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WHQR Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020

WHQR Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020


Our Vision

WHQR believes in the power of public radio to help create

a stronger, more cohesive and connected community.

Our Mission

To provide news, music, entertainment, to encourage

artistic appreciation, and to engage our community

while promoting civil discourse.


The Friends of Public Radio, a nonprofit organization founded in 1984, established WHQR as a community licensed public radio station with both a news/information channel and a classical music channel.  Headquartered in historic downtown Wilmington, WHQR is a trusted source of news and entertainment providing diverse programming for the growing and thriving tri-county region in the state's southeastern corner, with additional coverage in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Since our last strategic plan was adopted in 2012, the station has achieved remarkable growth and success. We've successfully launched a second signal dedicated to classical music.  We've purchased our offices and studio space.  We've added locally produced programming like Coastline and Communique that strengthen our schedule and engage our local communities.  And we've recently completed a successful capital campaign raising more than $1.5 million dollars.

With an experienced and professional staff, and a dedicated and committed Board, we believe we are perfectly positioned to build on that success.  But doing so will mean successfully broadening our listener and member base, embracing new technology and new media, and finding new, sustainable sources of support and funding.

That is the challenge for our next chapter—focusing on these critical areas and building on our solid foundation—to insure our continued growth and success.

Strategic Goals




1.   Diversity/Inclusivity

Objective – To foster a welcoming environment in which diverse communities can engage in civil discourse and appreciate the information and cultural aspects of WHQR.

We will work to develop stronger connections with all of the diverse neighborhoods and communities that our two signals now reach.  As our vision suggests, WHQR is committed to helping create a more cohesive and connected community.  We will work to widen our focus and  embrace a broader range of community concerns and interests.

BY 2020, WHQR is committed to expanding its listening base, staff representation, Board of Directors, Community Advisory Board (CAB) and sponsorship base. We want to provide programming, news content and civil discourse that serve a broader spectrum of listeners and members.

Enabling Strategies

  • Encourage broader representation among community leaders on both the WHQR Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Board.
  • Develop content that gives visibility and a voice to a range of groups that comprise our diverse neighborhoods and communities.
  • Provide a delivery mechanism for local performances of music by various groups, such as community ensembles and choirs.

Action Steps

  • Conduct focus groups to gather listener perspectives and opinions about current and prospective services or ideas.
  • Design and conduct more in-depth listener surveys to gather insight about and further understanding into our members and listeners.
  • Develop new methods and modes to reach members and listeners.

2.   Technology

Objective – To evolve our technological infrastructure to better support both existing and new content delivery platforms

Technology is at the core of our ability to fulfill our mission and deliver on our strategic objectives—and the technology of what we do is changing rapidly.

WHQR now delivers news, music and additional content through radio frequencies, a smartphone app and high-definition content on the internet.  But as other forms of delivery such as podcasts continue to evolve, we'll need to develop new delivery methods to meet the changing needs of our listeners and communities.

 One of the major goals of the recently concluded Capital Campaign was to upgrade our existing technology while better positioning ourselves for the future.  Thanks to the support of the community, we now have the opportunity to do both. 

Enabling Strategies

  • Develop best practices/capabilities Inventory.
  • Develop Infrastructure and hardware/software requirements to implement capabilities.
  • Develop personnel requirements and training needs to meet the new capabilities.
  • Identify current capabilities for quick implementation of new ideas.

Action Steps

  • Identify a technology expert to conduct an assessment report in 2017.
  • Identify stations that are five years ahead to help benchmark our goals for 2020. 
  • Develop and implement a plan to address strengths and weaknesses identified in the assessment.
  • Address infrastructure issues at the station, based on the assessment,  including heating and ventilation, rack systems, reliable power, studio acoustics and space requirements

3.   Sustainability

Objective – To promote growth and insure the longevity of WHQR through good stewardship of all available resources

We are grateful to all the members, day sponsors, Leadership Circle patrons, underwriters and capital campaign donors who have entrusted us with the means to be a sustainable organization.  We do not take that support for granted.  We understand that future support will be determined by our efforts to bring quality news, music, entertainment and civil discourse into our communities...and by our continued good stewardship of the generous support we now enjoy.

Our goal for 2020 is to identify new potential sources of support, increase the yield from our current efforts, while remaining vigilant about potential threats to funding streams.  We will strive to build upon our currently strong financial foundation through best practices and sound financial management. We will always be mindful of the trust placed in us by our members.

Enabling Strategies

  • Add 10% in new revenue sources using the 2017/2018 budget as the baseline. 
  • Formalize and clarify the board giving program.  Establish a culture of philanthropy.
  • Maintain financial ratios
  • Maintain a current ratio greater than or equal to 4:1
  • InsureTotal Assets to Total Liabilities ratio of greater than or equal to 2:1
  • Support a replacement program for major pieces of equipment, in cooperation with Technology Committee

Action Steps

  • Divide Development Committee divided into two subcommittees; a) major gifts, and b) events).
  • Expand the Sustainers base from 30% to 50% within our membership.
  • Expand the Legacy Society.
  • Identify and promote levels of donations in the Leadership Circle.
  • Investigate grant support and endowment contributions. 
  • Explore underwriting in Myrtle Beach.
  • Explore new options for development/fundraising throughout the year.  


In 1984, WHQR went on the air with the sound of a baby crying.  In the years since, there have been many occasions for laughter...and a few occasions for tears.

But with generous support over the years from so many people—contributing members, dedicated staff and board members, underwriters—WHQR is now a strong and clear voice in the growing and thriving tri-county area of southeastern North Carolina. 

Our goal—are commitment—is to continue to make our community and all of our supporters  proud of our progress...and proud of everything we do.

As Lewis Carroll wrote, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  But we do know where we're going...and we have a roadmap to get there. 

We believe our 2017 Strategic Plan, with its focus on Diversity/Inclusivity, Technology and Sustainability, will guide us to our next chapter...and help us fulfill both our vision and our mission.