Thanks for joining us today, everyone! I'm Leslie Shields and I manage the Digital Membership team here at Minnesota Public Radio. This is a moderated chat and we will try to answer as many of your questions as possible during this hour. Nicole Anderson Stern, our Director of Member Giving will be here momentarily to introduce herself and answer your questions about Membership.
Thanks Leslie! If anyone has technical issues with the chat today, please direct them @ me, online producer Julia Schrenkler.
Hello! I'm Jess Horwitz. I'm part of the team in Member Services and am the producer of @MPRMembership on Twitter. Welcome to the chat!
Hey everybody! I'm excited to be here with you today - I've been up since the wee hours working on the Member Drive - so I'm full of coffee and ready to answer your questions about Membership!
We received questions via the online form and have some to start with, but submit your question live in the chat by clicking the comment now box, type a short question, and finish by saving the post. As Leslie said we'll get to as many questions as possible in the next hour.
A little about me - I've been with MPR for about 13 years now - working in all areas of Membership from Member Services to On-air Fundraising.
I've just recently assumed the Membership Director position for MPR in May of this year
Let's start off with a question we already have
How do I update my credit card on my Sustaining membership? Why can’t I do it online?
The quickest way to update your credit or debit card is to give our Member Services folks a call.
They are here from 8:30am – 6pm every weekday to help you out with your membership and answer your questions about programs or pretty much anything else.
Give them a call at 1-800-228-7123.
At this time, there is not a way to update this information online, but we are working towards making this option available in the future – stay tuned!
Plus, Twitter users can tweet at @MPRMembership. Instant help for members and listeners!
I can't tell you how many clings I've mailed out to happy Twitterers who've asked.
Here's another question for Nicole....
Personally I love that people are tweeting after they finish the contribution form, letting everyone know that they're members and to support MPR.
Question: How about a members-only stream so I don’t have to listen to the member drives?
That's a good one - and this is an idea that has been tossed around for a number of years
some public radio stations are beginning to “experiment” with this idea, so we are paying attention to what they are doing and learning.
At this point, we don’t have a members-only stream in the works – but we do have some great online streams that have very little fundraising such as..
Jess- do you have those links handy?
Such as Local Current! thecurrent.org/local
Hey, I've got another question here: Is my MPR contribution tax-deductible?
MPR is a 501(c)(3) organization. Your contribution to Minnesota Public Radio is tax-deductible after subtracting the value of any thank-you gifts and/or Minnesota Monthly magazine.
You’ll receive an acknowledgement of your donation in the mail for tax purposes
and we also mail a Tax Substantiation letter in January to all Sustaining members, as well as to any member who has contributed $240+ in the previous year.
If you're just joining us and wish to send a question live, click the "Comment Now" button at the top of your screen and type a short question before saving/submitting the question.
Next question: Why did I get a call from a professional fundraiser? Do they work for MPR?
Member Services can answer any questions about what you've given this year or what gifts you've requested.
Good question - We do work with a professional fundraising organization, based here in Minnesota, to call members on our behalf.
This is just one of the many ways that we raise money in support of MPR. Many people prefer to give over the phone than through mail or online.
This is an effective way to contact those people.
Using a professional call center assures us a level of quality control, efficiency and it also ensures the security of your information.
And if you'd rather not be contacted by phone, call Member Services at 800-228-7123 and we'll adjust your membership record accordingly.
Dan in Minneapolis asks: "Honestly - you want us to pay $15 for ONE PINT GLASS? Or $30 for a set of 4? That's crazy you guys. We should only be charged about $5 EACH. "
Hey Dan - Thanks for being a Sustainer! You must be referring to our Sustainer Gear site. This is a special website where Sustainers can obtain MPR logoed items, year-round, for a small additional donation.
Your $15 for that Pint Glass is actually a donation that goes to support MPR programs and to cover the cost of the item you are receiving.
We don’t purchase items in bulk quantities of many thousands like a retail store would – we purchase smaller quantities, so we pay more per item than a retail store would.
Plus, there is an extra cost for imprinting our logo or other artwork on the item.