Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Preface To It's Time To: First Pledge Drive Show Postmortem

As I was saying yesterday, I am terrible at raising money.  I actually told a story last year about an experience selling candy for a middle school organization, which I will repeat here:

Finally - & this may have happened in 1982, because it feels like something that would have happened at the end of the year - I was in Beta Club - it's where I met Russell, I was very amused by his heckling at the dire meetings we had - & occasionally we were told we had to sell stuff for whatever club budget shit.  In this case it was M&Ms.  I lived in an apartment complex with lots of poor people, who knew a fifty cent box of M&Ms was no deal at all when you could walk to the Minyard's & get them for twenty cents, so I didn't sell many.  I actually barely tried.  I hated selling things.  I had tried before, tried to solicit newspaper subscriptions & just hated it.  Hated knocking on doors & hated pushing products.  I helped my mother at a convenience store, I would wait while people picked out what they wanted to buy & then came to me.

When the time came to collect, I returned a nearly-full box to the Beta Club sponsors.  One of them - the same woman, I believe, who was my Yearbook Club sponsor - was furious with me.  She accused me of not trying, of being lazy, of being indolent.  I told her, because I couldn't really see the point, that I didn't enjoy & wasn't very good at selling things, & if it was a condition of my membership that I sell a certain amount of M&Ms to be in the Beta Club, I guess I wouldn't be in the club.  She just stared at me, then gave a cry of exasperation, & left.

You see, I didn't really understand about things like service groups & college applications back then - how could I?  None of my siblings had gone or would go to college, & my mother was a working-class woman raised in Germany, where none of her family would have even dreamed nor had the opportunity for higher education.  I didn't really know what Beta Club was for.  I didn't like the meetings, I didn't like the parties - although my friend Russell tells me that it was one of the parties where we sat in someone bedroom & talked about the Beatles.  I vaguely recall that.  That's how a friendship was born.

Russell was watching, too, when I gave back the M&Ms & explained myself.  I looked at him & saw him wide-eyed.  It may be why I remember the story.

Nope, I never got better at the selling thing, & eventually just flat-out refused, offering my services in other capacities for organizations that needed them.

My experience with Pledge Drives has been equally dire.  Later I would learn more about the process, but we had occasional drives on KVRX, at which I did dismally.  I was not in a happy emotional place for Pledge Drive failure in those days.  Pledges Drives at KOOP - which we called Membership Drives - were pretty bad, too.  On one occasion, my then-girlfriend Magda made a big donation because you could hear me despair on the air.  I felt so grateful to be at WRFL where students fund the operation - & I was dreading being on KNON because they rely on listener support way more than any station I've ever been at.

So how'd I do?  I was saved from a dismal start by a kind person who became an KNON Elite Music Sponsor.  I also discovered some friends made donations online, which I appreciated.  So it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  But there's always next week!

But I'm not going to worry or fret about that just now - I have Self Help Radio tomorrow!

No comments: