Montana Public Radio On-Air Pledge Drive Helps Feed Montanans

October 21, 2014

MISSOULA – Montana Public Radio, a public service of the University of Montana, is opening the phone lines from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, Oct. 21-24, to its funding lifeline: its listeners.

“Public radio and television stations were the pioneers of crowd-sourced fundraising,” said Linda Talbott, MTPR’s fundraising director. “We’ve been going directly to our audience to fund Montana Public Radio since 1976, and they always come through for us.”

The fifth annual fall on-air fundraising event also features a benefit for Montana communities. MTPR and Missoula Federal Credit Union partnered for MTPR’s annual Montana Food Bank Network Challenge. Instead of MTPR donors receiving a thank-you gift for their donation, all pledges and contributions made, received or postmarked by Oct. 24 will automatically activate a 5 percent cash bonus from the partners to benefit food banks and feeding programs in Montana through the Montana Food Bank Network.

“One in seven Montanans struggle with hunger,” Talbott said. “We know that our listeners want to help.”

MTPR’s goal is for donor pledges to total $200,000 by Oct. 24, which will put MTPR within reach of its own funding need for the end of the year, Talbott said.

“Receiving the majority of funding from individuals, along with its nonprofit educational mandate, is what makes public radio services like MTPR different in the media landscape,” Talbott said. “The crowd-funding model is a great strength for MTPR and also keeps us accountable to our audience in a very real way.”

If MTPR reaches its goal during the four-day event, the partners will be able to make a $10,000 bonus match to the Montana Food Bank Network, which translates to enough food for 30,000 meals.

People can make financial contributions to MTPR by calling 800-325-1565 or online at http://www.mtpr.org.

MTPR is a National Public Radio affiliate, broadcasting throughout western and central Montana, as well as online at http://www.mtpr.org.

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Contact: William Marcus, director, UM Broadcast Media Center, 406-243-6195, william.marcus@umontana.edu; Linda Talbott, development director, Montana Public Radio, 406-243-4931, linda.talbott@umontana.edu.