VPR's September 2015 Pledge Drive Successful

Sep 21, 2015

Update 9/21/15: YOU DID IT! Thanks to more than 5,000 listeners, VPR surpassed its membership drive goal of $375,000 on Friday, September 18! In addition to meeting an important financial goal to keep the programming strong, we welcomed nearly 1,000 first-time contributors! Growing the VPR family provides a broad base of support essential to our public service.  

We want to sincerely thank everyone who supported VPR during this drive and all year-round. We truly couldn’t do it without you.

Original post: VPR’s membership drive is underway right now – but you won't miss a minute of your favorite programs. We’re calling it “Pledge Drive Light” - all of the funding with none of the long program interruptions. 

Earlier this year, you challenged VPR to try fundraising with fewer program interruptions. More importantly, you pitched in and made it a reality – thousands of supporters helped whittle what in the past has been up to 20 days of traditional on-air fundraising down to just 3.5 days so far this year by responding to brief reminders that didn’t preempt programs.

It’s changed everything. With your help, we’re redefining public radio pledge drives – not just at VPR, but across the country. We know we can keep this new model of short, efficient drives going – but we’ll need your help.

VPR’s membership drive is underway right now, and will end as soon as we meet our goal – but we won’t preempt any programming until September 8. If we can do it by then, you won’t miss any programming whatsoever.

This is the membership drive, and the time to give is now. Please make a contribution to support the news, music, and conversation you depend on – all with less on-air fundraising.

VPR is your connection to our region and the world – whether you count on waking up with David Greene and Mitch Wertlieb on Morning Edition, gaining greater understanding of a complex topic thanks to Vermont Edition, or appreciate having VPR.net to keep you updated on the news during your busy day – none of it would be here without your support.

And when you pitch in now with a gift, you’ll enjoy more of the programming you love and less of the on-air fundraising you’d rather do without.

Let's change the sound of pledge drives—for good. Please make your contribution now – and thank you in advance for your generous support!


If you’re still asking for donations on the air, how is it not a 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. 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 year.

So … how exactly does it differ from a traditional drive?

In this new model, our fundraising “pitches” are preempting absolutely no programming. All the on-air mentions are scheduled during regular 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!

What happens if you don’t meet your goal by September 7?

We will go on the air the morning of September 8 and begin our traditional on-air pledge drive – but only for as long as it takes to meet our overall goal of $375,000.

Is this the new norm?

We certainly want to continue this trend of fundraising that's less disruptive to our listeners! At the same time, traditional drives continue to be the best way to reach out to first-time contributors to VPR and educate them about how public radio works. We believe the future of fundraising for public radio is somewhere in the middle, resulting in drastically fewer days of preempted programming.