The benefits of social media and an online presence.

If there is one thing I’m learning at Delmarva Public Radio, it’s that a membership drive is no walk in the park. A pledge drive for radio is not just an event, it’s a week-long affair. Almost a conference. So if you’re planning a conference, maybe these tips will help you too! The purpose, mission statement, and nitty-gritty management details are majorly important, but for now I just want you to try to remember the basics.

1.) Set goals.
Set a goal for how much money you are hoping to pull in. This will keep everyone motivated to earn and gives you the ability to evaluate if your drive was a success or not.

2.) Find volunteers.
Send out emails or mailings to members and past volunteers letting them know the dates and requirements of the pledge drive. Ask them for their help! Contact local community service organizations or schools and tell them that hours answering phones count towards community service requirements.

3.) Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Have a schedule for who is going to pitch on air, at what time, on which day. Your coworkers will appreciate the schedule and it allows you to know that all shifts are covered. Also, have a schedule for volunteers. Make sure they are committed to at least 1-2 hours of work so there is enough time to at least train them on how to handle callers and fill out pledge forms. Have a spreadsheet with a row for each hour of the day and a column for each phone that will be taking calls. Fill in the volunteers names to keep track and once again make sure that all shifts are covered.

4.) Give perks to staff and volunteers. The “what’s in it for me?” mentality will always be present in even your most dedicated volunteers, so show them! Call local restaurants and coffee houses and ask them if they’d be willing to donate breakfast or lunch to the pledge drive. Create another schedule of who is going to be donating on what day and make sure that if they are unable to deliver the food or drinks to you, that you are able to arrange transport to get them.

5.) Have fun!
Create a theme! Decorate the volunteer room like it’s Saturday Night Fever or a Winter Wonderland. A cheery atmosphere and satisfied volunteers will spread the feeling of a positive organization while keeping everyone enthused to pull off the best drive possible.

Good luck!

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