Voice of San Diego membership model “more of a formal relationship”

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Here’s a look at the Voice of San Diego’s innovative membership program, “a unique model that raises community engagement to a new level while helping to bring in a different revenue source to the news organization,” according to The Hub, an online resource for nonprofit journalism from the Investigative News Network.

Members select one of four levels, each with a different set of benefits such as invitations to member coffees. The program is now in its fifth week and has 1,172 members, with a goal of 5,000 by the end of the year.

“It’s a little bit more aggressive than traditional public radio’s definition of members,” said Scott Lewis, c.e.o. of Voice of San Diego. “Except at the higher levels, they [public radio] have rarely outlined the kind of events and benefits that come from being a member other than the producer’s club level. I think our model is similar to a museum or zoo in the sense that it’s a more formal relationship with members. It’s something I have been working on for years where membership is a mission-based curriculum as opposed to benefits being ancillary or not associated to the membership like a tote bag.”

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