Betsy replied to my second post on “Pledge Drive Don’ts” and mentioned Ira Glass (from This American Life) and his Pledge Drive bit about how a WBEZ-FM listener will enthusiastically fork over $1.81 every day at Starbucks and listen to WBEZ five hours a day but … he hasn’t made a pledge to WBEZ.
Click here to stream the “Ira Glass Guilt Trip” bit . Good stuff. No, wait … GREAT STUFF. It is worth a listen. (Click here to view the track listing of the audio stream.)
I also found this interesting tid-bit from The Onion. In their interview with Ira Glass, Ira goes off on why he hates pledge drives and what he has done to make pledge drives less boring.
The Onion: You mentioned pledge drives. You’re famous for taking a very proactive stance toward fundraising. How do you feel about pledge drives in general?
Ira Glass: Like all public-radio listeners, I hate the pledge drives. In fact, at one point, the public-radio system did audience surveys where — I’m not even sure I’m allowed to talk about this in public, but anyway — they did these surveys, and our listeners said that during the pledge drive, they felt like their local radio station had been taken over by these morons that they hated.
They felt that the people on the air were stupider, and they hated them, and they felt they did not share the values of the programs that they listen to, where people seemed to be kind of smart and inquisitive and alive.
So my feeling about the pledge drive is that I don’t like things to be bad. I just didn’t want to be boring on the radio. I couldn’t face that, so we put a lot of work into trying not to make it boring, some years with more success than others.
There have been two different times, once in Chicago and once in Boston, where we did a thing where if you called during our show, once every five minutes we’d choose another name from a hat, and I’d deliver a pizza to that person that day. At the end of an hour, I had to deliver 12 pizzas to people.