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.]


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