March 2022 marks the five-year anniversary of KNOM’s business and fundraising office changing its physical location to Anchorage.
The choice to “split the KNOM family” is a momentous point in the station’s history and was not made lightly at the time. In the three years prior to the move, donations were steadily declining at an average of 6.2% per year. That was immediately reversed when the office moved. Five years in, the mission’s cash flow and business health have stabilized and gained more momentum than at any previous point in its 50-year-history. The last five years have brought a steady annual gain of 2.8%.
The main reason for success is ease of postal access. Mailed donations can arrive in Anchorage weeks before reaching Nome.
Additionally, the ability to ship equipment and discounted supplies from the “big city” has saved resources. Relationships made with organizations outside of Nome, such as college programs and Catholic schools, has also recruited staff and helpers for the radio ministry in Nome.
The most unexpected benefit of KNOM’s dual sites came to light during the pandemic. Immediately after covering the Iditarod race in 2020, one of the most intense work weeks of the year, staff needed to work from home. Because KNOM already had two sites, the transition to off-site work required minimal adjustment.
This year, thanks to generous support from around the country, the office will expand to include a studio and workspace for traveling reporters.
While it was not an easy choice to move the office, it has become a considerable support for the mission.
Graph above: A depiction of KNOM’s income before and after moving the business office to Anchorage in 2017.