Give Listeners the Right Reasons and They Will Give
The 1-Day drive was pioneered by WKSG in Binghamton, NY and refined by KBBI in Homer, Alaska. It has succeeded in other markets as well, most recently at WOUB in Athens, Ohio.
Stations achieve this success without using sweepstakes, challenge grants, or premiums.
Even in a down economy.
The point here isn't that every station should hold a 1-Day Pledge Drive, though more would benefit from doing so.
The point is that listeners will give money to a station without all the trappings of traditional pledge drives. They do because they want, and need, the programming. Properly motivated, they will give quickly and generously. Public radio, as an industry, needs to get better at motivating them.