FAQs

(As of March 2014) To learn more about our Campaign and how you can get involved,  email us at campaign@kcrw.org.

What is the KCRW Capital Campaign, and why does the station need to raise $20 million?

KCRW is at a critical juncture. Over the past 30 years we’ve become a global leader in public media and a primary news, music, and cultural touchstone for generations of listeners across Southern California and around the world.

In that time, we’ve expanded our operation in a cramped basement and scattered offices on the Santa Monica College campus.  Our award-winning, 110-person team is producing more original programming than ever before, yet our production space is extremely limited and outdated and we have no publicly accessible space to engage our passionate audience.

KCRW’s Capital Campaign is the first major fundraising initiative in our history, through which we’ll raise $20 million to construct the 35,000-square-foot KCRW Media Center and new programming and cutting-edge technology that serves our growing audience.

Why do you need to raise money for both the new KCRW Media Center and Programming and Technology?

The full impact of the state-of-the-art  KCRW Media Center will be realized only when we can invest in new programming that moves us to new levels of excellence and engages new audiences. KCRW’s future depends on our ability to create digital technologies that preserve our mission and expand the reach and scope of public media programming.

How much money have you raised?

Our Campaign goal is to raise $20 million from private sources to support building and capital costs and establish a Programming and Technology Fund.

The total project budget is $48 million. To date, over $33 million has been committed from leading foundations, KCRW Board members, and Santa Monica College (the licensee for KCRW-FM 89.9) from Measure AA funds, a 2008 bond measure approved by the Santa Monica-Malibu voters.

Historically, KCRW has raised all of its own operating revenue, with the College providing in-kind services.

Who is the architect? Is it a green building?

Clive Wilkinson Architects (CWA), recipients of the prestigious 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, designed the KCRW Media Center and SMC’s Academy of Entertainment and Technology campus. From the earliest phases of the project, KCRW worked with the College and CWA (the design team behind the innovative work spaces of Google) to ensure that our new home reflects KCRW’s unique signature programming and diverse audience.

The KCRW Media Center will accommodate all our staff and will feature long overdue equipment upgrades and an open work environment that fosters creativity and collaboration. Our building will seamlessly integrate with the campus, and simultaneously preserve the lively and collaborative atmosphere that KCRW’s current basement offices are famous for.

The KCRW Media Center is also LEED Silver Certified and will meet the highest sustainability standards.

What is the construction schedule?

Construction on KCRW’s new facility began in 2013 and should conclude in 2015. The time frame for our fundraising Campaign aligns with this period of construction.

How does a new KCRW Media Center benefit the Southern California community?

KCRW is more than just a radio station. Everyday we deliver new artists and ideas to a passionate audience whose support has made KCRW a beloved cultural institution.

With three times our current studio, production, and meeting space, we can dramatically increase our production capacity and still have room to grow.

The KCRW Media Center will also be accessible to the public and located in Santa Monica’s burgeoning Creative District near the LA Metro Expo Line stop at Bergamot Station and along expanded bus and bike routes.

Our 18,000-square foot Wallis Annenberg Plaza Courtyard and Outdoor Stage and 180-capacity auditorium will host countless performances and community events. For the first time ever, KCRW can invite listeners into our home.

How is KCRW planning to expand its service to Southern California?

Through this Campaign, KCRW will expand its reach by acquiring a new terrestrial radio signal to serve Santa Barbara and larger portions of Southern and Central California. This new signal will engage new, diverse audiences in our unique mix of arts and culture, public affairs, and music programming. Our aim is to create a multi-platform experience – on-air, online, and in person. This approach has allowed KCRW to contribute to the cultural landscape in Los Angeles, and we’ll strive to do the same in Santa Barbara.

Does KCRW’s leadership support this Campaign? Who else will you ask to support it?

KCRW’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the project and have committed to 100% financial participation in this Campaign. We will seek private support from individual philanthropists, foundations, corporations, and our broad base of members.

What if I am hesitant about giving to construction projects?

In addition to the actual construction and outfitting of the KCRW Media Center, this Campaign will support the development of new programs for new and existing media platforms, expanding the range of methods for conveying content.

How is a Campaign gift different from my annual membership?

Annual and Campaign gifts are both critical to the future of KCRW. To the best of your ability, we hope that you can support both the Annual Fund and the Campaign. However, because annual funding covers immediate operating expenses, we ask that you make this your philanthropic priority and that Campaign gifts be made in addition to your annual support.

We encourage you to think of this Campaign gift as a special, long-term investment in the preservation of one of Southern California’s most essential informational and cultural hubs. With this gift, you’ll have the opportunity to tie yourself to KCRW in a way like never before.

If I make a Campaign pledge, what are my payment options?

Many donors to the Campaign will be making “stretch” gifts of a magnitude greater than past giving to the station. We encourage our donors to consider Campaign pledges that would be paid over a period of years and  welcome the opportunity to create a customized pledge structure best suited to their specific needs.

How will KCRW recognize my gift?

To honor major commitments made to our Campaign, KCRW has created a number of dedicated naming opportunities – available in our new home. Click here for more detailed information.

What if I prefer to give anonymously?

We’ll honor your wishes, of course. KCRW happily accepts anonymous gifts and protects the identity of any donor who requests it. Anonymous gifts are tax-deductible, to the extent of the law, and will be counted in the Campaign. We invite you to consider that named gifts strongly encourage others to participate.

Does my gift to the KCRW Campaign support NPR?

KCRW is a leading NPR affiliate and pays annual dues for NPR’s quality news programming. KCRW is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with its own mission, budget, staff, and board of directors. Funds for this Campaign will directly support the station.