“We always have a concern about how old our file is,” says David Preston, VP of Membership at Twin Cities PBS (TPT). With that in mind, TPT began intentionally working to attract younger donors, especially through a family membership program and benefits like Passport. At the same time, it didn’t neglect the tried-and-true channels that continued to show success with more established, older donors.
Over the last decade, WVIA in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has produced a popular documentary series called Our Town. The member station serves a broad, diverse coverage area of 22 counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and the central Susquehanna Valley. For Our Town, residents of communities like Carbondale, Danville or Milford compile video footage and narration as a way to capture the life and character of the town.
If staff aren’t motivated by a fundraising campaign, how can they expect donors to be? That was the thinking behind a successful, staff-driven 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign at WNET in New York City.
What’s the value of a single donor to a PBS member station? When it comes to donor acquisition, many stations focus on measuring new donor value based on a one-time pledge gift, or in the case of sustainers, an annual gift value — especially when considering budgeting for the fiscal year. Continue reading “What’s a Donor Worth? WETA Utilizes Lifetime Value Analysis to Understand Passport Impact”
In the spring of 2018, Todd Whitley joined the WNET team as the first Senior Director for Digital Fundraising. Todd has spent more than two decades in the online fundraising and digital marketing space, 16 years of which were for public health organizations such as the American Lung Association and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In comparing month-over-month Passport activations, we observed that most of our top 20 stations saw declining numbers from April to May of 2017. Only one station showed a significant increase over the previous month: Houston Public Media. Were those activations the result of a careful, deliberate strategy to promote Passport?
PBS has been working with Twitch on an exciting opportunity to engage new, younger audiences and encourage them to support their local PBS station. Twitch is a live streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. Twitch has a highly engaged audience, and is largely centered on gaming. However, Twitch has recently begun expanding to other content categories.
Almost as soon as KCTS 9 Passport was launched, KCTS 9’s audience began associating this members-only streaming service with others in the entertainment world. Of course, that’s not entirely accurate. As all member stations understand, Passport is not a transactional product. It’s a philanthropic endeavor rather than “the PBS version of Netflix,” which is subscription-based. Free video on-demand, through Passport, is simply an added member benefit offered by local stations for financial sustainability.
Like most PBS stations, KQED faces a conundrum when it comes to thank-you gifts for its members: the rich variety of program DVDs and other items make a tempting menu of incentives, but can also make an overly-complex set of choices and decisions for potential online donors.
Despite the understandable system-wide enthusiasm around monthly sustainer giving, Nashville Public Television understood that becoming a first-time sustainer is a big decision for a donor. Nothing should stand in the way of the transaction, least of all a clunky online giving form.