Wayword Inc. was formed in June 2009 in order to continue production and distribution of the public-radio show, "A Way with Words."
Until 2007, the program was produced and distributed by the National Public Radio affiliate in San Diego, KPBS. In mid-2007, KPBS suffered a massive budget shortfall, laying off 14% of the entire station’s staff, including the staff of a public-affairs television program and the staff (the co-hosts, Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, and producer Stefanie Levine) of "A Way with Words."
Rather than cancel the show, the team's creative passion led us to acquire the rights to the show and begin production on our own as a private enterprise. Our mission of language education and lifelong learning for our devoted, highly engaged audience has continued uninterrupted.
We now record the show at a studio in Rancho Bernardo, and have created a new "A Way with Words" website. We've found new distribution systems for our radio broadcasts and podcasts, dramatically expanded the number of public-radio stations regularly carrying the show, and developed a thriving following through social media.
Our organization has migrated from its initial status as a limited liability company to an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) California not-for-profit corporation. At the time of the KPBS budgetary crisis, the going rate for salaries for our core team (a producer and two co-host/producers) was approximately $50,000 a year each, plus benefits. Since that time, this annual sum has been the investment each member of our team has made in the project and in Wayword's Mission. It has not been without success or return on investment--the show is thriving and we've independently produced more than 180 new, hour-long episodes--but it is a model which is unsustainable for the long term.
We fund all our third-party expenses through corporate underwriting by such sponsors as National University, University of San Diego, The Ken Blanchard Companies, iUniverse publishing, National Geographic, and Random House, and from hundreds of individual donations from our listeners.
TOP FIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR 2014
*Produced, edited, and distributed 28 one-hour episodes for radio and podcast, added 14 new broadcasters, and passed the 11 million total podcast download mark.
*Recruited one new board member and authorized formation of a "Friends of A Way with Words" group of volunteers.
* Raised $157,616 in gifts from more than 800 individual donors, plus $20,000 in corporate sales and underwriting, and secured $15,000 in grants. (The Friends group raised $52,540 by year's end, and their efforts are ongoing.)
* Updated website with individual segments broken out for audio playback (~3500 segments).
* Lectured in 17 venues, from the San Diego Downtown Library to Georgetown University. Partnered with literacy org in Dallas to produce live show benefitting Aberg and Wayword.
TOP FIVE GOALS FOR 2015
* Produce, edit, and distribute 28 one-hour episodes for radio and podcast.
* Hire and train a development associate.
* Hire and train an online producer for web content.
* Give more public talks and lectures, while exploring affiliations with educational organizations and corporations for underwriting.
"A Way with Words" has a strong track record and is already well-known in San Diego and many other communities. We also have a highly efficient production system for the radio program itself.
In addition, all of us involved with Wayword, Inc. have an immense passion for our work and our mission of promoting lifelong learning and improving the public's understanding of language.
Our most pressing needs at this point are therefore all financial:
*Online producer for website, episode distribution, and social media as listenership increasingly moves online, to smartphones, and to tablets: $60,000/year.
*Development director to ensure that the program will become self-sustaining within five years: $60,000-$70,000/year, plus benefits.
*Recording studio rental: $9,000.
*Rental for Content Depot, a satellite system that serves as a distribution center for most major public-radio programs. Being able to offer the program to public-radio stations nationwide through Content Depot will greatly increase the show's potential for distribution, and thus our pool of potential donors and sponsors. Pricing: $7,074 for 2013, and $5,830 for 2014.
*Hire production team: $123,000/year. (Show host/producer and senior producer: $60,000/year each, plus a production assistant at $3,000/year.)
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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