Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve raised $7 million, reached an agreement with PLU and have Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval, what’s next?

Now that we have raised the money to purchase the station, reached an agreement with PLU and have received approval from the FCC, we will move forward with the closing of the sale. We expect to close on August 31, 2016. To see the latest announcement of the FCC approval go here.

What happens if Friends of 88.5 FM is approved by the FCC to take over operations of the station?

The station will become an independent, community-owned, public radio station with oversight from its own governing board. KPLU’s award-winning, independent news department will remain intact, allowing for greater, in-depth local news coverage in the Puget Sound region. In addition, NPR programming will continue with shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Fresh Air. The award winning jazz department will also remain intact, including Midday and Evening Jazz, The Art of Jazz, Jazz Northwest and All Blues. The station will also continue its support of jazz education through local high schools and colleges.


What are the general terms of the agreement between Friends of 88.5 FM and Pacific Lutheran University?

Purchase Price: The price to purchase KPLU is $8 million: $7 million in cash plus $1 million of in-kind underwriting consideration for PLU over 10 years.

Staff: Friends of 88.5 FM will retain all KPLU staff.

Building and Equipment: Friends of 88.5 FM will use broadcast and office space in the Martin J. Neeb Center on the PLU campus and KPLU’s broadcast equipment in Seattle and Tacoma, at no cost, through June, 2019.

Click here to read the full asset purchase agreement.

Even though the Save KPLU campaign is over, can I still help?

Yes! You can help with the Friends of 88.5 FM operational budget, which will be used to run an independent 88.5. You can donate now by going to this donate page. Thanks for your support! If you would like to set up a monthly gift to Friends of 88.5 FM, please do so here.

If you would like to mail a check, make it out to SAVE KPLU and send it to:

2601 4th Ave, Suite #150
Seattle, WA 98121

Checks made out to “KPLU” are not valid for the Save KPLU campaign. Donations made to “KPLU” will go the existing organization, owned by Pacific Lutheran University, and will go toward the station’s operating expenses until ownership is transferred.


Does my regular membership donation to KPLU go toward Friends of 88.5 FM?

No. “Save KPLU” is run by a separate organization, Friends of 88.5 FM, so we are unable to take funds from the existing KPLU organization, owned by Pacific Lutheran University.

Update your membership here.

Can you sustain yourself as an independent station?

Yes. KPLU has been a largely self-sustaining unit of Pacific Lutheran University for many years. Nearly all of the station’s revenue comes from community support, state and federal grants and business underwriting. Once the assignment of the license is complete, all of Friends’ revenue streams will be used for the new organization. These revenues will continue to come from community support, state and federal grants and business underwriting.

You can see a breakdown of our projected budgets by clicking here.

And you can download KPLU’s latest audit by clicking here.


Does KPLU have the funds to continue operating until the license is transferred? How much money does friends of 88-5 FM need to take over operations of the station?

Ongoing KPLU station donor contributions, business underwriting, and grants will support the operations of the station while the FCC reviews the application for assignment of the license.

Friends of 88.5 FM continues to accept donations to build up the operational funds it will need once the FCC process is complete. To learn more about Friends of 88.5 FM’s needs initially and beyond, click here.

What is Friends of 88.5 FM?

The 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, Friends of 88.5 FM, is the entity responsible for all governance including fiscal oversight, FCC compliance and policy decisions. The Board of Directors includes Stephen Tan (Chair), Scott Ahlsmith, Joey Cohn, Claire Grace, Gayle McIntosh, Keith Seinfeld, Marilyn Strickland, John Teutsch and David Veterane. More information about each of the directors is available here. Friends of 88.5 FM will become the entity that governs the station after the purchase of the license.


Are you going to have a fall fundraising campaign?

Yes. Once Friends of 88.5 FM has reached an agreement with PLU, and the FCC has approved a license transfer, the new 88.5 will have a fall fund drive. We expect that to happen in late September/Early October.


Why did you choose KNKX?

We asked listeners to submit their ideas to help us decide which call letters best embody the amazing success of our campaign, the future programs of the station and the spirit of our new community-owned station. Over 2,000 people submitted their ideas. We broke it down to our top 5, met with our board, KPLU listeners and staff, as well as a local marketing firm, and decided on KNKX. It’s stands for “Connects.” The community feels connected to us and we to them.

“88.5 KNKX connects you to jazz, blues and NPR news.”

Beyond the criteria above we could only choose call letters that were not already taken elsewhere in the country and had to consider how the new call letters would work from a design, audio and larger brand perspective. In the end, the winning call letters were submitted by a listener who wants to remain anonymous. We thank the community for their incredible participation in helping us choose our new call letters and look forward to providing more opportunities for participation in the future.


Why did you establish a separate site for “Save KPLU”?

On May 13, 2016, Pacific Lutheran University informed Friends of 88.5 FM that they were concerned listeners may be confused over the relationship between KPLU and the Save KPLU campaign. In order to avoid confusion, Friends of 88.5 FM has established a separate website.

Read more in a joint statement from Friends of 88.5 FM and Pacific Lutheran University.


What is a community license exactly?

A community-licensed station is one owned and operated by a nonprofit organization that represents the interests of the listening community. Its Board of Directors is composed of members of that community who volunteer their time and specialized skills to ensure that the needs and goals of the station are met. The station’s Community Advisory Council is a separate entity, and will remain intact. Together, these two groups are the primary way the community has influence on the operations and direction of the station. About one-third of all public radio stations in the U.S. operate as community-owned licensees, most notably: WBEZ in Chicago, WNYC in New York,KQED in San Francisco and KERA in Dallas.


Is my gift deductible for Federal income tax purposes?

Yes. The IRS has recognized Friends of 88-5 FM as a 501(C)(3) exempt organization. Your gift will be deductible for Federal income tax purposes, subject to general limitations set forth in the tax code and regulations applicable to gifts to such organizations. The tax ID # of Friends of 88-5 FM is 81-1095651. You can read the 501(C)(3) here.


Does my Save KPLU donation qualify for my employer’s matching gift program?

Yes, because Friends of 88-5 FM is a 501(c)(3) is a tax-exempt organization, gifts to Save KPLU will qualify for matching funds from most employer giving programs. To find out more about the specific matching gift requirements of your employer, please contact your Human Resources department.

Friends of 88-5 FM qualified for matching gift programs with major employers in the Puget Sound region, including Microsoft, Boeing, and others. If Friends of 88-5 is not listed with your company as a potential recipient of matching gifts, please contact us at or call 800-677-5758. Tell us the name of your employer, and we will confirm steps have already been taken or take the steps necessary to register as a valid recipient.


What if I want to donate shares of stock to Friends of 88-5 FM?

We accept gifts of publicly traded shares. Such shares will be held by our broker until the close of the sale. While the shares are held by our broker, a donor cannot direct that they be sold or otherwise deal with them in any manner. The shares may rise or fall in value.

For Federal income tax purposes, the amount that is deductible as a charitable contribution is the value of the shares at the time they are no longer subject to being returned to the donor, not their value at the time they are transferred to Friends of 88.5 FM. The deductibility of the gift is subject to general limitations set forth in the tax code and regulations applicable to gifts to 501(c)(3) exemption organizations.

If you would like to make a gift of stock to the Friends of 88.5 FM Save KPLU campaign please contact Mary Dunaway at, or 253-535-7266 for account information.


I have included KPLU in my will or other estate gifts, do I need to do anything?

Yes, if you have KPLU in your estate plans, through a bequest or other vehicle, you will need to update the beneficiary information.

Now that Friends of 88.5 FM has successfully negotiated an asset purchase agreement with Pacific Lutheran University we will file for an assignment of the license with the Federal Communications Commission. Once that is granted we will transition the ownership and operation of KPLU to Friends of 88.5 FM. If you have KPLU as a stated beneficiary in your estate plans at that time, we will ask you to change the beneficiary information from KPLU to Friends of 88-5 FM Tax ID: 81-1095651.


Can I donate a vehicle?

Friends of 88.5 FM can accept donations of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. In the unlikely event that Friends of 88-5 is unable to negotiate a deal to buy the license, proceeds of your vehicle donation will be refunded, minus processing and sale costs.

Make your vehicle donation here


I have other questions/comments!

If you have additional questions or comments, or other ideas about how to help out on the campaign, please contact us at or 1-800-677-5758 during regular business hours.