Wednesday, December 27, 2006

May donate, but hates drives

My wife and I now are thinking about making a donation, but I see at your web site that you talk about exceeding the goal of the fall drive with year end pledges. I only wish to donate if it is NOT considered part of the drive b/c I do not want to reward the obnoxious drive related behavior. Ultimately, my goal is to get enough people to donate OUTSIDE the drives to show support for getting rid of them. And perhaps many of those making year end pledges are of the same mind, so by noting at your web site how you are adding them into the fall drive may actually dissuade them from future donations (I know that would be the case for me).

--Name withheld by request

[Cleve Callison's response: I sympathize with your dislike of pledge drives and applaud your desire to get people to contribute outside that structure. In theory there are ways to get renewing members to contribute without an on-air campaign. All involve massive, costly and repeated mailings. In our experience those generate welcome, but limited, revenue and we will continue to use them.

I can also state with total conviction that no public radio station has ever figured out a way to get NEW members to contribute other than with an on-air marathon. And frankly, the on-air drive helps remind those who have set their renewal letters aside that they need to send them in.

Finally, it would take a lot more wisdom that I'll ever possess -- omniscience, really -- to try to determine whether a donor wishes a contribution to be included in a total or not in the absence of specific instructions. The goals and totals represent funds that we need to make the budget balance, and they are a useful milepost both for us and for listeners who care whether we succeed.

I certainly hope that anyone who listens to WMUB regularly WILL make a pledge. My best advice to you is to make your contribution early, turn off your radio for the two weeks a year that we conduct the drives, and resume your listening when they're done.]

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Thanks for being forthcoming

Thank you for being so forthcoming and clear about where funding comes from and where it goes. Much could be said but I'm going to confine this comment to Miami University's role., Eons ago, I went away to a Christian liberal arts college in another state. The experience was exhilarating but for various reasons, including money and proximity to home, I decided to transfer to Miami for my junior and senior years., I quickly discovered that, in spite of its reputation, passing classes at Miami was much, much easier than it had been at the small school. Over the years I often said I received all my education in the first two years, although I was happy to put Miami U on my resume for the favorable reactions it received.

A factor in working life over the past forty years is the growing need for lifelong learning. In my role as a human resource manager, I’ve strongly beaten the drum for continuous learning and the individual’s responsibility to attend to their own learning needs. The small college I attended has a history of supporting learning through adult and alumni programs. What I discovered over twenty-five years ago was the daily learning opportunities available through public radio programming, WMUB being by far the best purveyor where I live. Every radio’s primary preset in my house and car is tuned to 88.5 and the shortcut to streaming audio is saved in IE’s Favorites, Along with my growing appreciation for WMUB has come my growing respect for and pride in Miami University.

You mention that Miami is concentrating on the classroom, but that alone is shortsighted. A university enjoying Miami’s reputation and state funding has an obligation to take education outside the classroom. What better way than through the highest quality broadcasting resources available. , If there is any area Miami can support outside the classroom, it should be WMUB. $115,000 is roughly the cost of 1.5 professors, who could not reach as many people or cover the broad range of topics WMUB odes. What better way to market its education mission, perform an essential community service, and provide high caliber entertainment than through quality public broadcasting. While the public has an obligation to support what nourishes it, the organization supplying the nourishment needs to fulfill its responsibilities through all available channels., WMUB should not wrestle with shrinkage but growth, with Miami University doing its share, and then some.

--Gail Moeller, Dayton

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What if . . .

. . . what if HALF of the folks who have called and written [the Help Desk] for advice contributed just $5.00 to WMUB---, , that would help combat the frightening deficit by a little bit, I would think.....Happy Holidays!

--Mike, a Help Desk listener in Oxford

Monday, December 18, 2006

Love and support WMUB

We both love WMUB and are very sorry to hear about your fiscal woes. New ways to raise money other than pledge drives seem in order. We were also very sorry to hear of Miami's decreasing support. We feel that the radio statio is an important aspect of the university community and that it should be supported as such. Consider this an additional gift of support and not part of our annual pledge. We will renew our membership as usual in the Spring. Keep up the good work. The programming you have is what distinguishes you from other public stations I have heard which mainly seem to fall back on music (either classical or jazz). I hope you are able to retain most of your current levels of programming.

--Sincerely, Susan Hurst & David Walsh, Oxford, OH

WMUB on all day

I hope that your shortfall will be made up. WMUB is on here from sunup to sundown.
I am hoping that the Democrat Congress will right some wrongs that have been passed.

--name withheld by request, Dayton

The greatest

WMUB is the greatest! Help save the current broadcasting format!!!

--Michael Griffith, Oxford, OH

Appreciates diversity

I appreciate WMUB and the diverse programs that WMUB offers . . . my favorite is This American Life.

--name withheld by request, Oxford, OH

Supports Diane Rehm

Please consider my donation as a pledge of support for the Diane Rehm show and a thank-you for the commitment of the WMUB staff.

(I love WMUB, but do also listen to WAMU online since the Kojo Nnamdi show was dropped locally.)

--Nancy Ferguson, Darrtown, OH

Wishes she could send more

I wish I could send more-- I'm employed at present only on a contract basis, irregularly, and am already a member of 4 other NPR affiliates (I'm an avid podcast listener), but of all the podcasts I download, The Help Desk is my absolute favorite, and I really wanted to send something before the year ended. THANKS to the Dukes of URL!!!!

--name withheld by request, Savannah, GA

Money where his mouth is

Putting my money where my mouth is. I love your streaming jazz (and the playlist). Got the letter from Cleve about financial squeeze -- hope this helps.

--name withheld by request, Milford, OH

More fundraising suggestions

I heard your statement this morning about funding and money for WMUB.

Take this as a suggestion only: If WMUB could obtain business ads (?) or even individual donors for particular programs for $5.00 per hour for fifteen hours per day, it would generate approximately $26,000 per year. (Something to the effect of: This hour is brought to by Macy's or Bob's Chevron or The Dayton Mall, with over 100 stores. A similar statement would be made at the end of the hour.) A $10.00 rate could generate about $52,000 per year. This is not easy, but nothing that generates money is. As an example, I am sure there are individuals or stores who would like to support Mama Jazz to some degree or another.

This is similar to people who support the station for a day at $120.00 and in addition to those gifts.

Also, I would like to see events where WMUB is the beneficiary, such as a movie. (The $20.00 charge for the last one was too much.)

I do have some other thoughts and will try and pass them on later in several days.

In any case, generating extra cash is difficult.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Suggestions for fundraising

I appreciate your recent letter and I write this to simply offer my thoughts as to the financial status of WMUB. It goes without saying that public radio and WMUB is important part of our life or I would not be writing. In most non-profit organizations there are troubling winds that are blowing and it is important, in my opinion, that management not only belt tighten but more importantly examine new and differing approaches to giving and fund raising. I offer the following comments:

1., I question the viability or desirability of WMUB continuing with its HD radio service and the streams that are available, while such concepts are forward thinking and desirable, the question must be the benefit in additional listeners versus the costs.

2., WMUB like any significant non-profit, must have a board that oversees fund raising and the board should bring to the discussion table various backgrounds. I would suggest an advisory board that would have a charge of developing fund raising goals and concepts to develop and implement fund raising policy.

3., I have long wondered whether the semi annual fund drives are the best way of raising needed funds. Some organizations that have historically used such approaches have now deviated and have opted for large annual galas with charity auctions, which would seem to have the potential to raise far more than the combined monies from the fall and spring fund drives. Other approaches are also available but I believe you may well find continuing reduced support using the semi annual fund drives because generally people grown tired of traditional find raising but want to give in new and more creative ways.

In conclusion, while my wife and I are retired, we will attempt to do more for WMUB, but a very serious evaluation of service versus needs of the consuming listener would seem to be immediately appropriate coupled with all fund raising activities being led by a motivated empowered board. Good luck.

--name withheld by request, Camden, OH