Sustainers are the engine of membership, and now is the time to demonstrate for your sustainers what it really means that you consider them “partners in membership.” During this time of crisis, it’s essential that you bring your sustainers in close so they know how essential they are to all you’re doing to help your community in this moment.
Transparency is at the core of public media values because it builds trust. Carry that value into everything you do during a crisis, especially with sustainers. Consider treating sustainers almost like board members. Reach out regularly to let them know what’s happening at the station. Direct specific asks toward them. Highlight special upcoming programs they’ll want to tune in for from home. Share insights about recent stories, including photos and first-hand accounts from reporters and hosts about what it’s like to operate virtually right now.
Most importantly, let them know that their support is what makes everything you’re doing right now possible.
Review all existing communication pieces, including acknowledgement letters, declined-card letters, etc. to make sure your tone is appropriate for this moment of crisis.
Make sure you have a staffing plan for your member services phone and email channels. Don’t let queries pile up if staff aren’t in the building to respond as they usually do.