In April, Walrus Research published sobering data that revealed significant decreases in listening to NPR news and classical stations during the pandemic. Many times, news listening increases in times of crisis, and you should read both reports for a more complete picture of what’s happening. I will say that the news isn’t all bad. So stay with me here.
Station listening went down by a lot due to less away-from-home listening. In response, Walrus Research advises stations to “super-serve the core. Ask them to upgrade now.” This recommendation is based on evidence that “dedicated core listeners increased their loyalty” to NPR news stations and “the lost cume consisted primarily of fringe listeners who listen less often.”
Yes. You should ask your core listeners who are already active givers to upgrade.
Do this with additional one-time gifts or by adding a dollar or two to their monthly contributions. Asking for a modest increase of a dollar or two often gets more response than asking for bigger monthly increases.
But, upgrading your existing givers should be a key part of a bigger fundraising strategy that:
- Explains why your station is worthy of your listeners’ support right now.
- Identifies whom exactly you’re talking to when you ask for support.
- Identifies specifically what you are asking them to do.