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.