An interesting experiment in human psychology that didn’t work

My favorite popular- music radio station is WFUV, 90.7 FM. It’s listener supported, and I’ve a member since 1995, when, prowling the band, I found them playing The Iguanas. Nobody plays the Iguanas except, it turns out, Fordham’s radio station. They hold fund drives twice a year and are commercial free the rest of the time. Until now, they had a minimum membership fee of $60, in exchange for which you got various premiums, escalating with your donation. But, like all such stations, only 7 – 11% of listeners actually contribute.

So this year, they held an “open house” : give what you want, from a dollar on up, and become a member. The idea was  good one, trying to expand membership, but I wondered whether they’d attract new members who hadn’t contributed before or just encourage existing members to cut back on that $60 pledge. It could have gone either way but the station, which normally wrapped up its fund raiser in 7-8 days, is now into day 10 and has only reached 75% of its goal. That’s too bad, but I do find it fascinating.

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4 responses to “An interesting experiment in human psychology that didn’t work

  1. I discovered WFUV just a few months ago and like some of the music programming they have on very early when I run. The membership sign up page on their website still shows $60 as the cheapest option.

    • richard, for this fund drive, you can just call up and ask for a membership card and they’ll give you one for free. Gets you free tickets to concerts, discounts at museums and other places, etc. But it’s worth supporting.

  2. I think I’ll do it. Because the transmitter is in the Bronx I get a nice clear signal even though I’m in northern Westchester. The programming is pretty funky considering it’s coming from a Jesuit college.

  3. fred

    FUV. I listen to nothing else. Except when skelsa’s idiots delight is on.

    Where else are you gonna hear morrissey?
    or
    The grateful dead hour, or
    Echoes, or
    The world cafe, or
    Mountain stage, or
    wam from Studio A????

    One dosent have to give $60. You can give as much or as little as you want. One can call em up at 877-938-8907 and get the details. I give em a hundred bucks. Put it on the credit card over the phone. I understand you can even donate a car or boat to them. Heck, its fordam university, totally tax deductible.
    They sent all kinds of stufftoo. Told em I wanted a cd of the trippy echoes opening music. They sent it. 90 minutes of it.
    The fuv card will get 10-50% discounts at a couple a thousand locations. Well worth having. One can recoup the intial membership in a second.

    Google wfuv. Youll be glad you did.