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Funding Democracy


Funding Democracy and the Next Generation of Leaders

WGCU’s presence and content help people in our audience to become inspired leaders, contributors, and change agents in our society. We influence each person we touch, to preserve values that are critical to our present lives while moving our society forward toward a better and more just future.

By 2026, WGCU intends to double our local radio reporting, develop our public affairs reporting capabilities, and create locally originated news, entertainment, and education programming for all our platforms. Turning these aspirations into reality will require the support and commitment of our staff, advisory board, FGCU, and the community.

Your financial support of this audacious project will accomplish the following:

  • Local Radio Reporting Expansion
  • WGCU Investigative and Public Affairs Unit
  • WGCU TV Documentary Unit
  • Marketing Program
  • Environment and Healthy Aging Content Vertical Focus
  • Local TV Newscasts
  • Educational Content Expansion
  • Arts and Culture Content Expansion
  • Capital Improvement
  • Audience and Data Insights
  • Sustainability and Fundraising Capacity
Group 314 (3)

This plan will help to secure the future of WGCU and the continued progress of our community. It calls for a doubling of our local reporting, content origination and staff to face the future, and is dependent on doubling our financial resources. We will need the commitment of our staff, FGCU, Advisory Board, and the great wealth of our community to deliver these results.

In early 2022, the “Funding Democracy” initiatives were endorsed wholeheartedly by WGCU’s Community Advisory Board, who pledged and personally solicited nearly $1.7 million in gifts. With that initial funding effort, WGCU has already increased the number of local voices filling our airwaves from 6 to 16, hired a senior environmental reporter, and awarded fellowships to three FGCU students who have already covered stories about essential workforce shortages, affordable housing, the disproportionate impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on minority communities, local LGBTQ issues, law enforcement, development, redistricting, public transportation, renewable energy, and more.

Now, we need you to join our movement. When you donate to public media, you are funding independent journalism, educational programming, cultural outreach, and community engagement. Your donation can help to ensure that these important services remain available to the public and continue to support a healthy and informed democracy.

It’s time to reinvest in public broadcasters. They are creaky vessels, battered by decades of cutbacks and challenges, but they’re still one of our best tools for protecting democracy and building healthy societies.
– Knight Foundation 2023
“Research shows that people exposed to news on public television are better-informed than those exposed to news on private TV. They are likelier to vote, and have more realistic perceptions of their societies, especially on issues related to crime and immigration. They are less likely to express negative attitudes toward immigrants. Countries with strong public broadcasters have higher levels of social trust, and the people who live in them are less likely to hold extremist political views.”
– Knight Foundation 2023

Contact us

Please contact us for additional information regarding Funding Democracy.