Our fiscal year-end member drive is a great success. It’s very heartening to see listeners responding generously and sharing such kind comments about our work. It makes a huge difference for us as we read and hear your feedback.
I’m sometimes asked whether on-air member drives might be cut back as our base of membership grows. It’s an excellent question, but one for which no one seems to know the answer. Like you, we would love to cut back on the number of days we fundraise each year. We lose a significant number of listeners during our on-air fundraisers, given that there are other NPR stations in this market. Member drives are also very demanding on staff.
However, the great advantage of on-air member drives over direct mail or other forms of fundraising is that they enable us to talk directly to new listeners. It’s the only way we have of inviting them to join. Given that fact, I don’t think we’ll see on-air member drives go away in the foreseeable future.
As more and more listeners move toward listening online and away from listening via FM, that will also present interesting new challenges for raising money to operate KPCC. Several NPR-member stations are already experimenting with how to deal with fundraising on their online streams. It will be fun to see the results.