Thursday, November 6, 2008

Greener Membership

By Jennifer Poenix (KAXE's member services manager)

Other public radio stations throughout the country have sustaining membership programs. These are programs that allow people to keep their membership going year after year, without ever having to renew. Typically, members make a monthly donation either through their bank account or with a credit card. Stations send just one letter a year to verify that the member wants to continue their membership, and sometimes to offer a thank-you gift.

KAXE has had a small group of sustainers for several years now, but they've never really been acknowledged as such. We have now made a few changes as to how we process both automatic bank withdrawals and monthly credit card payments that will really streamline the process.

What I really like about this type of membership is that is has the potential to save a ton of paper. Right now, I send renewal letters each month to those members who are due to renew in the current month, the next month, as well as those who were due to renew the previous month. I also mail statements to those who have already pledged. Each of these letters consists of a half-sheet of letterhead, a return envelope, and an outside envelope. Then 42 cents postage is applied to each one.

Of course, these letters are a good thing because they bring in money to support KAXE. However, if more people decided to become sustaining members, or "Green Members" as I think they should be called, there would be steady support of KAXE with less paper being used. It seems win-win to me.

We're just getting this off the ground at KAXE, but if you would like more information, please contact me. My e-mail address is, or you can call 218-326-1234, or even comment on this blog post.

Thank you!

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