I am so relieved that NPR’s Fall Fundraiser is over. Listening to the disgintuished radio personalities that I have grown to love and respect as they beg and plead for donations is not my idea of a good time. It kind of feels like listening to your parents beg for money, which fortunately I never had to experience, even though my parents were in also the nonprofit sector. NPR Fundraisers are a demoralizing experience for everyone involved, especially as the days drag on, and the announcers’ voices grow more and more desperate and wheedling. They really start to get punchy by the end of the drive. They start saying things like, ‘PLEASE PLEASE donate so we can reach our goal, end this fundraiser and get back to the news’ in the final days. Oh man, does it guilt me.
See, they’re totally right to ask, and I totally need to pony up. I probably spend at least an hour a day listening to NPR for free. Weekends aren’t weekends without Weekend Edition. I didn’t feel at home in North Carolina until I found WUNC, the local NPR chapter, and breathed a sigh of relief as I listened to The Diane Rehm Show. How can I not pay for all of this informative entertainment? And if I pay, oh, something like $20, because that’s what I can afford right now, how can I not kind of feel like a cheap bastard?
Sigh. NPR, if only I were a wealthy fatcat, I would donate all the money to you. But I would also be less likely to be one of your listeners. It’s a sad Catch-22.