iHeartMedia and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have partnered for more than 30 years, together generating more than $80 million in the past decade to treat St. Jude patients by relying on the power of radio and the generosity of local listeners. And recently iHeartMedia helped raise $3.8 million for St. Jude during the company’s annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon on Feb. 25-26 – an event supported by 38 iHeartMedia cities and The Bobby Bones Show, the nationally syndicated award-winning country morning show, in 22 of the participating markets.
The iHeartMedia radiothon program capitalizes on radio’s unique role as a community medium to drive donations, and typically lasts between one and two days, during which time stations press pause on their day-to-day programing to dedicate all attention and resources to the St. Jude mission of finding cures and saving children. The program uses the power of storytelling to spotlight a number of children and their families that have been treated at the hospital. Radio listeners who hear their stories often pledge to support St. Jude with a donation of $20 per month.
In 2015, 56 iHeartMedia radio stations covering country, gospel and urban genres, produced annual radiothons – Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® and Radio Cares for St Jude Kids® – and raised $8.8 million for the kids of St. Jude. Country Cares for St. Jude Kids has been noted as one of the most successful radio fundraising programs in America. As a collective industry, more than 300 radio stations across all formats have helped raise more than $600 million for the lifesaving work at St. Jude since the program’s inception, and the St. Jude family of partner stations continues to expand.
On-air personalities have proven to be a driving force behind some of the most successful radio campaigns, including Country Cares for St. Jude Kids. According to the 2014 iHeartMedia Power of Personality Study, 7 in 10 listeners agree on-air personalities really care about their listening audience, and consumers feel DJ’s are two times more likely than other media personalities to care about their communities. Six in 10 listeners recognize and appreciate radio personalities for discussing things that are relevant and important to them.
Throughout the year, The Bobby Bones Show supports additional St. Jude programs, and many iHeartMedia stations around the country also fundraise for the hospital on different dates. On-air personality Bobby Bones raised more than $1 million for St. Jude with a series of fundraising events last year, capped with the star-studded “Million Dollar Jam” concert in December at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
“St. Jude is country music’s charity of choice,” said Bones. “I’ve been there. I know the money our fans donate is put to good use.”
Funds raised through programs like this help ensure St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
“iHeartMedia supports the lifesaving work of St. Jude by utilizing the company’s broad reach to raise funds and public support so that its work can continue,” said Jessica King, Director of Community Engagement at iHeartMedia. “Our annual radiothon program proves the power of radio to inspire, educate and motivate listeners to action. We use our platform and personalities to present stories of incredible families who are coping with severe illness and have found a level of relief at St. Jude. ”
“We are incredibly humbled by the support of the iHeartMedia network as well as the generous listeners who donate during our radiothons,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The time and talent devoted each year to sharing our mission and raising funds are critically important in helping St. Jude doctors and scientists find cures and save the lives of children in every community who are battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”