KPBS San Diego

KPBS San Diego Relies on Data Management Services for Powerful Solution Provider


KPBS, the public broadcasting station based at San Diego State University, has been broadcasting educational and cultural programming on radio and television for nearly fifty years. They have almost 50,000 annual members, an even larger intermittent donor file, and are highly regarded within their community and by peer stations around the country. Until a few years ago, with increasing revenue goals and outdated software, their strong technical staff and marketers spent more time maintaining their data than actually using it. KPBS wanted to streamline their database processes to manage costs, concentrate on fundraising programs, build donor relationships, and devote more resources to serving the community.


In 2004, KPBS enlisted Data Management Services (DMS) to implement and host a modern database solution for the station. By moving their fundraising database to DMS to run query and production processes, KPBS tapped into an expanded range of data services that could support new as well as existing fundraising initiatives. And because DMS provided a fully hosted solution, KPBS could move forward without worrying about the reliability or security of their data.

Database conversion and a move to hosting seemed daunting at first, but the DMS team had rich experience meeting the challenges KPBS faced. In addition to bringing proven tools and professional skills, they brought personal commitment and passion to helping KPBS achieve success. Throughout the transition, the DMS team worked closely with the technical and fundraising staff at KPBS to convert the database to fit their needs. Although eager to improve their data management, KPBS managers were also nervous about the training and accountabilities that accompany new technologies.


KPBS now has more accurate information in a more powerful system to support their marketing initiatives and donor services. Manual tasks, such as running renewal mail files, acknowledgements, frequently used queries and reports, and premium label files, have been automated. Because their DMS team handles production tasks, KPBS staff have more time to build fundraising programs—such as their sustainer program, online member centre, and e-marketing—that had languished on the back burner. All their daily, weekly, and monthly reports ran automatically and were ready in the printer when they needed them – no staff intervention necessary.

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