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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Friends of Public Radio Arizona

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Fund Raising & Fund Distribution, Journalism, Music, Radio

Mission: Friends of Public Radio Arizona (FPRAZ) assures the future vitality and excellence of two public radio stations in the Phoenix metropolitan area and engages the community with other strategic initiatives.

Geographic areas served: the Phoenix metropolitan area

Programs: KJZZ 91.5 FM is a listener-supported public radio station broadcasting to the Phoenix metropolitan area. As the NPR member station for the region, KJZZ features a mix of local, national, and world news, classic jazz and blues at night, and entertaining weekend shows. The station is licensed to the Maricopa Community Colleges.

KBACH 89.5 FM is a listener-supported public radio station broadcasting to the Phoenix metropolitan area. KBACH is the only radio station in Phoenix that plays classical music 24/7, reaching listeners around the world who stream KBACH online. The station is licensed to the Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University.

SPOT 127 is an award-winning youth media center that empowers low-income and at-risk teens to find their voices and engage with their communities through audio, photo, and video storytelling. SPOT 127 allows teens to learn digital media skills during after-school hours at locations in Maryvale and Tempe.

Sun Sounds of Arizona is a not-for-profit reading and information service that creatively applies technology and talent to make sure every person with a print disability can access the current and local information they need to lead a self-directed, productive life. Special radios are provided free of charge to listeners. Broadcast via the subcarrier waves of public radio stations, Sun Sounds boasts a team of volunteers who read local and national newspapers, magazines, and local ads.

Hear Arizona is a podcast initiative that tells stories addressing important issues in our community and empowering listeners to find answers for their own lives.

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer reader at Sun Sounds of AZ because I remember my grandmother having to rely on a similar service when she lost her vision late in life. It brings me pleasure to share the written word with people unable to access it. As a retired nurse, I enjoy reading articles about current medical research and healthcare delivery in third world countries.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sun Sounds of Arizona is great!!! I've been volunteering with them for over 3 years now, which is one of my longest running volunteer experiences. I've stayed on with them because I believe in their mission and know what they do makes a difference. All the volunteers truly care about producing quality content that those with a disability that inhibits their ability to read news and other programs for themselves can enjoy. It's amazing how everyone comes together to make these programs happen- it takes everyone, from readers, to sound board operators, to those who go out into the community to read at live events, and more. Sun Sounds is simply a wonderful organization, and deserves support from Arizonans everywhere.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a truly exceptional organization and provides a very vital resource to the state. It is absolutely worth your investment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been faithful listeners to KJZZ and I have been a proponent of KBACH for many years. As an ardent classical music fan, I have always felt a sense of pride that Phoenix has supported a classical radio program when other cities are discontinuing theirs. I also serve as a volunteer reader for Sun Sounds of Arizona. I feel that I am making a real and valuable contribution to the citizens of Arizona. The organization and programming that Sun Sounds provides is a positive contribution to our citizens. I am proud to be a participant in this program. All in all, I think that the Public Radio Arizona provides a needed and valuable role in our daily lives. They are constantly looking forward in terms of the needs of the community. I heartily support all of their efforts.

Donor

Rating: 5

I began my career in radio news at then-KMCR-FM and worked there for 15 years. My work life took me elsewhere until our return to the valley in 2009. We had become supporters of both public radio and TV in Washington, DC, supporting them for 20 years. We elected to continue that support at KJZZ. Over the years, we have moved steadily up the support levels to become members of the Leadership Society. Why? We had become spoiled by the excellent news coverage in Washington, DC and wanted to continue it in the valley - and KJZZ delivers, each and every day. In this era of pandemic, KJZZ brings transparency and facts. As a former news reporter myself, there are few stations in the U.S. that supply the level of news coverage we receive. In addition to our financial support, my wife and I over the years have read the news for Sun Sounds Of Arizona, donating hundreds of hours to their program production. We also listen to KBAQ, although I am more attracted to jazz. While we have not interacted with Spot 127, its service to our youth is exemplary. We will continue our support of Public Radio and consider ourself friends.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Love the local journalism of KJZZ and the outstanding youth programs of SPOT127 and the classical music offerings of KBACH. Additionally, Sun Sounds provides a critical service for the sight-impaired members of our community. Highly recommended!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In these uncertain times, we need the stars at KJZZ, KBACH, SPOT127, and Sun Sounds more and more every day. They provide access to information for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Our community is truly better with their presence!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for this nonprofit, reading the USA Today for Sun Sounds on-air programming. The staff is wonderful and I really appreciate their mission. I know that sometime in the future I may need to have someone read the news to me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone at this station is kind and truly devoted to the mission of the organization. I am gratified to know that there are so many committed, talented people in the world.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love KJZZ and it’s the only place I turn to for local news that I know I can trust to be unbiased and factual. When I donate each month, I really feel like I know where exactly my money is going and what it’s giving back to the community I live in. I feel so lucky to have such an excellent NPR member station based right in the city I live in! But their impact is felt throughout the state, and even beyond into the Southwest US.

Emma G.2

Donor

Rating: 5

The only news source I rely on to be truthful, fact-based, and unbiased. KJZZ is interesting, impactful, and important to me.

Aseel M.

Donor

Rating: 5

Kjzz at this point is part of my wellbeing... it has wealth of information, news and entertainment that I can access anytime. Well done!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Proud to be apart of Friends and of the amazing value that they provide to the community. Listening to KJZZ is how my husband and I begin every morning.

h2obabi

Donor

Rating: 5

It’s all about the people who work diligently to provide thoughtful, community based news stories as well as National Public Radio programming. I’ve enjoyed being able to tour the station and meet the “voices.”
As a sustaining member there is added value and a measure of fun in supporting a great local nonprofit

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first discovered 89.5 FM years ago when I would drive from Tucson to Phoenix to visit a lady I had known my whole life and referred to her as my "surrogate mom." As soon as I got near to Phoenix, I would search my radio for 89.5 FM. While with my friend for two or three days I would turn to this station in the morning when I got up and listen to it as I went to sleep at night. She passed away four years ago at age 101 and I no longer have a reason to go to Phoenix. But then it occurred to me that I could stream this station on my computer and that's what I've been doing ever since!!! And when I travel I listen to it on my iPad. I love the programming, the announcers and I am a sustaining member. Thank you for keeping the music of the masters alive!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

KBAQ and KJZZ are the #1 and #2 buttons on my car radio dial. I love the music on KBAQ and the commentary by the announcers enhances it even more. KJZZ is the best for news and information. Many thanks to both.

Client Served

Rating: 5

valuable and open news and information, as well as, very entertaining entertainment programing

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Assisting in the awareness of public radio is a great benefit to all....NPR where news and information is actually news and information and the core of music with the classics and jazz to bubble up the mind and soul......thank you....

Volunteer

Rating: 5

KJZZ and K-BACH are my absolute go-to radio stations. Whether I want unbiased news or beautiful classical music, I can always count on their being there. That’s why my wife and I are sustaining members. Keep up the good work.
And as a long-time volunteer at SunSounds, I can attest to the dedication to the mission of each and every person at the station.
This organization is what a non-profit should be.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I would never get in the car without KBACH. The beautiful classical music takes the stress out of my daily commute or just driving around town. I've also learned so much about the different composers and history. Did you know that Mozart had a pet Starling (mockingbird) that inspired one of his musical pieces? On KJZZ I get news and my favorite game shows. Wait, wait, Don't tell me, and What do you Know are fabulous. Who can't use a laugh and these shows are hysterical. I get so much from my monthly donation, I just don't know what I would do without them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Arizona Public radio has been my companion for the past ten years , in the morning, in my car to keep track of what's going on in Arizona and the world, and in the evening when the jazz programs help me relax. Recently I've discovered it's not just my window on the world but also makes me part of a community. Increasingly frequently if I mention something I heard on the radio, people smile, nod, and say " Oh yesI heard that too!"

Eduardo C.1

Donor

Rating: 5

In these times when reliable sources of news are under attack, KJZZ and NPR provide a serious, unbiased and trustable news outlet. THANK YOU!

Donor

Rating: 5

I listen to this station almost exclusively. It's news stories are excellent ... and fair. The evening jazz program is wonderful. And I love the weekend offerings. These are always presented with professionalism, appropriate humor, and sensitivity.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a loyal and avid listener of KBAQ for nearly 23 years and not once has it failed me in achieving a sense of well-being simply by listening. Even in those times that chaos reigns in my life, I know I can turn to KBAQ, which is on in my house and my car, to once again find my center and refocus on what is important. I cannot imagine not having KBAQ in my life's tool box to help me "fix" those things I can.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

KBAQ makes even the Phoenix traffic more acceptable. The radio alternates between KJZZ and KBAQ only!

Nance W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I wake up to the superbly curated sounds of KBAQ every morning and listen when the sounds of the world become too raucous. The Valley would be a barren place without this radio station.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Nice to support Public Radio great classical music and a large selection of programs.

Donor

Rating: 5

KJZZ is always on in my car. When I’m tired of News and want music I switch to KBACH!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've listened to, and volunteered for, KJZZ (NPR) & the affiliated classical (KBACH) stations since I moved to the valley in 1985. It's been both fascinating & at times frustrating to see & hear the changes through the years -- but the move from a cramped & inefficient building on the Community College campus in Mesa to the incredible new building in Tempe has been the best change! I started listening when KJZZ was mostly jazz music; as it transitioned into an NPR news station I found myself listening & learning & appreciating the more balanced news format. Now I depend on NPR/KJZZ to keep me informed on both the hidden stories no one else is exploring & the news everyone else is covering. It happens both with attention to detail & nuance but also with the added benefit of showing the very human faces affected by daily "news".
My volunteering at the station has brought me into closer contact with the people who are the broadcasting voices, but also the vital people who work behind the scenes to make sure all the news & music continues to come to us on the airwaves. Thanks to the fund raisers, the marketing folks, the equipment technicians, the computer experts, the managers and the guys who climb the radio towers --- all of you make this terrific station such an important asset to the community (& to me!)
My support (both in time & money) for KJZZ & KBACH are based on the firm belief that non-commercial radio is essential to having a community of informed & balanced citizens. (We all need something to keep us sane in today's stressful world !!)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

KJZZ is an outstanding public radio station. We listen every day and feel very well informed about the news that is important to know. The coverage is thorough and balanced.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In today's corporate controlled media environment, NPR, and specifically KJZZ, stand alone in the radio environment. Their sole mission is performing the critical function of providing unbiased journalism; the life's blood of democracy.

Donor

Rating: 5

The first thing I do every morning is turn on NPR - before I even make my morning tea! The radio (yes, old school) stays on all day long while I'm working. I get news and features from our local station, national NPR and BCC that I can't get anywhere else. One thing I especially love: In the rush of getting everyone out the door for school, I have noticed my two kids pausing to listen to the news of the day. The stories prompt thoughtful questions and help inform them on a range of issues. Thanks NPR!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wherever they are now, Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Handel, Debussy, Vivaldi, Stravinsky, Ravel, Liszt, Mahler AND Martines, Price, Maconchy, Price, Weir, Clark and Schumann also love to listen to KJZZ. They all 'composed' the fabulous foundation for this radio station and that is why it is a joy to support!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the programs on this station, and the local coverage is exceptional! Very insightful and in depth.

Donor

Rating: 5

I think that everyone who has posted a review here in this blog in respect of 'Friends of Public Radio Arizona' has covered all the wonderful reasons that we continue to support KJZZ & KBAQ (KBACH). We are so fortunate to have both FM stations, and we are spoiled for choice throughout the day, everyday. All that I can add here is that if KJZZ & KBAQ doesn't turn you on, contact me and I'll provide batteries, free of charge.

Roberta Auron H.

Donor

Rating: 5

I enjoy listening to classical music. I find it calming when I am driving, which in Phoenix, can be a stressful event.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love both Classical and Jazz, as well as other music. KBAQ delights me constantly through the day. In the evenings I like to listen to KJZZ Jazz, especially on my drive back home from RCIA. Often I'll leave the Jazz station on and when I return to the Car I listen to the radio talk shows. I love the way these 2 stations complement each other and offer a great selection to the listening audience. The top 100 voting from both add a broader sense of the listening audience's tastes. I miss them when I'm traveling.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My go to news information site every day. I love the in depth news without all the fluff. Complete national and international news coverage plus timely local coverage of news and events. Easy to get hooked on for all the information one needs.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learn so much from KJZZ! The range of topics is amazing and includes areas I wouldn't think of learning about. I recently enjoyed the book review about Edison, Westinghouse and Tesla and the invention of the lightbulb. Extremely interesting! I was horrified to learn about the racist attitudes that shaped our interstate highway design. Would not have know about that without KJZZ. I could go on and on. KJZZ feeds my brain.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

KJZZ provides the perfect combination of fact based national news and informative, helpful local news.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

KJZZ has stood by me as I lost a job, regained one, had a divorce, remarried brilliantly, had children, then had teenagers, and then had children again Through it all, a calm, steadying voice of classical music, objective news, and solace sustained my sanity. Better than drugs, cheaper than psychotherapy.

What more could one ask of a non-profit!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered KJZZ when I moved to AZ and needed intelligent news while commuting. Then my listening expanded beyond my commute to weekends and some evenings. I am a fan of jazz music so enjoy the music programming in the evenings. Mostly though I love the variety of information KJZZ brings to me. It is so pleasant to listen to thoughtful conversations without screeching commercials or screeching hosts!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Just can't imagine life without public radio. In Arizona since 1977 it was KONC to become KBAQ. Blessed are those who endured the struggles along the way. We are so fortunate! And then I found KJZZ. What a way to wake up and, if not at work, the fabulous Diane Rehm show. Loved her On My Own. Thank you for keeping this old grandma current!

Satish A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got acquainted with National Public Radio (NPR) during the first few months of my residence in our country. I came from India after getting enrolled in a Masters program at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. My uncle and aunt were kind enough to shelter me in their home. Without a vehicle of my own, during the first few months, I was totally dependent on my uncle for getting to and from school. His vehicle was almost always tuned to the local NPR affiliate. I was hooked.

Ever since then, I have a been an avid listener of public radio. Even though I thoroughly enjoy and listen to other radio stations, public radio occupies the majority of my radio listening time. The quality programming on public radio beats other radio stations hands down. The breadth of programming, from the hilarious "Car Talk," to the studious "Diane Rehm Show," the informative "News Hours," the encompassing "All Things Considered," the biographical "Fresh Air," and the soothing "Classical Music," is unparalleled in radio broadcasting. The programming at times seems to lean on liberal side of things, I guess this can be improved on.

I currently reside in Chandler, Arizona. KBAQ - 91.5 FM and KBAQ - 89.5 FM, are my near constant companions while driving around. I have made some minor donations recently - suitable to my financial standing, to benefit these stations and Spot 127.

We as a nation, are in dire need of next-gen journalists who can provide top-notch, unbiased reporting. Spot 127 is a great stepping stone for youth in this direction.

It is essential that public radio continues to sustain and thrive. And "Friends Of Public Radio Arizona," plays a crucial role in this endeavor.

Sincerely,

Satish Reddy Arravalli

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My car is always tuned to KJZZ. Just driving around I learn so much!! KJZZ is one of the few places one can still find balanced reporting, I can count on them to be seeking out all sides of a story. Their human interest stories, creative radio lab stories, news analysis, Diane Rheam show.. all are so wonderful! I don't read a newspaper or watch news on tv, yet I find I know what people are talking about and have an educated opinion to offer. I am so happy to support this station!!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Listening to KBAQ when driving to work relaxes me and puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day. Listening when driving home after work relaxes me and set me up for a more restful evening.

1 Linda346

Donor

Rating: 4

KJZZ is my special cup of morning coffee. It gets me up and going without the caffeine so I face each day as a well-informed member of my home state. This is especially important since formal education here in AZ is, in general, very poor.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

KBAQ is a treasure! For the classical music lover, high quality classical programming has been disappearing faster than the polar ice caps. In my 60 years as a classical music lover, stations either disappeared or their quality went right down the drain, and I experienced that in Philadelphia, Ann Arbor, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. I now have ~600 CD's and 300 vinyls worth over $10,000 that I needed to purchase to satisfy my need for classical music when my local classical radio station either closed, switched to rock or got bought out and the programming went to hell. KBAQ is an oasis in the desert here. Sterling Beeaff has brought the most wonderful programming to Phoenix for over 20 years. There is everything here, from the Renaissance to the 21st century, 24 hours per day, with well informed commentary added by the superb staff. Even the sound quality is better than I ever experienced in other classical stations, and the geographical coverage is phenomenal-reception is crystal-clear in my car anywhere I go in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and even when I am well out of town. Beyond music, the web site they run is a focal point for all of the arts in Phoenix. So, I would give KBAQ 10 stars if I could.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We moved to Phoenix about 10 years ago from the northeast. As we drove, shopped, repaired, cleaned, painted, and simply rested KJZZ and KBACH were our constant and reassuring companions. Intelligent discussion, informed analysis, wonderful music and unabashed laughter were available at the push of a button. We subscribed, we donated, we shopped and we spread the word, but never could we equal what we received from AZ public radio. Having two public radio stations should be recognized as a rare and valuable treasure.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

How often I find myself bringing something I heard on KJZZ into a conversation or thinking more deeply about an issue because of something I heard on the news or in an interesting story. KJZZ's outstanding content sometimes makes it difficult for me to get out of my car or turn to an activity that precludes radio listening. In an era of shrill, biased reporting and uncivil behavior, I am drawn more and more to KJZZ and NPR's informative, balanced and entertaining offerings every day of the week.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Without classical music I would probably go a little crazy. There are some kinds of music that can make up for a little of the loss (Show Tunes, 20's, 30's and 40's music) but the radio is not going to provide much of that. You can get these large platters (or other media) of music that play the same thing over and over on TV or on the internet) but soon that will drive you crazy with repetition. KBAQ, our classical public radio station keeps me sane. I can listen (mainly in the car and who knows how much time we spend in the car) while I'm driving and be a calm driver. And it's great I can go anywhere and keep in touch with my life via the internet. I lived where they played the same 400 great classical music over and over and was making me start to not like some music. Also they seldom played the movement together and that made the music seem unfinished. On KBAQ you have live people, a vast mixture of music and you can be surprised sometime. Please keep our public radio, alive, well and lively.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife, Marie, and I think KJZZ and KBACH are great. Thank you for adding a positive dimension to our lives, every day.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

MY WIFE AND I BOTH LOVE CLASSICAL MUSIC, BUT APPARENTLY NOT AS MUCH AS OUR CATS- MOE AND BURBANK. THE BOY'S LOVE THE MOSTLY COMMERCIAL FREE MUSIC WHEN WE ARE AT WORK THAT THEY BOTH SEND TITHINGS. UNFORTUNATELY, THEY DO NOT HAVE CREDIT SO WE CO-SIGN FOR THEM. OUR BOYS ARE YOUNG AND PROMISE TO KEEP GIVING. THANK YOU K.

1 Victoria74

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been listening to KBAQ for over 20 years. My daughters have listened as well since they were toddlers. My parents brought me up to appreciate good music and that is what KBAQ brings into my life everyday. I am an avid listener and will continue to be for many years to come. Classical music does wonders for the body and soul. I am a cancer survivor and I made sure that is was on more than ever during that difficult time to make sure it helped me to stay focused on being positive and calm. I LOVE KBAQ

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I rely on this local station to bring me fair unbiased international reporting, local interest stories, keep me up to date on things happening around AZ and entertaining programming. I am always learning and stay informed. Thx KJZZ!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Another newspaper in Arizona closed this week. Thank goodness we have Public Radio (KJZZ and KBAQ locally) to give us intelligent and balanced news and information. Most people do not know that 90% of public radio's support comes from public donations. Friends of Public Radio AZ works to keep this news source available and thriving for all Arizonans.