The more love you give, the more you get

Photo: MTSOfan via Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photo: MTSOfan via Creative Commons, some rights reserved

That’s how it felt during this month’s historic un-fundraiser fundraiser at NCPR. You asked for fewer program interruptions during our fall campaign, we gave you that, and holy cow! you gave back over the top. As I write this note of gratitude to all of you, we have surpassed our goal of $325,000 by more than $11,000 and we are still counting.

Needless to say, all of us at NCPR have been analyzing what we did right, what we could do differently or better in future fundraisers. We welcome your ideas on this, too.

Here are my personal takeaways from this game changing approach to raising money for the station.

1. It’s not about the thank you gifts or prizes, it’s not about what time of day we ask, it’s not about which one of us does the asking. It’s about the work we do and how much you value that work. Pure and simple: you care about the programs and all of the digital content NCPR makes available. That, my friends, is totally cool.

2. You are proud of NCPR. You take pride in this station as much as the people who run the station day to day do. At a party recently, I heard a station contributor and long-time listener telling someone who had just moved to the region how the Adirondack North Country has the best public radio station bar none. Like a mother hearing a teacher or neighbor tell someone else how wonderful or smart or friendly her child is, I puffed up with pride to hear a listener boasting about NCPR. That, my friends, is about as gratifying as it gets.

3. It’s all about respect. Specifically, you respect the work we do so you’re willing to contribute some money to keep it going. But the big epiphany for me: I think our new use of short messages with the phone number and web address shows our respect for you. No matter how (relatively) well we ran our old style fundraisers, we tended to talk to you differently during fundraisers than we do the rest of the year. Cajoling, admonishing, even lecturing a bit. With the new approach the implied message is that we respect you enough to trust that a simple reminder with the necessary contact information is all you need to do your part as a member of the public radio community. That, my friends, opened the heavens for me and leaves me convinced that together we can make this all happen for years to come.

Photo: BK via Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Photo: BK via Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Thank you–for being there for NCPR in so many ways, for caring about the work we do, and for making it so easy to admire and respect the people we serve.

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6 Comments on “The more love you give, the more you get”

  1. Mitch Edelstein says:

    Thank you Ellen and all of the people who work for NCPR, the on air and behind the scenes people who do such a great job. A special thanks to you for your leadership, you have recruited, hired and mentored a great team. The most common comment from your contributors is: “I wish I could give more.” They are telling you the truth. We all wish that we could do more.

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    Thank you, Mitch, for your very kind comment.

  3. Hank says:

    I whole heartedly agree with Mitch’s sentiment. Thank you, Ellen and all who work at NCPR, for such an outstanding radio service.

  4. Ellen Rocco says:

    Thanks, Hank.

  5. Belle says:

    Wow. Whodda thunk? YOU guys did! I kinda miss the old model (just ’cause you guys are so much FUN!), but NCPR has always been about innovation & trying things a new way. You’ve set a new standard once again. Amazing.

  6. Pat Nelson says:

    I agree with Belle. The old model was FUN (remember the truckload of manure?), but it got old fast and those of us at home could (and did) listen to something else. By the end of the week the staff would sound fairly worn out, though, and raising money isn’t really your primary mission. Long live the new model.

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