Big & Small: Why it Makes Perfect Business Sense to Collaborate

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Presenters: Michal Heiplik, Contributors Development Partnership; Becky Magura, WCTE, Cookeville, Tenn.

Wednesday, 3-3:45 p.m.

Level 4, JW Ballroom Area 8

This session will discuss the merits of outsourcing membership fundraising with a particular perspective coming from a small station — WCTE. Stations big and small are finding new ways to collaborate with the overall goals of improving net revenue and strengthening their local communities. Becky Magura, g.m. at WCTE, will discuss her decision to move forward and chart a new path in membership fundraising by joining CDP’s Member Services Bureau.

WCTE is a small station with about 700 members, but it is truly connected to its local community. The station’s events, screenings and local outreach are quite impressive and act as a great catalyst in the creation of strong donor relationships. Even with great passion for the mission and all of this local engagement, the station still struggles with program integration and applying best practices when it comes to membership marketing. Resource constraints are a real challenge that impacts meaningful growth. This is where the Member Services Bureau comes in.

This collaboration provides WCTE with economies of scale for print/production efforts, overall efficiencies and best practice implementations in membership services (direct mail, digital marketing and overall operations) as well as preserving and enhancing the local brand.

In addition, the partnership also provides a new cloud-based CRM infrastructure along with state-of-art marketing automation software. All tools and resources that would simply be out of reach to WCTE under normal circumstances. Ultimately, the collaboration frees up WCTE’s staffing resources to focus on what they do best — local engagement and major donor cultivation.

WCTE and CDP have just completed a month-long scoping process, analyzing every aspect of the existing program. The findings were quite encouraging and the risk for WCTE is extremely low. WCTE has signed a contract to participate. At this time, many other stations are exploring this path with CDP as well.