Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fundraising Mystery

It's public radio pledge drive season and it appears to be going quite well for most stations across the country.

We know a lot about why listeners contribute to public radio, why the give when they do, and why the give certain gift amounts.

One of the great mysteries that remains, however, is why some stations get lots of contributions while offering few or no premiums while others can't meet their goals without selling a laundry list of mugs, t-shirts, gift certificates, and other stuff.

Is it that well-educated, societally-conscious listeners in some cities need more inducement than similar listeners in other cities? Is so, why would that be? Do they value the station less than their peers in other cities? Or is the difference on the station side of the microphone?

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Web Giving, Interrupted

Here's a tip for public radio stations getting ready to do their fall fund drives.

When sending eblasts, it is important to put the phone number in body copy using a format that let's the user dial the number by clicking on it.


Because more people are reading emails on their smartphones, but not pledging through those devices. The opportunity to get people to act is as they are reading the email. You just can't count on them remembering to reopen the email at a later time.

Until giving via a mobile device is as easy and common as over a computer, you'll want to extend the recipient's giving options by making it easy to call in a contribution when the email is first opened.

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Monday, October 05, 2009

Update: Best of Public Radio and Fall Drives

The Fall fundraising season is underway and early results are promising. Stations we talk to are making higher goals on time or with a little extra fundraising. Direct mail revenue is up in several markets. Good luck to everyone who has yet to go.

The Best of Public Radio: The Lighter Side did well this summer. About two-dozen stations have used it so far. Others are using it as part of their Fall on-air drives.

As with the 2008 End-of-Year on-air special, some stations did better than others. We're looking at the results and lessons learned and refining our plans for the end of the year special.

The 2009 EOY special will again feature 3 hours of turnkey fundraising programming. The broadcast window will be larger and stations will have more flexibility in where the special can be scheduled. There will be an option for more local pitch time for stations wishing to put more elbow grease into their broadcasts. The 2008 special focused on web giving only. The 2009 special will accomodate web and telephone giving.

As with last year, the EOY on-air fundraising special is part of a package that includes direct mail, eblasts, and on-air spots. Look for a full announcement with more details in the next week. Materials will be available beginning October 23.

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