88.5 WFDD is a public radio station, and as its name suggests we are publicly funded. Public, rather than private, funding allows us to remain your dependable fact-based news source, not beholden to any corporate sponsor or government entity! We talk about this a lot on air and during fund drives, but we were wondering if our listeners knew how much their support means to the station. That's why in February 2023 we asked our listeners to guess what percentage of WFDD's funding comes from various funding sources.

Out of the responses we got to this question, no submissions were fully correct—which tells us that we need to do a better job explaining how we're funded! Only approximately one-third of respondents correctly guessed that 7% of our funding comes from the federal government; and less than a quarter correctly answered that 5% of our funding comes from Wake Forest University. The other 88% of WFDD's funding comes from community support. That's right: WFDD doesn't get any funding at all from the state or NPR. Federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) fluctuates based on several factors, including government appropriations and certain criteria on the part of stations. For the current fiscal year, we anticipate a slight increase in our CPB funding that will amount to about 8% of our overall budget.

In January's We Were Wondering question, we asked listeners if they thought NPR owned member stations like WFDD. 100% of respondents answered correctly that WFDD is independent of NPR, but this month 50% of our respondents incorrectly guessed that WFDD receives funding from NPR. The truth is that WFDD pays NPR for its programming; NPR provides no financial support to WFDD. You can read more about that relationship in January's article.

Listeners submitted their answers with notes like "I'm just guessing" and others mentioned that they were "proud to be a sustaining member." We appreciate everyone who took the time to answer this We Were Wondering question and hope that we can shed some light on how public radio is truly funded. 

Pie chart depicting WFDD funding with 7% coming from the federal government, 5% coming from NPR, and 88% coming from community support

With 88% of our funding coming from community support, WFDD relies on our listeners and partners to keep our station running. When we say it's our listeners that keep the lights on, we're not exaggerating! From our Hive ® Radio 101 program educating the next generation of reporters to our Carolina Curious stories investigating listener questions, everything WFDD does is made possible by our amazing community. Being community funded allows us to prioritize the needs of our community over the desires of any corporate sponsor. If you want to help support this public service, you can learn more at wfdd.org/support!

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