Apr 24, 2012

Five words may sway women donors, academic researcher finds

An academic specializing in philanthropic psychology working with WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., has discovered that five words appear to boost contributions among female donors. In a Chronicle of Philanthropy podcast, Jen Shang, assistant professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs of Indiana University, said volunteers during a WFIU pledge drive were instructed to use one of five words when initially thanking donors for calling in to the station: caring, compassionate, helpful, friendly or kind. Shang said women donors who heard one of those words went on to give an average of $100, compared with women who heard simply "thank you," who gave an average of $83. There was no difference between those two groups of male callers, Shang said. 

All choral, all the time: MPR launches 24/7 choral stream

Banking on the strong Minnesotan tradition of choral music, Minnesota Public Radio is now offering a public-media first: a web stream of programmed choral music around the clock.

The 24/7 stream features professional, college and church choirs singing pieces "from Palestrina to Pärt, spirituals to Schubert." A major element is the inclusion of Minnesota's sizable local choral talent, including ensembles such as VocalEssence, Cantus, The Singers, St. Olaf Choir, Choral Arts Ensemble and the National Lutheran Choir.

The stream is part of a larger initiative by Classical MPR to boost choral music. June 7 will be the first annual "Harmony In The Park" — a free outdoor choral festival at Minneapolis' Minnehaha Park — and MPR will bring the world-famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir to the city's 20,000-seat Target Center in June 2013.

Listen to Classical MPR's new choral stream here.

W.V. state pubcasting panel lifts contract and hiring freezes for station

A committee appointed by the Educational Broadcasting Authority in West Virginia to examine the financial health of the state's public broadcaster met for the first time Monday (April 23), and voted to lift several contract and hiring freezes, reports the Charleston Gazette. The review was prompted by testimony in January by Dennis Adkins, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, before the House Finance Committee that the station may have to reduce programming due to state funding cuts and a reduction in underwriting. "To put it bluntly," he said in January, "our expenses are outpacing our revenues."

At the meeting Monday, Adkins had better news. "Our underwriting is coming back around, and our current pledge drive is going to exceed projections," Adkins said.

He told the committee that an April 30 retirement would leave the station short-staffed and force overtime pay, and discussed the need for computer upgrades. The state had been delaying filling several personnel vacancies as well as approving a $16,786 bid to replace servers. The committee voted to lift those freezes. The committee meets again May 7.