On-air fundraising practices are the very lifeblood of public media. That's why we at Greater Public take a moment every so often to scan the landscape to discover what most stations are doing and not doing; how much, how often, and when.
We've just released our 2018 On-Air Fundraising Practices Survey. This snapshot includes responses from 101 public media stations from all over the country and reveals how most stations are running their on-air drives. It shows us what practices are nearly universal, and which ones may be trending.
Here is a glimpse of a few of the findings we captured in this year's survey:
Average Number of On-Air Drives, by Station Size
Percentage of Total Annual Budget Raised by Membership
A larger membership staff can lead to higher gross revenue. This is an important data point to highlight when making the case for additional staff. The cost of hiring and onboarding a new staffer can be offset by incremental revenue.
Pitching On-Air, by Month
When are stations fundraising? Many nonprofits rely on December donations to make up a notable percentage of their annual budget. Calendar year-end is simply a lucrative time for nonprofit giving. If your station isn’t holding a December on-air drive, consider adding one!
Stations that don’t pitch on weekends should know that the success of weekend on-air fundraising isn’t just defined by audience size or past performance. Consider the fact that weekends offer opportunities for fundraising messages that weekdays don’t. Well-executed weekend pitches that highlight the value of specific programming could lead to great fundraising results.