Yvonne and I went to an industry conference this year for Public Radio Membership staff and we were feeling very much like fish out of water. Everything was geared towards the NPR station, or mixed format, and the few times classical radio stations got a nod, it was about the loyalty of its members. Yvonne and I would nod sagely. There was a single session for music stations, and that didn’t even focus on classical music. The reason for this is that there are very few all-classical public radio stations left in the country.
Yvonne and I spent a lot of time disagreeing with most industry fundraising practices we heard about… mainly because they would annoy our members! Telemarketing?? Yvonne and I would look at each other and whisper NO WAY!! In fact, I overheard Joe Hutchins on a pledge call last night saying that as long as he’s the general manager, we will NOT ever telemarket. So many stations have to work extra hard finding multiple avenues of bringing in money to keep themselves healthy.
I realize just how special our membership is. I mean, I’ve always known you guys are all fantastic, but it’s especially nice when something stands out to remind you.
You tolerate our short drives (some stations we interacted with pledge for 7-10 days straight, multiples times per year!!) and the 5 or so mailings we send out asking for additional gifts with grace (some stations send one each MONTH!) You tell your friends about us, you promote the music to your children and grandchildren, and you support us with your money and your loyalty. You are all so awesome!
I’ve been at WBJC in the membership department for 15 years now (22 years at the station total) and I love seeing the names of the same loyal members year after year. I love seeing the volunteers each drive and finding out about the adventures they’ve had in between. And I love adding the new names and faces to that joy!
New members, I can’t wait to get to know you! And new volunteers: it was great to meet you! I hope you’ll all stick around and be part of the reason Yvonne and I said to all those other stations, “We have the best members, why would we ever want to annoy them? We just let them enjoy the music.”
Okay, enough of my prattering… the numbers!
The goal for Fall: $130,000
total raised: $132,212.00
Total pledges: 1,047
New members: 243!!
# of online pledges: 82
Thank you, each and every one of you who called in your pledge of support, who came in and answered phones, who donated food and your time in order to make this fundraiser a success! WBJC has started out our fiscal year on-track and strong, and we couldn’t have done it without YOU!