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How KALW is funded and where your support goes

The bulk of KALW’s revenue continues to come from our more than 11,000 active listener-supporters. 

In Fiscal Year 2018, which ended on June 30th, total giving by listeners topped $2 million for the first time in station history.  Thank you!

We have significantly grown the segment of our budget that comes from foundations and other institutional funders.  Key supporters in this area include:  The Association for Continuing Education, our partner in the Audio Academy; the California Arts Council, which supports Sights & Sounds, as well as our training work with SFUSD high school students and prisoners at San Quentin and Solano State Prisons; the Templeton Religion Trust, which supports our Spiritual Edge reporting project; and the Hewlett Foundation, which has provided ongoing general operating support as part of its Performing Arts Program.

KALW has also increased its revenues from earned income, including ticket sales, royalties, and production services. Federal support through our annual grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has remained relatively constant at just under $200,000. 

Nearly two-thirds of KALW’s operating budget goes to local program production – including KALW News and Your Call, and our announcing staff – as well as our audio journalism training programs within the station, and beyond.  The second-largest area of spending is program acquisition, from distributors including NPR, APM, WNYC, PRI and PRX.  This includes our fees to air programs from the BBC World Service and the CBC.  In FY18, the combined costs of station management, administration and fundraising were less than 20% of total expenses.

Matt Martin was KALW’s general manager from 2006 through 2018. Under his leadership, KALW grew into one of the most productive and innovative stations in public radio. Programs launched at KALW during Matt’s tenure as GM include the award-winning local newsmagazine Crosscurrents, the design podcast 99% Invisible, and the Spanish-language narrative journalism program Radio Ambulante. He helped create the station’s Audio Academy, a year-long program aimed at developing new talents in public radio, and led the first broad-based strategic planning process in the station’s history.