QUIZ: What Are Your Greatest Concerns?

Consider and note whether each of the following is of concern.

1. "Gross" vs. "Net" Revenues: The quest for ever larger gross revenue and "new" members from on-air pledge drives combined with higher salary, premium, and operating expenses are now squeezing net revenue (or net contributed revenue).

At some nonprofits, a true accounting of funds spent versus those raised may now exceed the 40% maximum percentage considered effective by the Nonprofit Charities Information Bureau.
___Yes ___No

2. Retaining Qualified Professionals: This problem has existed for years, but with stations' cash flows increasingly dependent on sophisticated acquisition, renewal, and additional gift operations, the loss of a key membership professional is a reason for concern.

And, as individuals in small to moderate markets become more competent, it is only a matter of time until they are attracted to larger markets with higher compensation. Without careful backup and succession plans, this often returns a station to "square one," where they must invest again in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, moving, training, and growing a new membership professional.

Few stations calculate these "soft" personnel costs with membership ... assuming them to be simply a cost of doing business. And that's fine -- until you've done it three times!

In addition, because those professionals who leave often are the only staff with the expertise to manipulate data and carryout the dozens of detailed and time-sensitive tasks associated with even simply monthly renewals, some stations have suffered real losses in membership revenue.
___Yes ___No

3. Customer Service Costs: While one would expect "economies of scale" to increase the cost effectiveness as the number of members grows, some stations have discovered that the pressures associated with operating the daily fundraising program and handling increased customer service calls (many about delayed premium delivery) require additional staff or, in most cases, increase the work load of existing staff.
___Yes ___No

4. Lack of Innovation & Testing: One negative impact of the daily pressure on staff is the lack of innovation and testing of new "Best Industry Practices." While the environment in which public broadcasting has changed from a few over-the-air signals to hundreds of channels being delivered by cable and satellite, many stations are using acquisition, renewal and special gift appeal copy that was written a decade ago without testing potentially stronger, up-to-date, more locally focused copywriting. A slowly declining response rate for these outdated packages is often just a "quiet scream for help" from a page within the source code report -- that new packages and techniques should be tested.
___Yes ___No

5. Increasing Print & Mail Shop Costs: Most stations lack the mailing volume or professional time to regularly bid on the cost of their mailings. Yet, as printing, mail shop, and postage costs have continued to climb, identifying those vendors who provide timely, high-quality service at a reasonable cost is essential. Without time to investigate these options, costs escalate faster than they would otherwise.
___Yes ___No

 

HOW TO SCORE YOUR QUIZ:

STEP ONE: Take a moment to reflect on those you checked "yes", ranking them in priority order.

STEP TWO: Determine if you have the time, expertise, and resources to address your greatest concern. If not, TeamSoper is available to assist you. Call Michael Soper at 435-654-5896 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.