In the Trenches: Membership in Turbulent Times
3. Demonstrate great stewardship. Show donors how important they are to your station. Show how you invest their membership dollars. The old-fashioned pie chart still works in the mail, on-air, online — and even in your lobby!
4. Leverage gifts. Choose a partner to make a challenge grant — perhaps your board or a corporate friend who is looking for a new way to gain attention.
5. Use an end-of-year call to action. Use a lift note or buck slip from a station executive in renewal, lapsed and additional-gift mail. Have her/him make a frank statement on your year-end situation and clearly ask for a contribution.
6. Ask early and often. In good times, stations’ appeals sometimes get soft and too polite. Excite donors with your enthusiasm; educate them that members equal programs; tell them that you need each other. Then ask for the money. Clearly. And be sure to thank them.
7. Say “thank you” often! That’s so important, we said it again! Anytime you communicate with members, say “thank you” as often as “please.” This includes renewal letters and additional-gift appeals, and around programs you know have a high ratio of current givers.
Tom Hurley is partner and president, nonprofit group, at Massachussetts-based consultancy DMW Worldwide.