This month is a major one for Mississippi Public Broadcasting as we begin early operations of our new non-profit, the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation. Through the MPB Foundation, your donations will be collected as usual for the benefit of programming at MPB. We are quite proud of our programming and continue to brainstorm relevant content that connects with you.
But back to fundraising for a moment. It is a point of pride that Mississippi Public Broadcasting has connected with you in such a meaningful way. And it thrills me that every single time we’ve asked you to respond, you have done so. Take last month’s radio drive campaign, for example. I’m sure you remember the days when we interrupted programming for a week or more to ask you to give. We modified that, of course, by choosing a less invasive approach by asking for donations during regular program breaks.
In an effort to continue new approaches, we decided to take the bold step of holding a one-day drive. We brought in our radio personalities, such as the Gestalt Gardener’s Felder Rushing. We told you, honestly, about the state of funding and how your dollars are important to helping us achieve our goals. You responded by helping us raise $100,000 in a single day. In the future, those financial gifts will be funneled through the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation, where you will continue to receive credit on your taxes for them.
As we have told you before, the Foundation for Public Broadcasting in Mississippi will no longer be our fundraising arm. The MPB Foundation will assume that role. It is important that I assure you that we want to make the transition as transparent to you as possible. If we do our jobs correctly, you shouldn’t notice a change. Your support for public broadcasting is the important thing here, especially as state agencies are experiencing budget reductions.
In the future, I’d like you to stay tuned for such programming currently in various stages of production, programming made possible by your generosity. We are about to begin production of segments on Mississippi’s Bicentennial, which will air next year. We are putting the finishing touches on airing a blues series featuring some of the world’s famous blues artists. Across all of our departments, there are outstanding projects in the works.
As we launch the new Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation, I’d like to make a personal appeal for your financial support. Nationally, the public broadcasting industry raises six times the amount that it is awarded by Congress. The majority of that funding goes directly back into programming. That’s the national goal. It is also ours.