Siloam Springs, Ark (April 8, 1998) - In three intense, exciting and often dramatic days, KLRC's Sharathon '98 received a record $127,000 in pledges from 844 callers who responded to the station's budget needs for fiscal year 1998-99. The total represents a $20,000 increase from the amount pledged by listeners last year. It is the most money ever pledged to KLRC in a spring sharathon; the annual 3-day fundraisers began in 1990.
KLRC is owned by John Brown University and operated solely by students in the broadcasting department; all money given to the station is tax-deductible.
For three consecutive days, March 24-26, sharathon hosts Bill Scott and Dave Kirby manned the microphones from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m., challenging KLRC listeners to call and pledge their faith promises to fund the station's operations. Sharathon '98 was a repeat visit for Scott and Kirby, who also hosted the station's on-air fundraiser last year. The two Christian-radio veterans are employed by ShareMedia, of Shakopee, Minn., an organization which assists non-commercial Christian radio stations in fundraising.
Based on their experience in hosting over 100 fundraisers at dozens of stations across the country, Scott and Kirby were impressed by the response of KLRC's audience.
"You've got a station here that people in Northwest Arkansas really love," said Scott. "It doesn't happen often, but sometimes Dave and I go into a sharathon situation that's a nightmare - we're on the air for two or three days, and get maybe a dozen calls. The reason that kind of thing happens is that the station doesn't really care about the listening needs of the audience, so listeners don't support it. But KLRC is totally different - your listeners love the station, it's a part of their daily lives, and they're willing to support it with their finances."
Some statistics from Sharathon '98: Total number of pledges: 844. Total amount pledged: $126,538 (with additional pledges arriving after the completion of the on-air portion). Average pledge: $150. New pledges (first-time): 508. Day sponsors: 127 ($48,260). Single pledges: 406 ($34,346). Monthly pledges: 311 ($43,932). While some pledges came from Missouri and Oklahoma, the large majority came from residents of Northwest Arkansas. The most calls during this year's sharathon came from Fayetteville (166), Springdale (155), Siloam Springs (94), and Rogers (85).
All of the money raised during KLRC's spring sharathons is applied to the station's operational budget needs, including equipment, salaries, and program and promotional expenses.