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Nov 15 2012

Give To The Max Day: Atheists Talk Radio

Give to the Max Day is happening RIGHT NOW.

Give to the Max Day Logo

It’s a day of charitable giving run by by givemn.org, which offers several financial incentives to inspire nonprofit, school and donor participation in Give to the Max Day.

So…

You know that awesome radio show that I do with Stephanie Zvan, Greg Laden, August Berkshire, Carl Hancock, Scott Lohman, Steve Petersen, David Pacheco, Mike Haubrich, Brent Michael Davids and an entire crew of awesome volunteers from Minnesota Atheists? If the answer is no, we do. And it’s awesome. And 100% volunteer-driven.

So awesome.

We’re fundraising on Give to the Max Day TODAY and I want to encourage you to give to Atheists Talk.

First, these are the big prizes that we’re competing for from givemn.org:

  • A $12,500, $5,000 and $2,500 prize grant will be awarded to the top three large, medium and small nonprofit organizations (based on 2011 IRS Form 990 revenue) which receive the most dollars during Give to the Max Day. A prize grant of $1,000 will be awarded to each nonprofit in 4th through 10th place.
  • Golden Ticketshourly drawings to add $1,000 to a person’s donation, randomly selected from donors who give during each hour of the event. And, at the end of the event, GiveMN will draw a “Super-sized Golden Ticket,” a $10,000 prize grant added to a person’s donation, randomly selected from donations made anytime during the 24-hour event.

Okay – on to how Atheists Talk is awesome enough to earn your donation:

Did you know that Atheists Talk is one of the few LIVE ATHEIST RADIO SHOWS in the country? There are a number of podcasts, internet-streaming and prerecorded shows that are available online or through a radio station, but having a live, weekly radio show that is dedicated to the promotion of atheism and secular values – that’s rare.

It’s also expensive. $205 – $300 per episode expensive.

The Minnesota Atheists board regularly evaluates whether it’s worth our resources to continue investing in the radio show. This is a wise business question and we embrace it. Is it worth it?

Well, one thing to know is that our radio costs are paid out of advertisements and donations which are specifically dedicated to the Radio Fund - not out of the Minnesota Atheists general fund. So that’s cool – we’re supporting ourselves! Rather (and more importantly) – our supporters are financially supporting us. Is it worth it? As long as the interest is there and the radio show is bringing in revenue it is not only worth it, it is a viable product.

But it’s not easy to raise over $10,000 in annual revenue; it takes many concentrated efforts (such as this one!). And if supporters were not donating to the radio show, they could be donating to other Minnesota Atheist endeavors.  So let’s ask: Why not go the cheaper podcast-only method? Why pay a radio station upwards of $300/episode to be on the radio when we can still reach a large audience via podcast only (remember – we get a radio show + podcast from our current method).

I’m so glad you asked!

Radio reaches a vastly different audience than podcasts. Our “atheist choir” looks for and downloads atheist podcasts because they are interested in atheism. But when we are on public radio we are heard by all sorts of people. People have discovered that there is an atheist community in Minnesota because they heard either the radio show or our weekday promotions for the show on AM950 KTNF.

Reaching a different audience is how we normalize atheism. Hearing atheist voices on a non-atheist radio station is one way of bringing us into the cultural awareness and cultivating acceptance of atheism and non-belief. The most valuable thing about being on the radio is that we as atheists are introducing ourselves to our neighbors, who in many cases are not atheists.

Reaching a different audience is one of the reasons why we get such amazing atheist and science activists, educators and authors as guests. They know the value of reaching a audience that is not made up of just their core supporters. Also, because we are live, we are able to interact with listeners. We can always be reached for on-air questions and comments via email and phone during our shows. We have put you in touch with people such as Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, PZ Myers, Greta Christina, Robert Price, Ayanna Watson, Sunsara Taylor, Michael Shermer, Shelley Segal, Howard Bloom, Maggie Koerth-Baker, Katherine Stewart, Jessica Ahlquist and so many others!

So *deep breath for closing arguments*

We, the volunteers of Atheist Talk, are dedicated to continuing our efforts. We believe in the importance of bringing atheism to the public via public airwaves.  Is it worth it to donate our time and our money to continuing this show? We think so, and we hope you do too.

We have met our financial budget for this year, and we are currently focusing on 2013. Will you be one of our supporters?

To learn more about Minnesota Atheists, see our Give To The Max group information page. To donate to Atheists Talk, follow the links and you’ll end up at a page that looks like this:

Now, here are two really important things:

1) Click on “Dedicate my donation to someone”. In the box type “Radio Fund”. If you don’t do this, your donation will not go to the Radio Fund. I love me some money in the Minnesota Atheists general fund, but I’m selling the radio show today!

2) Consider becoming a sustaining donor. You can choose to have funds taken out weekly, monthly or annually. This type of scheduled giving allows us much greater understanding of our funding needs throughout the year.

Thanks for reading. Here are some photos from the radio show:

Phil Ferguson, Greg Laden, Jen McCreight, me, Stephanie Zvan in a post-show photo

Me, in station, recording the weekly promotional spot.

Scott Lohman and me gearing up for a Sunday morning interview.

A recent interview I did with Joshua Brose and Bryan Carver, student activists and board members of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists.

Road Show! Atheists Talk was on air at the Minnesota State Fair.

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