Know Your Nonprofit: KVMR |

Know Your Nonprofit: KVMR

What is your mission statement?

KVMR entertains, informs and challenges its listeners with an eclectic mix of music, news, opinion and information, celebrating the music of the world and giving voice to the community.

What is your yearly budget (optional), and how many paid employees do you have?

KVMR’s annual budget is approximately $900,000, and we have eight full-time paid staff.

What is your nonprofit’s history?

KVMR began broadcasting July 14, 1978, from a miner’s shack on Banner Mountain. In those days, we broadcast for only four hours a day at very low power. In 1981, we moved to downtown Nevada City in the Victorian American Museum, currently the home of the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. With that move, power was increased, and we began broadcasting 24 hours a day. The “VMR” in our call letters stands for “Victorian Museum Radio.” During the 1980s, as KVMR attracted more listeners and volunteers, the on-air character of the station was formed. Music programing took on the eclectic nature of the volunteer broadcasters. Live, in-studio performances were aired, and then volunteers formed the first mobile crew, which began broadcasting live concerts.

In 1989 a new nonprofit organization, the Nevada City Community Broadcast Group, was formed, providing KVMR its first independent board of directors. Station operations were moved across the street into the current leased facilities in 1994. A program committee was created, made up of broadcasters and community members, and the programming philosophy was broadened to include public affairs and local news. Broadcast facilities were dramatically improved in 1999 with better equipment and a stronger antenna.

KVMR has been serving the Truckee/Tahoe region for nine years with a translator at 105.1 FM.

Earlier this year, we acquired a new translator in Woodland at 104.7 FM that has enhanced our signal in the Sacramento/Davis area. We will soon be activating another transmitter in the Camino area that will further improve our signal in the greater Sacramento area up the Highway 50 corridor to Placerville and toward South Lake Tahoe.

We are looking forward to the 2014 move to our third location at the corner of Spring and Bridge Streets in the new home that we are building in partnership with the Nevada Theatre Commission.

Who is your primary audience?

KVMR listeners are individuals who value the importance of independent media and represent a diverse cross section of Nevada County and beyond. Our recent member survey found that 80 percent of our members are aged 55 and older, and 75 percent have a college degree.

Clients served:

KVMR’s broadcast footprint serves a population of more than 1 million from Redding to Modesto and from Truckee to Vacaville and beyond. KVMR streams 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at

KVMR is also available on mobile devices via applications such as TuneIn Radio and the Public Radio Player.

List the biggest achievements in your nonprofit’s history (up to three).

KVMR won an unprecedented national Community Impact Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters in 2002 for its coverage of mental health issues — before, during and after tragic shootings by a mentally ill individual at Nevada County’s behavioral health office and a local restaurant. The station won a second consecutive Impact Award for programming and collaborations in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.

The Impact Award was the only one presented by NFCB — a group of about 200 independent radio stations nationwide — to a station as a whole and honored KVMR for making a “positive, noticeable impact on its community,” according to then-NFCB President Carol Pierson. Judges cited KVMR’s work with a range of local arts groups, activist organizations, independent producers and area businesses, leading to what Pierson called “the creative approach KVMR has taken to programming in the post-9/11 era.”

In 2007, KVMR was designated as the official Emergency Broadcast Station for Nevada County by the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services. KVMR is notified by the appropriate agency (law enforcement, fire, OES, etc.) of any ongoing emergency in the county and provides live information regarding the emergency for the duration of the event 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

List the biggest challenges you face (up to three).

The biggest challenge that we currently face is completing the fundraising for our new home. Our fundraising campaign has been relatively quiet up until recently. Starting this summer, we will be reaching out more publicly into the community to invite participation in this very exciting project.

We serve many thousands of listeners and are constantly challenged to provide programming that will keep them engaged and tuning in.

We are always focused on keeping up with technologies that allow us to better serve our listeners.

What is your No. 1 short-term goal for the next year?

Our highest priority for the coming year is to complete our building project. In partnership with the Nevada Theatre, we are building not only a new home for KVMR and an expansion of the theater’s backstage but a new landmark for Nevada City that will anchor that downtown corner as a cultural district with KVMR, the Nevada Theatre and the Miners Foundry.

What is your No. 1 long-term goal for the next three years?

Our new space will provide the opportunity to program our second channel, “KVMR, Too.” The board of directors is finalizing an update to our strategic plan that focuses on providing high quality broadcasting and engaging with our community.

What are your major fundraisers and dates?

KVMR provides our listeners the opportunity to join the KVMR “family” by becoming a member or renewing their membership at three membership drives each year. The next drive will take place in July.

On June 29, we will be celebrating our 35th birthday with a party in Pioneer Park to which the whole community is invited.

What is the best way a person interested in your organization could help?

To support KVMR with a membership contribution, you can go to our website at and contribute online. You can also become a business underwriter by contacting our underwriting coordinator, Richard Gorman, at or 530-265-9073, ext. 215. Or to contribute to our building project or for information about any level of giving to KVMR, contact our development director, Rick Sharkey, at or 530-273-9073, ext. 201.

KVMR has many volunteer opportunities. For information about volunteering, contact Edy Cassell, Volunteer Coordinator, at

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