WQED members represent individual contributions from all channels of giving including TV and radio pledge drives, offline campaigns, and those from major donor giving societies. We welcomed nearly 8,500 new members to the WQED family in the past year. It is because of this individual support that we are able to provide rich and diverse television and radio programming and valuable educational resources to parents, teachers and children in our community.
March 2020- March 2021
- Total members: 40,374
- New members: 8,482
Sustainers provide vital monthly revenue that became all the more important last March as we entered into a time of great uncertainty along with the rest of the world. Since March 2020, we welcomed more than 5,500 new WQED Sustainers who stepped up to ensure that access to our programs continued uninterrupted throughout an otherwise tumultuous year. We are grateful for the steadfast support of our Sustaining members.
March 2020- March 2021
- Total Sustainers: 15,228
- New Sustainers: 5,610
We introduced several new digital communications over the past year to help keep our community informed and connected.
- WQED Education Weekly Planners
- Weekly lesson plans corresponding to PBSKIDS programming for that week that help supplement missed classroom time for our youngest learners.
- WQED Passport and Free On-Demand Streaming
- Curated content with themes like documentaries, travel, history, arts & music, science & nature, etc. available to stream on-demand.
- FM Newsletter
- Quarterly emails for our Classical QED 89.3 listeners and supporters to highlight local artists and cultural happenings.
- Sustainer Newsletter
- Quarterly emails for WQED Sustainers with exclusive content, events, upcoming programs, etc.
A benefit of membership to all Sustainers and those donating $60+ annually, WQED Passport offers viewers on-demand and exclusive access to some of our most popular programs. In the past year we saw a 60% increase in streaming for Passport content!
Our #1 most streamed program in the past year was PBS NewsHour – perhaps not surprising, with so much to keep up with in the world this past year.
The following programs were extremely popular with WQED’s streaming audience:
- PBS NewsHour
- All Creatures Great and Small
- Antiques Roadshow
- Beecham House
- American Experience
The following programs were popular streaming programs nationwide:
“ I love that it’s something I can watch with my kids and we can all enjoy it!” Amanda (Membership)
“Some of the best -- and worst -- moments in American history are brought to light in this consistently excellent series. With Passport, I can always catch up when my schedule gets in the way.”
“Informative and professional; news the way it was meant be to be.”
“After "Downton Abbey" ended, I was wondering what show could ever even come close to replacing it as my go-to. Shouldn't have spent a single second worrying - "Victoria" has more than filled that void! And thanks to Passport, I can watch whatever episodes I want, whenever and wherever I want, which makes the time on the elliptical much more bearable!”
Liz (WQED Education)
The Great British Baking Show
“It inspires the inner chef inside me.”
Jody (Corporate & Community Affairs)
“I like having an in depth look at issues that are currently affecting the country and the world.”
Jason (Human Resources)
Door to Door Canvassing Program
Did you know that WQED is the nation’s first community supported public broadcasting station? It’s true. In 1954, volunteers set out on foot to knock on doors and collect contributions from the community in support of WQED’s programs and services. In 2018, we revived the program and once again sent folks knocking on doors to talk about all of the exciting things happening at the station and in our neighborhoods. Although 2020 presented more than a few challenges for our canvassing team – even sending them into hiatus for several months – we’re happy to be back on the streets this spring, talking with the good people that make our community so special.
Since the program’s inception in 2018, we’ve welcomed more than 6,000 new members to WQED.
WQED-TV On-Air Fundraising Report
Television on-air fundraising has had a strong showing throughout the pandemic. While the staff was limited on the ability to localize shows, there were some opportunities to speak directly with our audience. Rick Sebak created three shows from his front porch, highlighting the community, his neighbors, and the things he missed about “regular” life.
Before each cooking show, Chris Fennimore engaged with the audience both on television and through social media.
QED Cooks proved to be a staple for WQED’s audience. 55% of the total number of pledges that came in from March 2020 to March 2021 came from the cooking shows. This is a solid indication that viewers see QED Cooks, not as a fundraising show, but as a core program in the main schedule. Each show highlights community, education, and entertainment – epitomizing WQED’s mission.
The lack of live music has left a hole in many of our hearts throughout the pandemic. Luckily, WQED was able to bring the performances to you. Ticketed shows always elicit a strong response. Despite the rescheduling of the Andrea Bocelli concert and the Celtic Thunder concert, people either kept or repledged for the concerts. Combined, the shows brought in 15% of the pledges for the year. Below are the 5 most popular music shows from the past year:
- Bocelli at 60
- My Music: Red, White, and Rock
- My Music: Soul Legend
- Celtic Thunder: Ireland
- My Music: Doo Wop to Pop Rock
Time at home afforded many of us to work on ourselves. From saving for retirement, to eating healthy, to working out, WQED members voted with their dollars on what was important to them. The following are our top 5 Self help shows:
- Suze Orman’s Ultimate Retirement Guide
- The Longevity Solution with Steven Gundry, MD
- Aging Backwards III with Miranda Esmonde White
- Eat Your Medicine with Mark Hyman, MD
- The Collagen Diet with Dr. Josh Axe
Total pledges through Television on-air fundraising: 9,020
New Members acquired through on-air fundraising: 3,567 (40%)
New Sustaining Members acquired through on-air : 2,646 (29%)
To support WQED-TV, please go to www.wqed.org/donate. Thank you.
WQED-FM On-Air Fundraising Report
Thanks to generous FM Angels and Board members, the Classical QED staff was able to fundraise safely from home. The modified drive in which we only pitched for 1 minute at a time, 7 hours a day (instead of 11), boded well for the fundraising strategy. Each drive goal was met, and in most cases, exceeded. This was in large part to the several partnerships enlisted in each drive.
160 meals were provided to the families of South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM)
Classical QED partnered with local caterer, Bistro 2 Go, and South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM) to provide meals to families in need. Each $120 donation or $10 a month as a sustainer, bought 4 meals for the families of SHIM from Bistro 2 Go! The incentive was a win for Classical QED, but also helped a local catering business when most events had been cancelled, and provided meals at a time when food insecurity was at its highest point in our region.
120 Classical QED masks provided East End Cooperative Ministries
East End Cooperative Ministries was also a partner in Classical QED’s “Give a Mask, Get a Mask” campaign. When a member invested in Classical QED with a $60 donation, a mask was sent to them to keep, and another was sent to EECM for distribution to the public.
Classical QED also partnered with Coffee Tree Roasters, Steel City Salt Company, and numerous artists throughout the region to offer unique and meaningful items through each fundraising period.
Total pledges through Radio on-air fundraising: 1,615
New Members acquired through on-air fundraising: 357 (22%)
New Sustaining Members acquired through on-air : 261 (16%)
To support WQED-FM, please go to www.wqed.org/donate. Thank you.