There are a number of not-for-profit organizations within our communities. Each, of which, serve the needs of its constituents by providing different types of services. This week we worked with an organization that strives to engage our community by providing content that can enrich the human experience. That organization is Northeast Indiana Public Radio.
NIPR is a 501(c)(3) organization that licenses WBOI 89.1 fm and WBNI 94.1 fm in northern Indiana. WBOI offers listeners news and jazz, while WBNI provides its listeners with an array of classical selections. The content, as mentioned in the station’s mission statement, is content that enriches lives. It updates listeners on local and world news while exposing us to genre’s of music that might not be on our musical landscape. This reigns true for me. I often find myself tuning into WBOI to hear the smooth Jazz sounds of Duke Ellington and other Jazz legends. I also enjoy tuning into All Things Considered during my afternoon commute from work. Regardless of the time of day, NIPR offers programming that is important and that has meaning.
We decided to volunteer with NIPR after making contact with Carrie Boylan on Twitter. Carrie is NIPR’s corporate engagement manager. She mentioned that she had a project for which she needed help. She told us that it would not be exciting and riveting, but it was important to her success. Erica and I had the opportunity to tour the station upon our arrival. Vintage photos covered the walls of the lobby. The small recording studios were located just down the hall from the office cubicles. The music library consisted of many cds and vinyl records. We really enjoyed seeing the station. It gave us a true perspective of why we were there. As a non-profit, NIPR relies on the financial support from individuals, foundations, government funding, and local businesses and corporations. Carrie’s role is to engage these companies and corporations in an effort to secure business. As we learned this information, we realized that the project we were helping her with was very important.
We spent the afternoon going through a file cabinet of folders that contained business contacts and company information. We transferred the paper information onto a spreadsheet that will allow Carrie to have easy access to key contact information when needed. It was a data entry project. That is why Carrie told us it would not be exciting. It was not a difficult task, but one of those that people hate to do. We spent a couple of hours entering the data and we were able to help her get through the first half of the alphabet. This is just one example of a volunteer opportunity available at NIPR. We were surprised to learn that the majority of the programming is produced and presented by volunteers. Many of the voices you hear on-air are those of volunteers who are willing to give their time to serve the mission. There are over 50 regular volunteers who help with the on-air and off-air productions of NIPR. Who knows, maybe you could live out your dream of being an on-air radio personality.
Volunteering is one way to help at NIPR, but it is not the only way. An easy way to make an impact for this organization is to donate money and become a member. Becoming a member is easy. There is no application or special requirement to becoming a member. All you have to do is listen and make a financial donation to keep the stations funded. Almost 50% of NIPR’s annual operating budget comes from the contributions of its members. This shows just how important these funds and members are to NIPR.
We encourage everyone to search out the National Public Radio stations in your area. There are hundreds of stations across the country. In our area, visit www.nipr.fm or call 260-452-1189 to learn more about Northeast Indiana Public Radio and how you can help. The next time you are in your car, search out these stations. You will not be disappointed.