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Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

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Joan Butcher

Joan Butcher, WOUB’s director of program services, is one of many OHIO employees who support WOUB Public Media through payroll deduction.

Photo courtesy of: WOUB Public Media

Tom Hodson TV campaign

Tom Hodson, WOUB’s director and general manager, asks for community support during a television membership campaign.

Photo courtesy of: WOUB Public Media

Radio phone volunteers

Students answer phone calls during a radio membership campaign.

Photo courtesy of: WOUB Public Media

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WOUB Public Media the favorite payroll deduction designation of OHIO contributors


WOUB Public Media, the PBS and NPR affiliates licensed to Ohio University, has two important purposes: serving the community and training journalism students. That doesn’t come cheap; programming costs reach around $1.25 million a year.

Asking for the community’s financial support through membership campaigns helps to offset those costs.

WOUB is the largest recipient of employee payroll deductions. Jeannie Jeffers, WOUB’s director of development, says the contributions show the commitment the university community has to education.

OHIO employees have the option to have contributions deducted automatically from their paychecks. Payroll deduction can fulfill a contribution in one payment, in installments or in a sustaining gift that continues until the employee asks to discontinue the support.

“The university community sees public media as an educational resource and they appreciate that the views expressed are ones you don’t see through other media outlets,” said Jeffers.

Employees see WOUB as an extension of the University’s mission, she adds.

“Faculty and staff understand the importance of the unique educational content that airs on public media and want to support an organization that is offering that content to the community,” Jeffers said.

More than 200 students per year gain hands-on experience at WOUB. Programs and content are all student-produced and offer students a way to increase their skill sets and give them polished portfolios when they go into the job market.

Gifts like the ones to WOUB support Ohio University’s The Promise Lives Campaign, a $450 million campaign to support scholarships, faculty, the student experience, facilities and community outreach. So far the Campaign has raised more than $419 million in support of these priorities. The Campaign ends in June 2015.

Joan Butcher, WOUB’s director of program services, began payroll deduction in support of WOUB 18 years ago, not long after she joined the staff in 1994. She says experiences with PBS in her childhood and the educational mission of public media are what inspire her to give.

“My teacher would gather us in front of a black and white television set to watch PBS’ instructional programming. We learned a lot from those programs,” she said. “As a teenager, I loved to watch British comedies and other shows on PBS. It’s why I started volunteering at the PBS affiliate in Dayton and what eventually brought me to work for WOUB.”

She says payroll deduction makes the process of giving simple and easy.

“I don’t miss the money,” she said. “It comes out of my check regularly and since it is tax deductible I can write it off when itemizing my tax return. I believe in supporting worthy causes and with payroll deduction I don’t have to think about when my contribution is due.”

Nonprofit organizations such as WOUB have seen a rise in expenses and severe funding cuts in the past few years, which makes community support more important than ever.

“As a WOUB employee, I know how important my contribution is,” Butcher said. “Every pledge that we get — big or small — adds with other pledges to help pay for necessary operating expenses.”

The Promise Lives
Ohio University's current capital campaign, The Promise Lives Campaign, has raised more than $413 million toward its goal of $450 million by June 2015 in support of students, faculty, programs, facilities and community partnerships.

Click here to learn more about The Promise Lives campaign. 

Click here to learn about Scripps College of Communication campaign priorities.

Click here to download a payroll deduction form. Employees interested in supporting WOUB can designate that information on the form. Return completed forms to The Ohio University Foundation, WUSOC 168, Athens, OH 45701.