Chattanooga’s NPR affiliate radio station WUTC-FM 88.1 achieved its $55,000 fall pledge drive goal early, thanks to 234 contributors—including two individuals who each pledged $11,000 in support.
WUTC, on the campus of and a public service of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, routinely conducts pledge drive fundraisers in spring and fall each year, when listeners are encouraged to make contributions that are used to help pay for programming, facility upkeep and other operational expenses. Listener support, sponsorships and underwriting revenue account for more than half of all WUTC funding.
The fall 2023 pledge drive began on Oct. 3 and was scheduled to conclude today, Oct. 13. With $22,000 to raise to reach the $55,000 goal as of the morning, a donor offered to contribute $11,000 on the condition that a matching $11,000 be donated today. Another donor accepted the challenge and made an $11,000 contribution, taking the pledge drive to its goal.
“Public radio exists because of public support, and the generosity of our WUTC supporters enables us to bring valued NPR content and the unique voices and people of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley to our listeners,” said WUTC Station Manager Bryan Lane.
“We are deeply grateful for such generous supporters and their investment in WUTC and our future.”
Lane said larger challenge gifts occurred occasionally in the years prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the amount of these two—$11,000—contributions and their taking the campaign to the goal early is unprecedented.
“Thanks to the generosity of our fall pledge drive supporters, we can immediately address our most urgent facility need: replacing our currently 40-year-old antenna,” he said. “The purchase of a new antenna will enable us to strengthen our signal locally and reach communities farther away that haven’t been adequately served since the early part of the 2000s. We can’t wait for you to hear the difference. We will continue to address aging equipment needs, but this is a great start. Thank you so much.”
Donations to WUTC can be made online at wutc.org and on the WUTC smartphone app.