Member Drive FAQ

How Important are Member Drives?

Each year, MPR receives funding from a variety of sources, including regional businesses, events, foundations and institutional sponsors. The largest source of that funding is contributions from individual members and donors like you.

In order to continue the high quality programming you’ve come to expect from the stations you listen to – and improve upon it in the year to come, MPR is hoping to receive 154,000 Member Gifts in Fiscal Year 2016 (July 2015 through June 2016).

These Member Gifts come from multiple sources, see the chart below for full details.

You can join the team of Members who make MPR an invaluable resource in your life – and this community – by making your Member Gift today at or by calling 1-800-227-2811.

Why does MPR need Member Drives?

We do Member drives because we are different than other media organizations. We believe in a direct accountability to our audiences, and drives provide regular opportunities for our audiences to support what we do. We trust that as we create value for audiences and invite them to support what we are about and what we create, listeners will want to be a part of helping to fulfill our vision to be an indispensable resource for our audiences and an essential public service for our communities.

How many Member Drives per year does MPR air?

MPR holds three drives per year – fall, winter, and spring.

How long is each Member Drive? How long is each break?

A typical drive takes place over a nine-day period (but we do not interrupt weekend programming for fundraising). On a weekday during the drive, about four five-minute breaks per hour are devoted to fundraising.

How have MPR’s Member Drives changed in recent years?

In recent years, we’ve been especially focused on trying to create more listenable Member Drives. Some of the changes we’ve been able to make have been buoyed by the growing number of Sustaining Members.

How much revenue do these Member Drives raise?

Member Drives account for about 20% of overall membership revenue. That may seem small, but drives are still vitally important, as they're our single best way of acquiring new members.

Where does the money go? Am I supporting national programs produced by American Public Media?

Money raised during Member Drives goes into MPR's unrestricted general operating fund. This fund pays for everything from reporters to equipment to some of the organization's shared staff and services, including engineering, marketing, operations, membership, finance and human resources.

If I become a member of The Current, does my money go to News and Classical?

To provide any of our radio services, we draw on the resources of the entire organization.

How about a Members-only stream so I don't have to listen to the Member Drives?

At this point, we don't have a members-only stream in the works – but we do have some great online streams that we keep drive free, such as:

General Frequently Asked Questions

Sustaining membership

A Sustaining Membership is an unrestricted annual gift that you can pay in a convenient, ongoing way. Each month, we will charge your credit or debit card or withdrawal from your checking account the amount you specify. Your Sustaining Membership will automatically renew each year unless you choose to cancel or change it. You can increase, decrease or stop your donation at any time by calling us at 800-228-7123. Sustainers are crucial to providing an ongoing base of community support that we can rely on, so you can continue to rely on MPR.

Is my MPR contribution tax-deductible?

Absolutely! MPR is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution to Minnesota Public Radio is tax-deductible after subtracting the value of any thank-you gifts.

Each January, MPR will mail a Tax Substantiation letter to any member who has contributed $240+ in a calendar year. If you wish to receive a tax substantiation letter for an amount less than $240, please fill out this form.

How do I switch the credit/debit card or bank account number for my Sustaining membership?

Here's an easy form to update your information, or you may call Member & Audience Services to make the change.

Why did I get a call from a professional fundraiser? Do they work for MPR?

We work with a professional fundraising organization, based here in Minnesota, to call Members on our behalf. This is just one of the many ways that we raise money in support of MPR.

My MPR renewal isn't due for 2 months, yet I received a renewal notice today. Why so early? Why so many notices?

We send renewal reminders out 3-4 months ahead of your membership expiration date so Members have time to plan for their renewal donation without a break in membership.

How do I donate my car?

We have a vehicle donation program that makes this process really simple and takes care of all of the details for you. There is no cost to you, and we'll take care of everything – from picking up your vehicle, to processing the paperwork to sending you a receipt for your taxes.

What is the Archive? I'm looking for a story I just heard, so why can't I find it there?

The MPR Archive, at, is home to nearly 5,000 stories dating back to 1972.

Have a question about Member Drives that's not answered here?
Contact our friendly Member & Audience Services team.

Why your gift matters

Your gift makes a big difference! Member support provides nearly half of the operating budget for MPR, which includes regional program services MPR News, Classical MPR and The Current.

Nearly 75 cents of every dollar comes back to you in programming.