Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Why? Radio needs to raise $5000

Dear Why? Radio listener:

I will be blunt. Why? Radio needs to raise $5000 and we need your help to do it.

At this point, we exist entirely on listener donations and $5000 is the minimum amount we need for one year of the show. There are fewer places to turn than there were last year. Budget cuts are likely to cause layoffs at the University of North Dakota and small humanities grants are few and far between. Ironically, if we wanted $600,000 from the National Endowment of the Humanities, they’d have grants we could apply for, but they don’t offer anything for just the $5,000 we need to survive. We’re just too cost-effective. (We’re working on a $600,000 proposal, but we’re not holding our breath.)

In the end, all there is is you.

You can donate here:

For eight seasons, Why? Radio has brought you interviews with some of the most important living thinkers and made them available for your questions. All of our guests have donated their time; none of them have asked us for a single cent.

We have brought you:

Nobel Laureate and Humanities Medal Award winner Amartya Sen.

Humanities Medal Award winners Kwame Anthony Appiah and Clay Jenkinson.

Macarthur Fellow Rebecca Goldstein (who just won her own Humanities Medal and who will be our guest again, in March).

Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner and Taylor Branch.

National Book Critic’s Circle Award winner, poet Mary Jo Bang.

Bestselling authors Daniel Goldhagen, Ross King, Stephen Pinker, and James Loewen.

And, of course, some of the world’s top philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Carol Gilligan, Virginia Held, Arthur Danto, Claudia Card, Charles Taylor, Amelie Rorty, and Michael Walzer.

We’ve had dancers, sculptors, food historians, musicians, and younger guests talking about what it’s like to grow up in North Dakota or in China. And we have found philosophy in all of it!

The list goes on and you can access our complete archives at for free at:

Our show is always free.

So, please donate:

Who listens to us?

It’s hard to be exact because we don’t have the money to do real demographic research. But, we estimate approximately 30,000 listeners, 12,000 of whom tune in to the radio broadcast and the rest of whom listen online. We have audience members in every county of North Dakota, every state in the USA, and over 100 countries in the world.

One quarter of our almost 6,000 Facebook fans are high-school students, a diverse audience in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and religion. We are experimenting with video simulcasting because the internet is essential for reaching a younger audience. Generally, high school and college students don’t own radios!

Why? Radio has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education:

And in Humanities Magazine, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities:

So, please donate:

And, please also connect us with some of your friends, both as listeners and as donors. We don’t have enough money to advertise. We exist almost entirely on word of mouth.

By the way, we have gifts!

For gifts of $25 or more, donors will receive the world jazz CD Lua e Sol from Mark Weinstein (while supplies last). This is the album that contains all of the wonderful music that makes up the show¹s soundtrack.

For gifts of $100 or more, donors will receive a handful of his CDs, remarkable music from Brazil, Cuba, and some straight-ahead jazz. You can visit Mark¹s website and listen to his other music at

Donations of $250 or more will get the CD¹s and you¹ll be named on the air as an episode¹s sponsor. You¹ll be a role-model for all of our listeners.

Donations of $1,000 or more,…well, let’s have a conversation about what we can do for you other than shout your name from the rooftops, the very, very cold North Dakota rooftops.

All donations are tax deductible.

So, please donate:

Because really, if you won¹t support philosophy, who will?

Thank you in advance. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. And thank you for listening to Why? Radio. It is an honor to do philosophy with you.

Jack Russell Weinstein
Host of Why? Philosophical Discussions About Everyday Life
Director, Institute for Philosophy in Public Life
Professor of Philosophy, University of North Dakota.

Questions? write me at:

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