KPBS Capital Campagin

The Campaign for KPBS


Overall Progress 100%

of $85 million.  Thank You!



Building Goal

$50.1 Million of $50 Million


Sustainability Goal

$40 Million of $35 Million

Virtual Tour

Building on Trust: GM Past and Present
Building on Trust: GM Past and Present
Building on Trust: The Campaign for KPBS
Building on Trust: The Campaign for KPBS
Building on Trust: KPBS Flythrough
Building on Trust: KPBS Flythrough
Building on Trust: Building Construction Time-lapse
Building on Trust: Building Construction Time-lapse
Building on Trust: Building Name Unveiling
Building on Trust: Building Name Unveiling
previous arrow
next arrow
Building on Trust: GM Past and Present
Building on Trust: The Campaign for KPBS
Building on Trust: KPBS Flythrough
Building on Trust: Building Construction Time-lapse
Building on Trust: Building Name Unveiling

A More Flexible and Functional Future

The redesigned building encourages diverse skill sets to converge and create through innovative changes in these areas:

Community Engagement Center
KPBS Lobby
Community Engagement Center

A new 6,000 square foot community and events space where the public can come together to learn, meet new people, and hear new ideas. We’ve reimagined our home to be open and accessible so that individuals can connect with our journalists, our stories, and each other. The center is an integral part of our mission of interaction with the community through events, including screenings, guest lectures, and community conversations. It will expand our outreach and mission of becoming a teaching center focused on the next generation in a more innovative and modern space with technical maturity. Our vision for the future is creative energy and a passion for communication, education, and bringing people together.

Journalism & Editorial
KPBS Interior
Journalism and Editorial Center

A 6,000 square foot expansion to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs News Center provides a dedicated space for strategic growth of staff, content, and programming in a collaborative and multiplatform environment. The center features a modern place to run our news program, including production capabilities to broadcast live and do breaking news coverage. With plenty of space for growth and expansion, we are positioned to continue as a leader of San Diego news and public media.

KPBS Lobby
Innovation and Digital Research Lab

A new space for research and development to broaden our digital storytelling capabilities. The Innovation and Digital Research Lab allows our interactive team to stay ahead of the curve by using emerging technologies, such as the latest social media applications and other digital platforms.

KPBS Lobby
Radio Studio & Control Room

The renovated Radio Studio and Control Rooms will create, produce and broadcast KPBS-FM’s local news content and signature programs. This space serves multiple capabilities and will be updated with the latest technology to enhance KPBS’ ability to deliver radio programming and news. The improvements will ensure the health and sustainable future of this important community resource.

Podcast Suite
KPBS Lobby
Podcast Suite

KPBS' new Podcast Suite is a creative space and recording studio for audio storytellers of all backgrounds. This new addition will help KPBS foster community-created content that can be streamed from anywhere, expanding our reach both locally and nationally.

Grand Lobby

Our new grand lobby is an open space that is aligned with KPBS’ values and provides a sense of welcoming, community, and transparency. It features a grand staircase and comfortable lounge areas. Here guests can spend their free time, talk with friends, meet strangers, or enjoy a conversation with friendly KPBS staff. It is also the entrance to our Community Engagement Center, our unique space for events.

previous arrowprevious arrow
previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow
next arrownext arrow



Example Slide
KPBS for everyone

KPBS offers content for all ages - a place for millions in Greater San Diego to be informed, explore new cultures and get involved. Programming that opens your eyes and widens your world. Our goal is to enrich our programs and content across issues, regions, and even neighborhoods.

Example Slide
Girls playing computer game

All of us at KPBS believe investments in children help make our communities stronger. We will continue to do our part by reaching thousands of children and families every day with high-quality, educational and engaging content that meets our mission of providing trusted programs that inspire, educate and instill valuable life skills.

Example Slide
Two women discuss
Local journalism

KPBS will set a new standard for local journalism that strengthens and connects our community. Because strong local journalism is how we stay informed and connected on the issues that matter. That means unbiased election coverage we can trust. Deep reporting of critical issues. We show how global and local current affairs change our lives, and how San Diego changes the world. We tell you more than just what is happening—we tell you why. Content that starts conversations and helps bring communities together.

previous arrow
next arrow


KPBS has made great strides in its efforts to gain support from the community around this ambitious opportunity, and we continue to forge ahead in reaching the stations’ fundraising goals. We would be honored to have you and your family join us in this transformational project that will impact our communities for many generations to come. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of this campaign.

Together, we can build a new future for public media in San Diego.
Give today and join us as we embark on our next chapter.

Why Support the Campaign

Adela de la Torre

“KPBS is an invaluable asset and partner to the community, particularly at a time of increasing media specialization and diverse perspectives. San Diego State University is proud of KPBS and the unique and indispensable contribution it makes to keep the San Diego community connected, informed, and engaged.”

Adela de la Torre
President, San Diego State University

Darlene Shiley

“In the face of increasing audience demand, exploding technology platforms and a quest for the best talent and content, now is the time to invest in expanding the KPBS building and infrastructure. I am honored to be part of that change by supporting the Campaign for KPBS.”

Darlene V. Shiley

(Photo coutesy of Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Scott Horsley

“Local stations are the heart of the public media landscape. And having spent many wonderful years at KPBS, I know how strong that heart is. KPBS provides a wonderful service to audiences in San Diego and around the country. This campaign will provide the resources to make that service even better.”

Scott Horsley
NPR Chief Economics Correspondent

Andrew Viterbi

“To keep up with the changing technology in public media to reach a larger and diverse audience through multiple platforms, KPBS requires the innovative tools and equipment to make this happen. This campaign will allow them to maximize their reach and provide increased value to our community.”

Andrew J. Viterbi
Qualcomm co-founder and pioneer in the field of digital technology


“We have seen new places, watched history come to life, heard new perspectives and gotten a glimpse of the future...Better yet, KPBS’ community building on the ground mirrors the commitment to diversity and education reflected in its programming.”

Gayatri Prahalad & Deepa Prahalad
Producers Club Members

previous arrow
next arrow


What is the Campaign for KPBS?

This campaign represents the next step KPBS must take in order to have a strong and viable future by remodeling our outdated building and creating a sustainability fund to set KPBS up for success in the decades to come. Over the past 60 years, KPBS has been proud to serve our communities with quality news and educational programming. From children’s programming to the environment, from civics to arts and culture, we have been committed to enlightening and inspiring our audiences. Through it all, KPBS has remained a trusted source that many have come to rely on. We have the extraordinary opportunity to transform our facilities, expand our capabilities, and forge a sustainable path.

When did the Building on Trust capital campaign begin?

We began sharing ideas around the capital campaign in 2015 with key stakeholders. We spent the next few years undergoing a feasibility study and secured a lead matching gift which enabled the plans to become reality. We broke ground on the project in November 2020.

Why does KPBS need to raise $85 million?

The building remodel cost is about $50 million and the sustainability fund is another $35 million over the next several decades. The building project is adding more space for the community, technology, and staff. The sustainability fund will help support technology and programming into the future.

How is the project being funded?

The construction is being funded through KPBS’ Building on Trust Campaign. We began the capital campaign five years ago. We were able to raise nearly the entire campaign amount prior to the COVID-19 pandemic with support from major donors and planned giving donors. The capital campaign funds are completely separate from the operational fund.

Are operational funds being used in the building construction?

No. The capital campaign funds are completely separate from the operational fund. Every one of our major donors signed gift and pledge agreements restricting the funds to the construction project.

What changes are being made to the building?

The redesigned building will feature:

  • 6,000 square foot community space for special events and gatherings
  • 6,000 square foot expansion to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs News Center
  • New space for research and development of digital technologies
  • New facade
  • New lobby
  • Replace, repurpose and refresh our aging technology and equipment throughout the station

What is the benefit of the campaign to the Southern California community?

Better technology, opportunities for events that bring diverse communities together, news and content that serves our region.  KPBS is a cultural and educational resource. We bring people together through the stories we share. Through this innovative expansion, we will heighten our visibility and reach new, diverse and underserved audiences. Our programs will expand across issues and regions, connecting our local and national audiences.

What role does San Diego State University play in this campaign?

KPBS is licensed to the Board of Trustees of The California State University for San Diego State University (SDSU). SDSU is not involved in campaign fundraising. However, SDSU is instrumental in the building planning, design, and construction process since we adhere to campus standards. The construction project is managed by SDSU with KPBS management deeply involved every step of the way.

Have you planned for the increased operating cost involved with expansion and renovation?

KPBS recognizes that a larger more multi-faceted facility will require a revised cost structure, and we have factored this aspect of the project into our plan. Indeed, a new facility cannot be built incrementally. As a department of San Diego State University, many of the fixed costs associated with the building are covered by the University. This benefits our operating budget by relieving it of the financial costs that would normally fall to an independent business or non-profit.


KPBS follows a path of managed growth. We have closely watched our revenues and costs so that we are able to grow and financially sustain our mission and public service. The same discipline will be applied to manage our future growth. In this way, we will grow into our new facility sustainably.

What is the construction schedule?

Construction on KPBS’s building began in November 2020 and is scheduled to conclude by the end of December 2022.

How many square feet are being added and what will be the total square footage of the completed building?

This project will add approximately 6,500 square feet of new space, while repurposing existing space to better serve the community and staff. When the building is complete it will be 71,500 square feet.

What is the LEED rating for the new building?

The building is required by campus to be LEED Silver at a minimum. Additionally, SDSU is going to incorporate solar electric panels as the new roof and air handler placements are set.

How do you plan to secure the new building?

KPBS is working with a specific sub-contractor to advise the designers for building security. We have engaged this company to help us maximize our safety. In addition, we have included the SDSU Police in an advisory role. This will be an ongoing process that will change and improve as technology advances.

There are many worthy organizations that need my support and some with major campaigns of their own. Why should I make KPBS a philanthropic priority at this time?

Investing in KPBS is investing in quality entertainment and truthful news and information. We have seen the need, especially these last few years, for honest, unvarnished news and information to help our community make decisions for their health and safety. We have seen the need for entertainment that sweeps us away to other parts of the world. We have seen the need for the best educational children’s programming for our young minds who were at home during the pandemic. There are no other media organizations that deliver as consistent with the highest quality content. Period.

Now is the time to invest in KPBS – the Building on Trust Campaign ensures KPBS will continue to grow, innovate and serve our community for decades to come. We must upgrade our analog building, our aging technology and give our staff room to grow and create the content our community deserves. We have a 61-year history of growth and success behind us. Supporting KPBS now ensures we have many, many more.    

Why is it urgent to raise Programming and Technology funds in addition to the construction and equipment?

The full impact of the new KPBS Media Center will be realized only when KPBS can invest in new technology and new programming to better serve our audience. Our future depends on our ability to meet the challenges of an evolving media landscape that is increasingly multi-platform, participatory, and digital. Funds raised will allow KPBS to adapt to this new landscape and reach new audiences.

How is this campaign different than the Producers Club fundraising efforts or annual membership?

Annual gifts and Campaign gifts are both critical to the future of KPBS. Your annual gift goes to supporting the operational expenses to do what we do every day. The Campaign is a one-time additional gift that supports the future of KPBS. Consider it an investment in KPBS’ future capacity to ensure KPBS is around for future generations.

Who will you ask to support the Campaign?

KPBS leadership, San Diego State University leadership, the KPBS Campaign Planning Committee and Advisory Council approved the project and have committed to the success of this Campaign. KPBS will seek private support from individual donors, foundations, and corporations.

If I make a Campaign pledge, what are my payment options?

Many donors to the Campaign will be making “stretch” gifts of a magnitude greater than past giving to the station. We encourage donors to consider campaign pledges that would be paid over a period of years, and we welcome the opportunity to work with each donor on a customized pledge structure best suited to each situation.

Does my gift to the KPBS Campaign support NPR?

No. Campaign gifts will go directly to support the building project. KPBS pays annual dues to NPR each year out of our operating budget, which is separate from the building fund. If you are an annual supporter, that gift does help offset those costs and supports the work of NPR.

Can I make a planned gift?

Yes! Part of our overall campaign goal is building a sustainability fund of $35 million. Our service to the San Diego region can be part of your legacy with a planned gift. Planned gifts to KPBS are often through revocable living trusts, but they can also be through wills, retirement plans, beneficiary designations, charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), and charitable gift annuities (CGAs).  Planned gifts documented with KPBS during the Campaign will count towards our goal. When a planned gift matures in the future, it can be used to support the Programming and Technology Funds. For more information, please contact us at 

Can I make a tribute gift?

Yes! Memorial and tribute gifts are a powerful way to honor or remember your loved one or pay tribute to someone special in your life. A tribute gift is a perfect way to let someone know you hold him or her in the highest regard or to remember someone by helping change lives in his or her name. For more information, contact us at

How will my gift be recognized?

All gifts to the campaign will be recognized, with the donor’s permission. In addition, gifts of $25,000 or more will be eligible for specific naming opportunities available throughout the building. Gifts of $1960 and over will be recognized on a special donor display in our beautiful new lobby.

What if I prefer to give anonymously?

We honor your wishes, of course. KPBS willingly accepts anonymous gifts and protects the anonymity of any donor who requests them. Anonymous gifts are tax-deductible to the extent of the law and will be counted in the Campaign. We encourage you to consider that named gifts often inspire others to participate in the Campaign for KPBS.

How can I help?

We hope that you will embrace the vision of Building on Trust: The Campaign for KPBS and make a gift that is meaningful to you and your family. Most importantly, we seek broad participation and welcome a gift at whatever level is comfortable for you. Should you wish to volunteer on behalf of the Campaign for KPBS, please contact us at

Contact Us

For general inquires please email or contact a member of the campaign team using the information below.  Thank you for your interest in the future of KPBS and San Diego public media.

For more information, please contact:

Alex Kim
Associate General Manager for Development & Grants

Phone: (619) 594-7822


Alex Kim headshot

Jared Blakeley
Director of Major Gifts

Phone: (619) 594-0851


Jared Blakely headshot