After months of planning for a one-day Northwest Public Radio fund drive, Mary Hawkins awoke with serious doubts about pulling it off. Campus phone lines had been down the day before and an icy blizzard had blown through eastern Washington during the night.
 
With drifting snow and closed highways, Hawkins, liaison between Educational Public Media and the School of Communication, was worried volunteers might not make it to WSU to help answer phones. But they did. And the results were a record 2,456 callers and $266,720 pledged.

“This was our first one-day fundraising campaign,” said Hawkins, “and we took in as many calls in one day as we usually would in seven days. We had an incredible day – it was the most astounding amount of money ever raised!” she said.

Nearly 60 WSU and community volunteers braved the weather on March 27 to help answer pledge phones in the new School of Communication call center. Some had driven from as far away as Wenatchee and Soap Lake. Technical support was provided by faculty and staff from both the School of Communication and Educational and Public Media.

“We heard from our audience that they would prefer shorter fund-raising drives, so we decided to take a chance on a one-day fund drive,” said Roger Johnson, station manager at NWPR. “The response from our listeners was phenomenal.”

NWPR typically runs fundraising campaigns over an entire week in both spring and fall.
Hawkins said they have experimented with ‘power hours’ in the past – where they tried to raise a day’s worth of pledges in one hour. As they achieved success in those efforts, they decided to attempt the one-day drive – breaking NWPR’s previous fundraising record of $235,000 from a weeklong drive in fall 2006.

“As to plans for future drives, we are hoping this is a trend,” said Hawkins.

Those who still want to contribute to the drive may do so ONLINE @ www.nwpr.org or by calling (800) 842-8991.

Northwest Public Radio is a 13-station regional network operated as a public service of Washington State University.