Radio station needs your fund raising ideas

Product managers and others, here is an opportunity to get creative.

A well known radio station here in Boston is looking for your help in coming up with some creative ideas on how they can do fund raising. Currently, they do this via their broadcast, but unfortunately this results in interruption of the regularly scheduled programs and causes inconvenience to the audience who have tuned in to listen to these programs. Especially, if you have already contributed to their fund raiser.

So, if you were in charge of this radio station and you heard the above problem, what creative ways would you come up with to solve this problem?

Please submit your ideas as comments to this post. There are no wrong answers except one – the radio station needs to sell more ads – because this will cause further interruption of the programs and they do sell ads at this time.

Come on, let us get creative.

Image: Courtesy of

12 thoughts on “Radio station needs your fund raising ideas”

  1. I would love to use my B2C wellness product –, as a fund raiser. What makes Trekking Together unique is people sign up in pairs. Every week’s Fitness Focus is wrapped in insights on how the pair can support one another on this issue. Would be happy to give the station 50% of gross registrations, and will offer to do a “Reality Radio” show doing food coaching on air.

  2. Create a Team that would do some outings to few shopping malls and places where crowds usually gather and more on weekends…. play some videos and clips to showcase the cause for which funds are being raised…and this would create some kinda EMPATHY in the people’s minds…and they would make small contributions…and this in huge numbers would sum upto a good amount eventually! We could hand out a hand ribbon to everyone who makes a contribution and make them GUESTS at the event where the station will host the event to give away the collected funds!

    By doing this, a BOND is created between the people, the radio station and the people for whom the fund is raised!

    And say the next time the radio station would want to raise funds for something similar, because of the PERSONAL bond people have made with the radio station, summing p funds would be more EASY 🙂


  3. Hi,

    I have an idea that you start introducing new artistes. You can start Karaoke Singing Contest for Local people. For this I suggest the following tips;

    1) Interview people who think they have good voice (generally everybody likes singing & they think they are good !!)

    2) Publicity for this contest on your Radio to attract the contestant (you may call for any language; Hindi /Kanada / Malayalam /Marathi etc..)

    3) Bring you listner to participate & give them prizes.

    Please go to the following link where I have made some karaoke singing on my PC.


    Ramesh Mistry

    God Bless U.

  4. 1) WNYC runs teasers leading up to its quarterly pledge drives, calling it a pre-pledge period, during which they solicit donations. For every $XXX,000 they receive between drives, they drop one day of programming interruptions from the drive and announce it during the teasers. So far they are up to two days dropped off from each drive, and they ensure a steadier stream of revenue throughout the year.

    2) You could run the pledge drive phone lines a little differently. Instead of calling in to declare their donations, pledgers could simply call into a 1-900 # where they’ll be treated to recordings of local Boston comedians performing pieces of their famous bits or famous Boston actresses reading passages from (mostly chaste) 19th century romance novels in a breathy voice or whatever other idea you can come up with. The “pledgers” would be charged, say, $2.50 a minute, the proceeds of which would directly to the radio station, and they’d get immediate return on their donation. And the station would no doubt get oodles of press for such a creative fund raising campaign.

  5. I have been using to raise funds for a cause I am involved with. Essentially this site provides participants a link to a portal for online shopping. Hundreds of retailers partipate by donating a small portion of each sale to the shopper’s chosen cause. There is also a $5 first time shopper bonus when a purchase is made within the first 45 days of registering. With the holidays approaching, timing would be good.

    This solution is very easy to get started with and would be a good add-on to other fund raising efforts. A bonus to the donors is that there is no additional cost for them to shop using this service. It keeps awareness for your cause top of mind with listeners–automated email reminders are sent by or you can customize your own message.

    This is probably not going to generate enough revenue all by itself, but even at $5 per listener, plus a percentage of their shopping totals, it’s worth doing. The big advantage to this program is low/no cost and ease of administration–it pretty much runs on autopilot after you set it up. If you have a passionate listener base, you can also encourage them to email to friends for additional involvement; even friends of listeners have nothing to lose since there is no cost to them to participate. Promote your program further by setting up a group on Facebook or other social media sites and name your group “iGive Supporters for XYZ Station” or similar.

    Good luck!


  6. 1) Sell T-shirts

    2) Start a blog/website and ask for support (if that’s not already being done)

    3) Get a crazy video out on Youtube that asks for money. Do something very cool and viral that will get you noticed.

    4) Get on Twitter!

    5) Start a Facebook group!

    6) Get one of your top DJs to do smth crazy and fun in return.

    7) Get a compilation of local artists on a CD and sell it.

    8) Christmas bakesale!

    I could go on 🙂

  7. Ditto on what Corrie said. However, since it is a PBS station, they need to align the station with regional powerful people who support it and bring them into the fundraising fold. Show how much it means to the community to have this asset.

    The real question is , IS this station still a community asset? Does it serve the public in a way that they currently want to be served or is the station trying to sustain something that no one values?

    By making sure you give the target audience what they want, you will have no trouble raising funds to keep the station going.

  8. 1) Dueling piano bars do really well when one of the pianists plays something popular but controversial, and you have to tip in escalating amounts to stop the song from being played. For instance, I was at such a bar about a month ago and they started playing a song from a European band (I can’t remember which one) and so someone tipped the other pianist to play “Proud to be an American”. The Europeans in the bar then escalated to return to the original song, and so on and so forth. Hundreds of dollars were raised in a matter of minutes.

    2) This is kind of a silly idea, but effectively sell “micro-ads” so that for $20 (or whatever amount) an announcer will read a 1 or 2 second blurb that you write about yourself or your cause. i.e. “Thanks to Gopal Shenoy and his blog”

  9. Hi Corrie,

    Thanks for the ideas.

    The fund raising is primarily to keep the radio station running. It is a public broadcasting station and the primary source for their funding (at least to my knowledge) is this fund raiser. The station broadcasts world news and other well known programs. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to reveal their name.


  10. It would help to know what your fundraising is for, what your content is and what kind of relationship you already have with your listeners. That said, here’s my take:

    –Make yourself as visible as possible. Sponsor local events, partner with a school’s radio station, anything where you can put a face to the voice(s).
    –Do you have a website? Run a contest. Start blogging about your cause. Get social if your population supports it.

    Good luck!!

  11. Here are some of my ideas:

    1) Viral campaign – Start with your current supporters who have contributed before. Reach out to them via email. Ask them to support you and then allow them to personalize and forward the request to their friends. Take a page out of Barack Obama’s campaign. Kills two birds with one stone – spreads awareness of your radio station, “word of mouth” campaign of your fundraiser.

    2) Recognize people – Have a fund raising event and then post pictures, testimonials, videos of such an event on social media sites – demonstrate how you have a good following. Yes, it will cost money, but if you raise more than you spend, you will come out ahead. Charge an entrance fee per plate and have a good set of speakers that will attract the crowd. Ask the speakers to waive the fee and recognize that as donations to the radio station.

    3) Make your fund raising part of a charity – for every $5 dollars you raise in fund raising, donate a $1 to a charitable group. Help them to help you and someone else. Try to see if you can get some other organization will do the same for you as well.

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