Tuesday, June 05, 2007

1-Day Fund Drives

A few weeks ago, I posted that we'd put some resources on-line for stations thinking about trying a 1-Day fundraising drive. The 1-Day Drive was pioneered by Carol Young at WSKG in Binghamton, NY. It was replicated in places such as Scranton, Erie, and Homer, Alaska.

A free 1-Day Drive resource kit is now available at radiosutton.com. It's free. No registration is required. Parts of the kit, including sample audio promos, are on-line. Be sure to download the PDF as it includes sample direct mail, promos, scripts, and pledge break planning materials.

Sonja Lee, former Program Director at KBBI in Homer, Alaska helped produce several successful 1-Day drives and helped put this kit together. She is available to help stations who want to reduce their drives to just one day of traditional on-air fundraising. We think this will work best for stations with goals of up to $100,000 per drive.

Many thanks to Carol Young at WSKG and Jonathan Coke at KBBI for providing materials and advice on creating the 1-Day Drive kit.

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Anonymous Aaron said...

John, you mentioned that KBBI raised $82000 via a 1-Day Fundraiser, which is cool. But it got me wondering...for some bigger stations, $750k to $1mil is the goal for each fundraiser. Is it still possible to raise that much cash via a 1-Day Fundraiser, or is there a theoretical maximum with this approach.

Also, I've heard a lot about how many stations draw a large, and often different, audience with some of their weekend programming vs. their weekday programming. Is there an simple way to reach both audiences while still staying true to the 1-Day Fundraiser system? Or is it just one of those things you have make a choice about.

10:53 AM  
Blogger RadioSutton said...

The risk is probably greater. The stations looking with bigger pledge goals probably have fewer financial options available to cover a missed goal.

The practical limitation would be on a station's ability to handle the call volume. That can be addressed by using a large in-bound call service and encouraging more web pledges.

A station with a $500,000 on-air goal would have to take up to 5,000 pledges in an 18 hour day. If 20% of pledges, 1,000, come via the web, then 4,000 must come in over the phone. That's 222 per hour, but some hours have to be much better than average, probably around 600 calls. If each operator can take 12 calls per hour, then the station needs at least 50 phones at one time. Double the need for a station trying to raise $1,000,000.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan Coke said...

Hi John, and Aaron,

Jonathan Coke here.

I'll step up and correct an error. It must be WSKG that raised the $82,000 in a single drive. I'm not sure. Carol Young can speak to that. However, our annual membership for this fiscal year is about that. Maybe that's the reference. And we did it with two one-day drives.

But that wasn't the question.

At KBBI, Sonja and I did have to address the issue of call volume. We had three phone lines, so we had to look at a maximum number of calls during peak calling times. However, we did get a lot of walk-ins. We are in a visible downtown location, so that is to our advantage. So, yes, there probably is a limit for your station.

As far as the weekend listeners. It might be best to analyze your listeners. If your average time spent listening is high, as would be expected at a public radio station, you might have lots of crossover. Another consideration might be that your listeners behave differently depending on whether it is a weekday or a weekend-day.

Part of the plan is to pre-promote your drive anyway. Hit your weekends hard in advance if you are concerned about missing weekend listeners.

Again, I'll stress a point. Quiz your supporters. Ask them in a casual setting about the idea. Let them tell you what they think. Ask, "If we tried to hold our membership drive in one day instead of X days, would you still make a pledge?" It was the responses we got that reassured us that we could do it. We heard two answers... "yes!" and "Do you really think you can do it?" Nobody said no.

Your audience probably knows the answer better than your staff. Our general manager, Dave Anderson, was highly doubtful and we practically had to tie him to the chair while we addressed his objections with a reasonable (if not passionate) response.

Just about everything in a one-day drive starts to defy conventional wisdom. However, under careful scrutiny you'll find that it fits very well with listener's core values. We give lots of lip service to core values, but I believe it can be hard for a station's internal culture to embrace them.

So, a thrice time, go ask your listeners if you have questions about whether or not it will work. Asking them only whips up the excitement.

Jonathan Coke - Development Director - KBBI 890 AM - Homer, Alaska

12:09 PM  

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