WBAI Local Station Board Off-Air Strategic Fundraising Plan
In response to the PNB's request for a strategic plan for off-air fundraising by the LSB, the WBAI LSB offers the following:
A. LSB FUNDRAISING METHODS
A variety of fundraising methods will be attempted by the LSB in conjunction with station management. Our goal is to have one event every three months, at times not in conflict with pledge drives if possible. Except when there are extreme time constraints, the LSB will need to sign off on proposals for such events. In the case of such constraints, an LSB committee may work with management to organize the event, unless it is a joint event with another organization, in which case it should wait for LSB approval. Effectiveness will be evaluated periodically.
1. Direct appeals to contacts: A letter will be developed that LSB members can use to appeal to their individual circles. This letter will include links to specific parts of the WBAI website. LSB members can adapt as they see fit.
2. Events featuring station personnel: Events will be organized featuring station personnel, including public forums, debates, performances, and film showings. Staff will be polled to determine willingness to participate. In addition to promotion on WBAI, some events will be advertised in other media, with the goal of attracting a larger audience.
3. Events in conjunction with other organizations: Joint fundraising events with other organizations whose principles are consistent with WBAI's will be done. These events can be advantageous to WBAI in that we reach out to members of the other organization.
4. Other events: If possible, events will be organized around other speakers and/or performers consistent with WBAI's mission, perhaps including donated performances of plays. In particular, there will be a major Annual Awards Dinner with well-known supporters of the station, organized with the help of a professional fundraiser.
5. Grant-writing: The LSB will investigate grant-writing, to be done in conjunction with station staff and management.
B. SUPPORT OF STATION OFF-AIR FUNDRAISING
The LSB will also support fundraising initiatives in which the station takes the leadership role. Monies raised in these initiatives would not necessarily be dedicated as in section C.
In addition, the LSB will work with the General Manager to make a cart calling for skilled volunteers to work with the station on off-air fundraising. Specific skills will be mentioned, such as events planning, advertising, design, major donor campaigns, grantwriting, etc. Response will be requested by either by regular mail or email, and the General Manager will choose the people he believes are best suited for the task.
Some examples of the station's planned fundraising initiatives (in addition to ongoing grant-writing):
1. The proposal by a Columbia University faculty member and fundraising expert to "adopt" WBAI through the Capstone Project and provide the station with a comprehensive fundraising audit and portfolio of initiatives for off-air fundraising.
2. Placing ads (using the line-item for advertising in the station's budget) in a diverse range of publications promoting the station and offering targeted premiums aimed at particular readerships
3. Preparation of an attractive brochure promoting the station plus flyers, palm cards, bumper stickers, buttons, etc.
4. Revival of WBAI's e-newsletter to include program listings, pledge drive announcements, new premiums, old premiums at discount rates, and upcoming station and community events -- also printed in hard-copy form for use at public events.
5. Sales of old premiums at book fairs, stores, and elsewhere.
6. Enhancement of website to include all premiums during and between drives, old premiums at discount rates, and other marketing strategies.
7. Large-donor "meet and greet" events and personal outreach by General Manager, including development of programs using annuity plans and other forms of planned giving.
8. Nurturing listener relations through:
* listener and volunteer appreciation events
* certificates of appreciation
* dedicated voicemail where listeners can call in to leave messages for broadcast on "why I support WBAI"
* listener surveys on the station's website to seek preferences and suggestions
9. Instituting a sustainer program for regularly deducted donations to the station, accompanied by a special newsletter and annual "meet and greet" event.
10. Promotional campaign for listeners to activate their employers' corporate match program for charitable donations
11. Other events.
12. Mailings and e-mailings to current and lapsed members, soliciting donations and offering particular premiums.
C. DEDICATION OF MONIES RAISED BY LSB OFF-AIR FUNDRAISING
With the advice and consent of the General Manager, monies gained from LSB fundraising efforts will be devoted, where possible, to expenditures to improve outreach, public awareness and fundraising capacity, such as improving the phone system, upgrading the website, mailing to previous and current members, and other advertising and promotion. This goal will be accomplished by maintaining these monies in a separate account. The GM will make final spending decisions, as well as final decisions about how a separate account should be set up. The GM will report to the LSB expenditures from this account. If not referred to a separate account, monies raised in the LSB fundraising program will be added to general operating funds.
D. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
1. Procedures already in place for collecting money at station events and sales will be followed to ensure adequate control.
2. The LSB recommends that the Pacifica National Board consider developing a Pacifica record label that could showcase the creative talents of musicians and spoken-word artists in alignment with Pacifica's mission in all five signal areas, and could provide a method to share revenues with them based on negotiated agreements. This can be developed in tandem with a Pacifica podsafe-music archive -- i.e., music recordings that are agreed by the performer will be made available for digital distribution as part of Pacifica-aired programs at no charge.