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!