BANGOR, Maine — Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, will seek 2,600 individual donations during a one-day radio pledge drive.
Beginning later this week, listeners of MPBN’s seven radio stations throughout Maine will begin hearing live and prerecorded messages asking public radio listeners to help MPBN with its latest pledge drive. The one day drive is being considered by the network as a novel experiment to see if it can change the way these types of campaigns are conducted.
At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the pledge drive will begin accepting all online donations. Beginning at 5 a.m. all call in donations will be accepted. The network hopes that the 24 hour pledge drive will generate more than $200,000, according to Jennifer Foley, MPBN’s vice president for membership and philanthropic giving.
“Together we can do this. That’s the idea behind this pledge drive,” Foley said in a press release issued Wednesday. She added that regardless of whether the goal of 2,600 pledges is met, the one-day drive will not last beyond midnight on Oct. 20. She said that part of the appeal for donating on that specific day will be tied to a promise of brevity. By comparison, MPBN’s last radio pledge drive in July required 9 days to generate a comparable number of pledges.
Donations from individuals, businesses and foundations are by far the most critical source of revenue for the network, with gifts from individuals outpacing corporate donations by about a 3-to1 margin, comprising nearly two-thirds of MPBN’s annual budget of about $11 million.
“We know a couple of things going into this pledge drive,” Foley said. “First, we know listeners want it to be as short as possible. Second, they’ve responded positively during longer drives in the past to on-air appeals to pledge as much as possible on the first day.”
Foley went on to say that MPBN is always looking for ways to change things up in an effort to keep the necessary pledge drives from getting stale, and that now was as good a time as any to try something new. She said the network met its first quarter revenue goals, ratings for its radio broadcasts are very healthy, and legislative attempts within the past year to defund the network on both the state and federal levels have served to remind listeners how critical their donations are in keeping MPBN healthy for future generations.