RADIO ADDRESS AND
by William Kling
President and CEO, Minnesota Public Radio
Good evening and welcome to the Sharing the Wealth Summit:
Charitable Giving in Prosperous Times. I'm Bill Kling, president
of MPR. I am very pleased to be able to welcome audiences
here in the History Center; our broadcast audience; as well
as those of you participating interactively via the web.
That's a pretty interesting statement - and a big change.
A couple of years ago MPR concluded that public radio has
one of the most powerful audiences in the media world. Not
the largest - but the most active. People who run things,
who are active decision-makers, who hold corporate, governmental,
or volunteer offices - people who vote.
We began to understand that someone in our audience almost
always knows more about any subject we choose to cover, than
we can possibly know ourselves. And we made a conscious effort
to draw you in - both through physical convening, and through
electronic systems like the Internet.
is the biggest obstacle to your charitable giving
- what prevents you from getting more involved
or giving more, and how could this be overcome?
in the Forum
Since we made that decision we have found that not only do
you come. But you add value. You tell us more about any given
subject. And you interact with each other and in the process
- almost in the way that a breeder reactor works - you build
more and better content. That makes our broadcasts, our Web
pages, and our national programming more valuable, more interesting,
and higher in quality.
And that's what we hope will happen today and tomorrow. Over
100 of you are here in person from around the country. People
with all sorts of interests relating to philanthropy will
be interacting with you through the Web, using content derived
from your discussions.
The results of all of that debate will be packaged into a
special version of our weekly national broadcast of Sound
Money as well as into daily reports to Morning Edition
and All Things Considered. Finally the major content
will be archived and available on the MPR Web site (in text
and on-demand audio), for the foreseeable future.
Philanthropy and the future of philanthropy is particularly
important to MPR. As the nation's strongest, most developed
public radio system, we look back at the individuals and the
foundations that enabled us to demonstrate the potential of
public service media. Whether it's the 90,000 contributing
members, the long-term support from major foundations, or
the individual gifts like Netscape's Jim Clark who donated
$1 million by email to support our online development - we've
benefited in above average ways. That's why we are particularly
pleased to be able to explore the future of philanthropy with
the leadership audiences joining us tonight.
Your host for the next couple of days is Chris Farrell, one
of the nation's top economic journalists. Chris is also a
contributing economics editor at Business Week magazine
and host of Minnesota Public Radio's weekly national broadcast,
Sound Money. We'll be in good hands with Chris as he
guides us through the implications of changes in philanthropy
that you - those of you here and those of you listening on
radio and on the Web - join us in exploring.