The length of your station’s pledge drive can be hard to choose.
Spring is a time when many stations consider or engage in fundraising. For community radio stations, whether you do a long pledge drive or some shorter ones instead runs into several factors.
The argument for more, short marathons is that they don’t exhaust listeners. The longer pledge drive contention is that it ultimately doesn’t run off listeners because on-air fundraising isn’t spread out over months.
If your station is trying to figure out pledge drive, there are several factors to consider. Capacity is a big one; does your station have the time, volunteers, content and resources to organize several pledge drives, if that is the way you want to go? If you want to do one long campaign, it’s a similar question, but of scale – can you keep up interesting programming that will keep people tuned in, volunteers at the phones and pledge drive energy up for the long haul?
In general, it is advisable not to do a pledge drive for more than 10 days if you can. Longer campaigns, even with compelling programming, can be difficult for volunteers and listeners. Short campaigns must be supported by extensive promotion, and can be most successful positioned around a content theme, such as a record’s anniversary, a date of national importance or other celebration.
Either way, you will want to consider the different kinds of content you can offer, drive challenges and special days you may do during a pledge drive to keep the excitement high. Pledge drives are a great time to highlight your best content and for regular programming to provide a fresh approach to all you do.
NFCB member stations have access to a variety of pledge drive resources in the Solution Center. If you are not a member station, you are encouraged to join NFCB today.