Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Voting and Public Radio Giving

Yesterday's voter turnout represents a 10% to 12% increase in voters over the record set in 2004, depending on which numbers are used.

Yet the AP reports that turnout was down in some states such as Wyoming and South Dakota and possibly among Republicans in general. The reason given -- they were discouraged.

It's a good reminder that human nature is the most powerful force guiding human action. People who believed that the outcome of this election affected them personally and that their individual action could make a difference turned out to vote.

It works that way in public radio too. People who believe public radio is personally important and that their individual contribution makes a difference contribute.

It's no wonder then that many NPR News stations reported record numbers of new donors during their fall membership drives. Public radio's coverage of the election and the economy has been exceptional. It made a difference in listeners' lives.

The next time you're in a conversation about why a minority of listeners give or how to get more donors for your station, think back to this Election Day.

It's not the tote bag, coffee mug, sweepstakes prize, or challenge grant that converts a listener to a giver. It's whether or not that listener believes his or her individual action makes a positive difference. It's basic human nature.

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