Upping Your Game?

I set out for a drive this past Saturday, eagerly anticipating a couple of uninterrupted hours of NPR’s Weekend Edition.


My spirits fell, when I learned it was the first day of another membership appeal. I started to reach for the dial, but stopped and reminded myself how much I like this station.

I’m a huge fan of National Public Radio. And we’ve been long time supporters of our local affiliate as well.

There are just so many things they do right:

  • Like using well-recognized local personalities and tying into local civic organizations to staff the phones. When you call in to pledge, you can feel the genuine support and appreciation on the other end of the phone. And many of these individuals are advocates who promote their participation in their own social circles.

  • Or encouraging donations in low, very affordable monthly amounts. A monthly commitment of $10 or $15 adds up quickly…and as we all know, that donor is far more likely to renew than someone who makes a one-time contribution of the same amount.

  • And recognizing callers as they call in, using limited-time matching gifts, tying appeals to the program time slots, and so much more.

But, I wondered, as I listened to that and subsequent appeals, could they do even more?

How could you build in recognition of and appreciation for people who are already committed supporters? Maybe call out a long-time contributor or two. Or someone who first pledged during this programming “X” years ago and continues to support the station.

Surely this could be done in a way that does not interfere with the appeal for new members. In fact, I would think showing you respect and value your supporters could only encourage further support.

What do you think? More importantly, how do you recognize past support, even while building the case for additional assistance?