Involvement Makes Radio Pledge Succeed
WTIP-Northshore Community Radio in Grand Marais, MN revolutionized its recent membership drive with a new format and the addition of a community engagement component called “Acts of Kindness.” As a result, the station connected with community members in a new way and reached their funding goal despite local economic struggles.
The challenging economy and a commitment to respect listener priorities inspired WTIP staff to cut their traditional 11-day membership drive in half and give it the theme, “All About You.” The station then tried a something new — they invited community members to participate in the drive not only as monetary donors, but as donors of “Acts of Kindness” to be used as thank you gifts for pledges. These gifts, ranging from Spanish lessons to boat rides, allowed listeners to support the station even if they could not make a financial contribution.
“It was overwhelming, the response we got from our community,” said Deb Benedict, Station Manager at WTIP. “We really engaged our community to be with us during the drive and people loved it.”
Energized Grand Marais community members expressed excitement throughout the drive. One listener told station staff, “What a fantastic pledge drive! From the theme to the “Acts of Kindness” premiums to “half the time,” this should be a case-study taught at all community radio stations.”
WTIP’s “Acts of Kindness” idea helped the station reach its funding goal despite tough economic circumstances. It also positioned the station as a gateway for unique community interaction. What started as an experiment is now a solid component in WTIP’s future membership drives, and a model for other stations to consider.