MERRILLVILLE, IN – Lakeshore PBS battles a harsh economic landscape as donations are down nation-wide while many individuals face economic hardships due to rising inflation. The station has launched multi-faceted fundraising campaigns in attempts to raise the $150,000 needed to offset a fundraising shortfall before the station’s fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.
As a community-licensed, viewer-supported public television station, individual donors provide the largest portion of the station’s revenue, and overall community support accounts for roughly half of the station’s annual budget. Membership manager, Riley Egan, said that support from community members is what determines the livelihood of a public broadcasting station.
“Though we are extremely thankful for all the support we have received to-date, we can’t overlook the level of uncertainty that comes with being below our fundraising goals. With the current economic landscape and numerous other stations across the nation facing similar situations, we find this final fundraising push to be imperative. We’re increasing our communication efforts through mail, email, and on-air messaging to let members know how important their support really is,” Egan said.
In an effort to garner viewer participation in closing the fundraising gap, Lakeshore PBS has scheduled a special pledge event they are calling “Sounds of the ‘60s.” This collection of special musical programs will air between Sept. 18-25 and feature rare, archival performances from the likes of Roy Orbison, Kenny Rogers, Burt Bacharach, James Taylor, and The Carpenters. Other fan-favorite programs like “Concert for George,” “Country Pop Legends,” and “’60s Pop, Rock & Soul” will also be included as part of this special event.
More information for the special programming can be found at LakeshorePBS.org
Another source of community support for Lakeshore PBS comes from local businesses that support the station’s mission through corporate sponsorships and underwriting. These businesses receive on-air announcements acknowledging their financial support to viewers. While this is different from traditional advertising, Lakeshore’s Vice President of Development Carl Kurek says businesses can potentially benefit from a “halo effect” as viewers associate underwriters with the quality local, statewide and national programming broadcast by Lakeshore PBS.
“The quality and uniqueness of our local programming is a major draw to viewers here in the Region, but we also strive to broadcast Indiana-specific content as this is typically lacking in the Chicagoland market. Then all of that is complimented by excellent programs from our national partners like PBS and American Public Television.” Kurek said. “Our goal is to offer trusted, exceptional programming that keeps our audience informed, inspired and entertained. So when businesses invest in us, they are supporting something much bigger.”
Lakeshore Public Radio’s programming manager, Jose Rodriguez, records the voiceover for many of the station’s underwriting messages. He said underwriting messages are crucial for the station’s sustainability and reflect the level of impact the station has on the surrounding communities.
“As I voice more and more of the promos for underwriting here at Lakeshore Public Media, it’s interesting to see the wide variety of businesses from around the area that support local, grass roots broadcasting. Our goal is to connect and educate communities. It’s a clear indication we are reaching that goal when other organizations recognize our station for having a mission worth collaborating with,” Rodriguez said.
Cultivated from the previous community support, Lakeshore Public Media has produced hundreds of locally-focused segments throughout the past year. This resulted in a multitude of recognitions including two Awards of Distinction from the 28th Annual Communicator Awards, eight Silver Telly Awards from the 43rd Annual Telly Awards, and an Emmy at the 63rd Annual Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards.
Lakeshore Public Media has been a public broadcasting entity based in Northwest Indiana for nearly 35 years. Their mission is to enrich the lives of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana residents through lifelong learning, the celebration of human diversity, and engagement in civic concerns. For more information, visit LakeshorePublicMedia.org.