Dear WEMU Listeners, Donors, and Friends:
Like you, we have been overwhelmed by the events of the past three months. From the time the EMU campus shut down on March 12, through stay home/stay safe, the effects of the pandemic on our community and in the world at large, and the current civil rights demonstrations, it has been a whirlwind that shows no signs of letting up any time soon.
WEMU has been on the job from the beginning with local, regional, and national coverage along with music for reflection, solace, and inspiration. #teamwemu has been magnificent throughout, putting in long weeks, days and hours, keeping you up to date and informed. Most of our crew has continued to come in to the studio throughout this time; those who have been able to work remotely have done so but never once wavering from our commitment to hyper-local, relevant, real time content and coverage.
Like many others, WEMU faces an uncertain funding future. We have taken a number of actions to make sure our budget can handle anticipated reductions in federal, state, and corporate funding, that include the following:
- Elimination of two full-time, behind the scenes positions, effective May 14.
- Along with other EMU administrators, a 7% pay cut for the station general manager
- Furlough days for our full time, weekday broadcasters, beginning June 1 through August 1, as part of the Michigan WorkShare program.
More than 60% of WEMU’s operating budget comes from individuals and businesses. That need will continue to grow as we sort out the various funding scenarios. While the stay home order has now been lifted, the Covid-19 threat remains. WEMU will not produce traditional on-air fundraisers until we know we can safely host the many community volunteers, musicians, and civic leaders who traditionally assist us in this effort. Yet our need remains and we will only grow more dependent on the users of this service, you, the community.
We have heard from so many of you during this time, thanking us for our ongoing news coverage and thoughtfully curated music presentation. Your comments have inspired and heartened all of us. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing our work is making a difference to our community.
Many of you have also asked how you can help. And many of you have already helped by making financial donations. For that we thank you.
The key to everything is volume. WEMU currently has around 50,000 listeners but only around 3000 donors. If we can raise our number of donors to 4000 or 5000, it will make a significant difference to WEMU and help ensure a stable, sustainable future.
If you have already made a gift this year, we thank you. If circumstances just don’t allow for financial support this year, we understand. If you have not made a gift yet this year, please consider doing so. If you have the means to increase your gift, we encourage you to do so. If you can give in place of someone who just can’t do it right now, we ask that you think about it. Working together, we can make this happen.
For ways you can support WEMU, please see below:
- An individual gift in the amount of your choice here on wemu.org
- An individual gift through a donor-advised fund. Please consult with your financial advisor on the best way to do this.
- Corporate support through an on-air underwriting schedule.
- A gift through a non-profit foundation.
- A gift of stock. The EMU Foundation will help arrange this.
- Donating a car or other vehicle through the car donation program at wemu.org
- A planned gift or bequest through the EMU Foundation. WEMU currently has over $300,000 in planned gifts through the EMU Foundation. This can also be done through your personal attorney.
- A major gift of $10,000 or more. WEMU has opportunities for naming rights and other incentives for major donors.
Like so many others, WEMU will survive COVID-19 with the help and support of those who care the most. Your choice to support WEMU means we will continue to be partners in the community and to the community.
Please make your gift today and know just how much you matter to #teamwemu. Together, we will get through this and emerge stronger than ever.
Molly Motherwell, GM