Major Gifts ... providing the "critical margin" for HPPR

The High Plains are a place where individuals can and do make a real difference in shaping the quality of life in the region through their support of its important civic, educational and cultural institutions.

HPPR is just such an institution. It keeps the High Plains in touch with the world by providing in-depth news on a wide range of substantive subjects along with music from the world's richest traditions. At the same time it makes us more at home on the High Plains by exploring the region's history, culture, economy, environment and civic life.

HPPR is also an institution that serves far beyond a single location and normal business hours. Through FM broadcasting and the world-wide-web, HPPR reaches and serves thousands of listeners at home, at work, in the field and on the road. And it serves them 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Through a major gift to HPPR you can make a real difference in continuing and improving this service by providing the "critical margin". It takes a certain baseline of funding just to keep the transmitters on, minimally staff the studio operations and acquire national programming (e.g. NPR news). HPPR stretches its regular funding sources just to reach this baseline. It's only through major gifts that it is able to ensure, extend and enhance its service to your community and across the region.

Your major gift can be made annually through membership at the Pioneer level or above, on a periodic or special one-time basis, or through planned giving. And, if you choose, it can be designated to support any of several aspects of HPPR's service that may be particularly important to you (see below). Some of these areas are outlined below.  To learn more about any of these areas and how your major gift can provide the "critical margin", contact Deb Oyler, HPPR's Executive Director, at director@hppr.org or 800-678-7444.

Signal Service to your community

HPPR operates 21 transmission sites to provide service nearly 70  counties across five states of the High Plains region. Each of theses sites, including the one that serves you and your community, has direct annual operating costs. These costs include electric utilities, tower rent, insurance, transmitter maintenance and repairs. Your annual support can help cover the costs of your local transmission site and ensure a clear, reliable public radio signal to you and your community this year and for years to come.

Awareness of public radio in your community

Having public radio available on the dial in your community is just half the challenge. Making residents aware of HPPR's availability and programming is the other half and its often the more difficult. Even in places where HPPR has been on the air for years, many residents who would enjoy and appreciate the programming are unaware of its existence.

The need to publicize HPPR's service to these individuals is obvious but the funding to do it is hard to squeeze into the annual operating budget. Your special support can fund a variety of ongoing activities to make more people in your community more aware of public radio – and increase your community's "quality of listening".

Regionally focused programming

An essential part of HPPR's mission is providing a "voice to the region" in order to explore, understand and appreciate the High Plains region's unique qualities, resources and heritage. HPPR does this through a variety of regional programming productions broadcast on the air and posted to its website.  They cover a variety of subjects from a uniquely High Plains perspective, including:

  • Culture
  • Arts
  • History
  • Environment
  • Economy & Enterprise
  • Government & Politics
  • People
  • Communities

The cost of producing these programs is kept to a minimum through the extensive involvement of volunteers and community organizations in their writing and production. Still, available production dollars are scarce and there are many more good ideas for additional programming than there are resources. Your designated support can help ensure the continuation of existing regional programming productions or launch a new effort that's waiting in the pipeline.

National programming acquisition

The other core part of HPPR's mission is providing "an ear to the world" by broadcasting the best in news, information and music programming from national and international sources. Such programming ensures we all feel in touch with the wider world and transcend our geographic isolation. The cost of acquiring such programming from NPR, Public Radio International, American Public Media and other producers amounts to about $160,000 a year with regular annual increases.

Each year there's a question of whether HPPR can afford the coming year's fees and continue to broadcast certain programs. There are also other great program offerings on the "wish list" that could be added to the schedule -- if funds were available. Designated support for national and international programming acquisition can help ensure HPPR keeps the High Plains in touch with the world.

Digitial web and mobile service from the High Plains to the world

The world wide web now extends HPPR's service in ways and places unimagined back in 1980 when HPPR began broadcasting to just southwest Kansas. Fans of western swing music in Germany listen on-line to Western Swing and Other Things. Expatriates of High Plains communities now living across the country listen to HPPR regularly to keep a feel for home. Teachers download past episodes of HPPR's regional features  as classroom resources.  More and more people now use their smartphone or tablet to listen to HPPR and view its website.

Just like broadcasting, HPPR incurs many costs for maintaining and improving it's web service. These costs were also unimagined back in 1980, including software applications, streaming bandwidth, file storage capacity and copyright fees. As with other parts of HPPR operations, web costs are kept to minimum through volunteer services (e.g. HPPR's webmaster is a volunteer). Still, some hard costs remain and increase as usage of the website grows. Your designated support for HPPR's web and mobile services can increase both the local use and global reach of HPPR's programming.