncommercial, diverse, freeform radio.
Campus radio station KDVS 90.3 FM is currently in the middle of their annual fundraiser, which started on Monday and runs until Sunday. All proceeds go toward making up two-thirds of their expenditures for the entire year.
The pledge goal this year is $60,000. General manager Ben Johnson, a senior technocultural studies major, said that historically, KDVS has either completely met their goal or have come extremely close.
The on-air fundraiser is held once a year. During the fundraiser, the whole station funnels all of their efforts into pulling in as many pledges as possible. In addition to making continual reminders on the air, they hand out flyers, pamphlets and take advantage of word of mouth.
“For the whole week, we change our programming format and the DJs ask listeners to call in and donate,” Johnson said. “We’ve also put together a huge collection of gifts we call ‘premiums‘ to give out to people who donate.“
The premiums offered come in every form imaginable, including CDs, vinyl, hand-screened t-shirts, local gift certificates, stickers, hand-made crafts and other very creative prizes such as original CD compilations put together personally by KDVS.
All premiums have a different assigned price point that is appropriate to the donation amount. A general student donation of $25 will receive one music or t-shirt premium, as will a community donation of $40. A $100 donation can get four hours recording time in the KDVS studio or the chance to host an hour-long show on the radio. In addition, all donations of any amount are tax-deductable.
“Even though all your money goes to KDVS, you get something very valuable in return,” said co-underwriting director Kevin Corrigan, a junior history major.
To increase donation enthusiasm, DJs in the past have volunteered to complete bizarre stunts such as eating snails and snorting cayenne pepper.
A.J. Ramirez, host of “This Vicious Cabaret,” is trying to make sure listeners know this is no typical, stuffy fundraiser. He is embracing the fun, entertaining angle to bringing in pledges during his biweekly show on Mondays from midnight to 2 a.m.
“On my show, for every pledge I receive I will sing a song. Badly,” Ramirez said in an e-mail. “KDVS karaoke is one of our proud fundraiser traditions, and there are definitely people out there who will donate just to hear me sing Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” or Depeche Mode’s “Somebody‘ over the airwaves.“
Ramirez said that despite the current economic situation, listeners‘ intended support is already at a shocking number. As of Apr. 22, the station had received a total of $15,873 in donations.
“The people who really love KDVS go above and beyond by donating what they can every year. It’s always amazing when people pledge and don’t even ask for a premium in return,” Ramirez said.
Corrigan said KDVS provides an incredible service to the community and needs support to continue doing so.
“[KDVS is] a place for students and crew members to get educated, and we need the money to keep our quality high,” he said.
To phone in a donation call the station at 754-KDVS (5387) or1-866-399-KDVS, or visit fundraiser.kdvs.org.
ELENA BUCKLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.