FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2011
CONTACT: Lou Morin, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(207) 330-4606 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MPBN Tries Novel Approach for Upcoming Radio Pledge Drive
MPBN "Super Thursday" One-Day Pledge Drive seeks to generate
2,600 individual donations on October 20th
(Bangor, Maine) - Within days, listeners of MPBN’s seven radio stations throughout Maine will begin hearing live and pre-recorded messages asking public radio listeners to help MPBN in a novel experiment to see if it can change how such campaigns are conducted.
On Thursday, October 20, beginning at 5:00 a.m., MPBN will conduct what it hopes will be the shortest radio membership drive in its history, seeking at least 2,600 individual pledges over 18 hours, either by phone or online through its web site. At prevailing average gift levels, those pledges should generate over $200,000 for the network, says Jennifer Foley, MPBN’s Vice-President for Membership and Philanthropic Giving.
“Together, we can do this. That’s the idea behind this pledge drive,” says Foley, who also said that regardless of whether the goal of 2,600 pledges is met, the one-day drive will not last beyond 11 p.m. on October 20. The appeal to donate on that specific day will be tied to a promise of brevity.
Comprising nearly two-thirds of the MPBN’s annual budget of about $11 million, individual and corporate donations are by far the most critical source of revenue for the network, with gifts from individuals outpacing corporate donations by about a 3-to-1 margin.
That makes the October 20 a pretty important day on MPBN’s fiscal calendar. By comparison, MPBN’s last radio pledge drive in July required 9 days to generate a comparable number of pledges.
“We know a couple of things going into this pledge drive,” says Foley. “First, we know listeners want it to be as short as possible; second, they’ve responded positively during longer drives in the past to on-air appeals to pledge as much as possible on the first day,” she added, referring to pump-priming gimmicks that MPBN listeners are familiar with, such as Fast-Forward Friday or the Power Hour.
The difference between those past attempts and the upcoming drive on October 20 is that in the past, Foley says, listeners knew they could procrastinate and still give the next day, or the day after that.
“The biggest two days for any MPBN pledge drive are the first day and the last day,” she added, “and so it makes a certain amount of sense to put them both on the same day and simply see what happens.”
Foley went on to say that MPBN is always looking for ways to “switch things up” in an effort to keep the necessary pledge drives from getting stale, and that now was as good a time as any to try something new. She said the network met its first quarter revenue goals, ratings for its radio broadcasts are very healthy, and legislative attempts within the past year to defund the network on both the state and federal levels have served to remind listeners how critical their donations are in keeping MPBN healthy for future generations.