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WBAI Spring Fund Drive


WBAI's spring fund drive (5/11/05-6/4/05) fell far short of its goal. The goal was $1.1 million; the drive actually raised $688,890 in pledges. $544,968 in actual money is expected at WBAI's typical 78 percent fulfillment rate, according to station management. Further, the drive was scheduled to end on 5/28, and had to be extended seven days, for a total of 25 days.

It is not clear what the effect of the shortfall on station operations will be. Management has announced that the August drive will be moved up to July.

Included on this page are:

Analysis by R. Paul Martin, LSB member and WBAI staff member
Announcement of the drive from Bernard White, Program Director
Distribution of pledges as presented to WBAI LSB finance committee

Analysis of fund drive re WBAI FY 2005 budget by R. Paul Martin

Hey, we tried that last year [keying the budget to an explicitly stated expected number of days spent fundraising], but the faction currently in charge got all huffy about it and used the budget as a political football just as the LSB elections were starting.

The listener donations income line that the LSB suggested last year came from my amendment that made that line $2,500,000.00 based on 75 days of on air fundraising at $33,333.00 net donations daily. Which at an 80% fulfillment rate translates out to a daily pledge total of $41,666.25.

As can be seen, even my estimates were overly optimistic.

So far this year we've had 76 days of pitching and we've grossed $2,686,518 which at an 80% fulfillment rate projects a listener donations income of $2,149,214.40 so far.

The budget that the PNB passed, over the objections of a majority of the WBAI LSB as it was before the last rigged elections, called for listener donations of $2,765,000 for FY05.

So we are probably $615,786 short of our budgeted listener income, which at an 80% fulfillment rate comes out to $769,732.50 in gross pledges. This is more than what we grossed in the Spring 'thon which took 25 days. And the last quarter of the FY is always a tough time for raising money.

Something I feel needs to be pointed out is that the original amendment, proposed by Patty Heffley, was for $2,170,000 net, or a gross at 80% fulfillment of $2,712,500 in 70 days of pitching. This was very close to what happened! It was, in fact, based on paring down the numbers from FY04. Instead of pitching for 91 days the station would try to get that income in 70 days of pitching.

My figures are based on the following tally totals:

Fall '04 'thon $926,000
Winter '04 'thon $1,060,000
Spring '05 'thon $700,518

The first of these is the adjusted figure, but the second two are from the initial statements of what the tally was at the end of those 'thons. I'm not bothering with the 2 day "Radiothon" [12/17/04-12/19/04] which according to the WBAI Treasurer raised zero, and which actually lost money once you factor in the expenses.

Even some faction operatives are starting to think that maybe "donor fatigue" is a real world issue.

Annoucement of the drive from the program director

To: All staff

From: Bernard White, Program Director

Date: May 9, 2005

Subject: Spring Drive - Voices of Dissent

Dear colleagues,

On May 11th we begin our Spring Fund Drive. The theme for this drive is "Voices Of Dissent." There are good reasons why "Voices Of Dissent" is appropriate at this time. We are in a period where the U.S. government is intensifying its militaristic policies domestically as well as internationally. Although some of us are more victimized than others, militarism is a phenomenon that impacts on us all regardless of race, color or ethnicity. We have a responsibility, to provide our listeners, with the opportunity to hear some of the world's leading progressive thinkers as they analyze our present condition. Their voices have either been suppressed or ignored by the corporate media. That also includes many media outlets that operate under the label of public and non-commercial. The only way that this steady march toward fascism can be arrested and reversed is by an informed public. By presenting these voices and their accompanying ideas we will be doing our part to create an informed public.

In our upcoming drive we are going to offer a variety of past and contemporary "Voices of Dissent" who have courageously prepared detailed critiques of American foreign and domestic policy. You will be asked to offer these critiques to our listeners in exchange for their monetary support.

An important part of our individual obligation to WBAI, as paid or unpaid workers, is to actively participate in our on-air fundraisers. If you don't have a regular program please check with your department head or supervisor to determine what role you can play. There will be many ways in which you can contribute to a successful campaign. Our goal for this drive is our usual 1.1 million dollars. The only way we can achieve this goal is if we all work together. I believe that our success can and will happen.

The income from this drive will take us through the summer doldrums when our intake of funds is very slow. For some strange reason our listeners think that it is more important to go on vacation or to spend their money on leisure activities during the summer months. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to coordinate our efforts toward guaranteeing a maximum return. You may be asked to team up with some of your colleagues at times when you are not normally on the air. It should be fun. Michael G. and Tony Ryan have access to all the music in the world. If you have a need to get a particular type of music let Michael or Tony know ahead of time.

Once the drive is over don't forget to continuously ask listeners the to honor their pledges and send in their checks.

Thank you in advance for your participation.

Bernard White

Distribution of pledges, as presented at WBAI LSB's Finance Committee 6/8/05

25 people pledged between $1 and $11.99
54 people pledged between $12 and $24.99
756 people pledged between $25 and $49.99
669 people pledged between $50 and $74.99
671 people pledged between $75 and $99.99
3365 people pledged between $100 and $249.99
285 people pledged between $250 and $499.99
33 people pledged between $500 and $999.99
23 people pledged $1,000 or more


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