Public Broadcasting
What’s the best way to help local stations and PBS adapt to change? We can think of three:
  1. Sharing tools and increasing station capabilities through a Co-op
  2. Delivering fundraising services to local stations everywhere
  3. Supporting collaborative projects nation-wide
Why a Co-op?

Our most well-known service is the Next Generation Public Media Co-op, formed in 1992 in conjunction with WGBH. With members across the U.S., the Co-op is now recognized as a unique collaboration of thought-leaders from some of the most successful stations in the system. The Co-op allows stations to share fundraising tools, results and costs, resulting in faster learning and trend analysis. All member stations own every tool developed for any Co-op station, from member acquisition material to sustainer and mid-level giving tools.

The Co-op also serves as a place to evaluate new technologies, themes or possible constituencies, with the input and best thinking of fellow stations and industry leaders. It is the bridge between “what now?” and “what next?”

Co-op stations represent almost one-quarter of all public television members in the nation and regularly win numerous PBS Development Awards, including the coveted Overall Development Award. Sharing ideas is in our corporate DNA, so our professional staff routinely present at PBS conferences, workshops, webinars and training sessions.

What’s included in Co-op membership? What’s available to stations everywhere?

Co-op membership is customized to local station needs and includes an annual commitment to sharing fundraising activities, tests and results. Stations strengthen their local programs while forming a national resource. One member called the Co-op, “custom work in an off-the-rack world.”

Services provided to Co-op members only include:

  • Shared library of direct mail and online fundraising material
  • A complete history of fundraising tests and results
  • Custom new creative for direct mail and online testing
  • Facilitation of annual station fundraising planning, budgeting and testing
  • Membership and fundraising consultation throughout the year
  • Shared mail services including acquisition, lapsed, add gift and renewal mailings, including list services, merge-purge and data analysis
  • Shared e-mail and online membership acquisition, retention and additional gift tools

Services provided to any PBS station include:

  • Fundraising or Membership Program Audit, including use of direct mail, online, phones, and on-air fundraising
  • Membership Retention and Renewal audit, including direct mail series, e-renewals, website, phone scripts and spots
  • Online Fundraising Audit and DonorPath™ tools for converting website visitors and other prospects to membership
  • Comprehensive Database Analysis including performance by donor age, geography, giving pattern, offer, household composition and other criteria indentified by stations
  • Specialized national mailings including the highly successful Genuinely-Penned Handwritten format
  • Short, call-to-action YouTube-style videos for e-renewals and online fundraising  
Where blue-sky meets reality. Why Co-op Meetings are private, practical and sometimes a bit rowdy.

Semi-annual Co-op Meetings give equal attention to best practices and emerging trends. Member stations are joined by two or three guest stations, key vendors and even competitors for a candid examination of tests and trends. No boiler-plate, no pre-packaged powerpoints, just an unvarnished look at what worked, what didn’t, and where shared fundraising tools can help. The questions are probing, so the debate is extremely lively.

For fresh perspectives, we challenge top organizations and even competitors to answer one question in private sessions with the Co-op: How would they change fundraising for PBS stations? New ideas and tests have come from The Disney Corporation, AARP, The Hallmark Loyalty Group, National Geographic, Mobile Commons, Defenders of Wildlife and many others.

R&D sessions include Target Analytics, Blackbaud, PBS and other industry leaders. Technology providers learn from direct mail test results. Web and e-mail tests spark ideas from direct mail vendors. New strategies for mail and online fundraising are translated into telephone tests and on-air spots.

The next Co-op meeting will be in September 2013 in Maryland. The most recent Co-op Agenda provides a glimpse at the range of issues and ideas covered.

Facilitating collaboration among PBS stations

Next Generation has responded to the growing need for collaborative projects by serving national projects such as the PBS Sustainer Toolkit, the PBS Renewal Toolkit, The Next Generation Pledge Project, The Major Giving and Mid-Level Giving Initiatives, The Contributor Development Partnership and a CPB-funded testing program on fundraising for PBS KIDS.

We provide strategic consulting and facilitation for multi-station groups, and custom creative services for online, offline and on-air initiatives.

See the stations and organizations we serve.

Contributor Development Partnership

In the true spirit of collaboration, Public Television's Major Market Group has partnered with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to provide stations with a collection of best fundraising practices. If you have not committed to this valuable initiative, we strongly encourage you to learn more and participate by visiting cdpcommunity.com.

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Public Broadcasting