Shorter member drive pays off

As both a listener and host, I was very happy to see our five-day on air member drive succeed in raising as much money as our typical ten-day drive.  It was a risky move by our fundraising department, but one that’s established a new model for how we can reduce the time of drives.

One of the biggest problems we face from long fundraisers is the loss of listeners.  Like all public radio stations, we take a ratings hit when we’re asking for money.  That’s magnified in a market like Southern California, where there’s a second station offering NPR programming.

The greatest value in on air fundraising is connecting with newer listeners, and those who’ve never given before.  Once a listener becomes a member, he/she typically renews without need for an on air fundraiser.  That’s why I don’t foresee a time when we’d eliminate on air drives.  However, I’ll take shorter any day!

Thank you very much for supporting our work.  It’s particularly meaningful to see the large show of support for “AirTalk” leading up to our 27th anniversary.  It’s hard for me to believe we’ve been airing daily since 1985.  Some of you weren’t even born when our show started.  Others of you have been with us for many years. 

Regardless, I feel like you’re family and appreciate the many ways you support our efforts to cover the most interesting and important issues of the day without the agenda of influencing your conclusions.  It’s the kind of coverage I like to hear, and I’m glad it works for you.

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