Kevin E. Cleary
Clearly, NPR’s fund raising strategies need to be improved. Apparently, public airwaves were one of the few places Cleveland’s horrible Aggressive Solicitation Law didn’t cover in its prohibitions. As the Operations Manager for a program of a small non-profit, I understand that raising money is hard
. But I would like to offer my humble suggestions here to relieve other listeners and to assist NPR’s fund raising efforts.
Much like the technology already exists for the United States to become more energy-independent (ethanol or bio-diesel hybrids, you hear me Detroit?), there already exists a technological solution to NPR’s seemingly rapidly recurring financial doldrums: the V-chip. If you were to effectively implement this tool of censorship, NPR’s pledge drives could disappear, in more ways than one.
Along with the other fabulous gifts NPR provides to donors, like coffee mugs and Driveway Moments
anthologies, you should offer a specially modified V-chip. The V-chip will have a timer on it which equates roughly to the amount of money someone has donated. The V-chip will then block donation solicitation programming on NPR for a specified amount of time. Listeners who pony up with some funding get to skip the pledge drives. Free-riders have to endure the guilt-a-thons.
For instance, at the $30.00 level, a loyal listener could be rewarded with a month’s worth of nag-free programming. At the $500.00 level, a loyal listener could be given the gift of a year without pledge drives and their choice of a year without Prairie Home Companion
or Tales from Lake Wobegone
. If you’d like to reach conservative pockets, you could offer a “Red”-chip for $1000.00 or so that blocks all criticism, constructive or otherwise, of the Bush administration and its policies.
I think this solution works to everyone’s benefit. NPR will gain significantly as more donations flood member stations like WCPN, loyal listeners will get a pass on the pledge drives, and I will have the satisfaction of helping to keep NPR’s engaging and informative programming on the air. All I ask in return is another fantastic coffee mug and a free lifetime pledge drive pass; or failing that, some free air time to solicit money for The Homeless Grapevine