3 tips for on-air pledge drives

Date Published
01/27/2014

At various times throughout the year, public radio and television stations break from their regular broadcasting schedule to make concerted appeals to listeners and donors to get them to make a pledge. While these fundraising drives can frustrate some public broadcasting consumers, they’re integral for the sustainability of these stations. In fact, nonprofit organizations have a plethora of resources to make on-air appeals as effective and efficient as possible.¬†

Get organized:
When public broadcasting stations begin fundraising campaigns, it’s important that listeners and viewers get as much¬†information out of the on-air appeals as possible. Radio scheduling software offers a wide array of benefits for nonprofits aiming to streamline not only their standard broadcasts but also pledge drive breaks. This software frequently syncs all relevant information and logs on all necessary devices and gives everyone clear direction. The entire broadcast schedule can be segmented and assigned monetary value, which makes budgeting for pledge drives a more straightforward process and better ensures broadcasters adhere to the schedule.

Prepare all scripts:
While scheduling software makes certain station staff and broadcasting professionals are following a well-defined plan, it’s crucial the scripts that fundraisers use during pledge drives hit the mark. According to the copywriting agency PromoWriting, nonprofit organizations would benefit from seeking external parties to help prepare scripts. The danger using internal writers – especially a specific individual – is that all scripts will likely become redundant or follow a similar pattern. Although many public broadcasters want to save as much money as possible, which deferring to an existing staff member could help achieve, pledge drive appeals need to be engaging and compelling. A third-party provider usually has the experience and dedicated staff necessary to make this option a better choice.

Arrange gifts:
Slate highlighted the fact that thank-you gifts and on-air challenges can motivate listeners and viewers to participate in pledge drives. These can range from tote bags to coffee mugs to iPads, depending on the financial resources the station has at its disposal. While, there has been research suggesting that thank-you gifts can complicate the way contributors participate in fundraising campaigns, there’s little debate surrounding the use of challenges or entering donors into a drawing to win various prizes during pledge drives. However, it’s important to keep track of inventory to ensure the station has sufficient gift stock to meet demand, which software for nonprofits can help monitor.

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