WDET-FM 101.9, Detroit’s NPR station, launched its annual fall fundraiser Sept. 24, 2021, and it will run through Oct. 2, 2021.
The fundraiser’s theme, “Connecting You to Better Days,” is a nod to continuing the extensive coverage and special programming WDET created to help listeners get trustworthy information and preserve a sense of community during quarantine. It was that level of engagement that helped the station win over 50 notable awards this year, including the coveted Michigan Associated Press first place award for Best News Organization and a National Edward R. Murrow Award for COVID Diaries.
Each fall, WDET appeals directly to the people who use the vital community service to ask for financial support. More than 60% of the WDET operating budget comes from listeners who contribute at all levels. Listener support guarantees that WDET will continue to provide news and information, music, conversation, and entertainment.
“It has been a tough 18 months for everyone, and so many listeners have told us that WDET helped reduce the isolation and uncertainty,” said WDET General Manager Mary Zatina. “WDET listeners are at the center of every decision we make, be it program, project and operations. Each listener is a valued stakeholder.”
This year’s fundraiser marks the first time that listeners will be able to show their support for new programming, such as the Don Was Motor City Playlist, Rooted, Science of Grief and the Artist Next Door. Also new this year is a refreshed line of thank-you gifts, including a tote bag, baseball cap, T-shirt and a sweatshirt that lists all the station’s programs.
Listener contributions provide over 60% of the station’s $4.6 million budget. On-air fundraisers typically bring in more than $1 million of that listener support. In addition, a substantial grant from the Kresge Foundation in April 2021 was supplemented by listeners who gave during the spring fundraiser to support the purchase of a new transmitter. The transmitter was delivered earlier this month and is anticipated to be up and running during the fall on-air campaign.
This fall, WDET hopes to welcome 1,000 new contributors, along with an additional 2,200 returning members.
“With the soggy summer and months of waiting for the new transmitter behind us,” said Zatina, “WDET is ready for better days!”
About WDET-FM 101.9
For more than 70 years, from our Midtown Detroit location on the campus of Wayne State University, WDET-FM 101.9, Detroit’s NPR station, has delivered a unique mix of news, conversation, special programs and music programming. Our 48,000-watt broadcast signal reaches a 70-mile radius across all of Southeast Michigan, northwest Ohio and southwest Ontario. It expands nationally through our livestream, website, mobile app and podcasts. WDET-FM 101.9 is a community service of Wayne State University. Support for WDET comes from Wayne State, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, local foundations, and through private donors and corporate underwriting.