Update for 3/18/15: We did it! No, YOU did it! We met our goal of $350,000 on Tuesday, March 17, seven hours before the deadline. The drive was supposed to start today, but instead you’re hearing regularly scheduled programming. Thank you for making this experiment in less-disruptive fundraising an incredible success!
We'd love to know what our listeners thought of this campaign. Please take our survey and let us know!
So, when is a pledge drive not a pledge drive?
Some listeners have asked us this question over the course of the campaign – if we’re still asking for your support on the air, how is that different than a regular pledge drive?
First, a bit of background: we still need to raise a certain amount of money each year to stay on the air and keep the programming coming - there's no getting around that. And a direct appeal over the radio is the most cost-effective way for us to reach listeners – including new listeners and supporters who may not know how the public radio funding model works.
However, in recent years, listeners have been challenging us to find another way that is less disruptive to your listening. We decided to try a campaign to eliminate the drive before it begins after hearing about the success of several stations around the country over the last few months.
So….how does it different from a traditional drive?
The difference is that this campaign preempted absolutely no programming. All the on-air mentions you heard were scheduled during normal promotional spots – breaks in the programming where you normally hear what’s coming up later on Fresh Air, or about a new project at VPR.net – that sort of thing. Compare that with a traditional on-air membership drive, when we preempt up to 20 minutes of programming per hour during some parts of the day. We think that's a pretty good trade off!
So, are you going to do this again? Is this the new norm?
We certainly want to continue this trend of fundraising that's less disruptive to our listeners. In the coming days and weeks we will survey our listeners and debrief to determine what this all means for the future of membership drives.
Original Post: Our traditional on-air membership drive is scheduled to begin March 18. You know how it goes: several days of program interruptions while we remind you that listener support is essential to providing and improving VPR’s service.
Which got us to thinking: Can we do this another way? How much of our goal can be reached in the next three weeks using short reminders that don’t interrupt programming? Can we eliminate a day from the on-air drive? Two days?
The whole thing?
So, we’re leaving that up to you. Our promise is simple — the campaign ends when we reach $350,000. If we raise $350,000 by March 18, the on-air drive won’t even begin. So let’s give it a try.
There’s no need to wait — the sooner you donate, the more chances you have to win the great prizes we’ll be giving away every week until March 18.
Listeners like you are VPR's largest and most stable source of funding. Think about all you find through VPR. Your generosity makes the stories, conversation, music and everything behind the scenes possible — not just for you, but for our entire community.
The power to eliminate the March pledge drive is in your hands. Please make your donation now and help us make history.
Thank you in advance for your generous support!