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KUNM launches its spring fund drive today

Station relies on listeners, volunteers for financial support

KUNM-89.9 FM volunteers reached their goal of raising $175,000 in October two hours ahead of schedule, and they’re hoping to repeat their success this week.

Rob Raucci, the stations’ volunteer coordinator, is busy scheduling on-air and phone volunteers because today marks the beginning of KUNM’s five-day spring fund drive.

“If you say we won’t make it, we won’t — the point is to have a positive attitude,” Raucci said. “The listeners come through and the volunteers come through to make this station successful.”

Raucci will be on the radio pitching for donations during the freeform broadcast from 1:30-4 p.m. Before he worked at KUNM, Raucci was a traffic reporter and later a disk jockey for KMGA-99.5 FM. He lost interest in commercial radio when the station supervisors asked him to talk over pre-recorded sets of music, he said.

“KUNM has a sense of partnership with the community,” he said. “In commercial radio, the listeners’ only part is to buy the bottle of wine or whatever else it is they are advertising.”

His work in public radio also gave him the chance to direct a radio drama, “The Pill School,” for KUNM.

“Radio is such a great medium in which you must use your brain to imagine,” he said.

“Now you just use your eyes,” he said, referring to television.

The largest portion of KUNM’s budget is funded by public donation. Some radio employees in other countries don’t believe it, Raucci said. They doubted Americans could be generous, he said. Twice a year, KUNM volunteers work to raise donations to keep the station running.

Raucci said serving the public allowed KUNM to outlast most other stations in Albuquerque. He said the stations’ unique programming format and lack of commercials attracts a variety of listeners.

The KUNM spring fund drive ends Friday at 7 p.m., and the station’s goal is to again raise $175,000.

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