The break room has been transformed into a “phone room.” Gigantic containers of various snack foods and highly caffeinated beverages are appearing in the supply closet. Program grids, match money schedules, and guest hosts lists are completed, edited, and revised for the last time (right?). It’s almost time for the spring pledge drive and we are so ready.
To raise $150,000 in support for the station this Saturday afternoon through next Saturday at 1 pm. We can so do this!
During this first week-end, it will be “pledge drive lite”, regular programming punctuated with special pledge messages throughout the week-end. And a phone room staffed totally by NIPR staff members, which is always such a great way to work the kinks out of the system (and to have a pretty good time while we still have energy!).
Then starting Monday morning, bright and early with Morning Edition, the action begins. Guest hosts, special programming (don’t worry, we aren’t preempting Diane Rehm), and you, joining the enthusiasm by pledging your support. It is the single most encouraging time of our year, whatever the final result.
$150,000 sounds like a lot and it is a higher goal that we’ve had, but challenging times call for a little courage – we haven’t really made a secret of the fact that it’s a challenging time – and the support of listeners has never been more important. In fact, $150,000 represents only about 10% of our budget. Some members give so generously, we hesitate to ask again, but we do, because this programming matters to this community and we need consistent giving to keep it strong and healthy. Some folks listen all day, every day, and yet haven’t yet become members. We hope that something said during this week will serve as motivation to join the family.
And many listeners join or renew memberships outside of the pledge drive, and we are so grateful for that. If we had to raise all our membership money just during pledge drive time, the goal for this drive would need to be $250,000.
$150,000 breaks down into 5000 people each giving $30. Each week between 40,000 and 50,000 people listen to us, so 5000 seems really, really easy (well, it does to me, anyway). And some people are able to give much more than $30, which helps cover other listeners who may find themselves unable to give this spring. The real point is – every gift is going to matter. A $30 pledge, or a $300 pledge, or a $3000 pledge (it’s happened) all contribute to a successful conclusion. If everyone who listens played even a small part, we’d blow this goal right out of the water.
You’ll hear lots of familiar voices during this drive and I’m just thrilled that so many listeners, supporters, board members, fans and friends have stopped by the studio to record brief spots about why they support public radio in our community. I look forward to hearing many other voices, on the other end of the phone line, all during this really important, exciting week.
It’s gonna be fun.