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Could Online Crowdfunding Replace Pledge Drives?

What's the Latest Development?

A Kickstarter campaign launched last week by the team at the public radio show "Planet Money" to raise funds for a special series met and blew past its goal of $50,000 in a single day. With six days left, the fund currently stands at over $300,000, proving to the show's doubting corporate sponsors that the risk of asking listeners "to not only follow the [series] experiment, but to become participants in it as well" could pay off. 

What's the Big Idea?

In a way, using sites like Kickstarter is just the newest way for public media to get financial support for their work, and its something that other media outlets could learn from, according to "Planet Money" producer Alex Blumberg: "You can get lots of stuff for free now, and so the trick is to get people to pay for stuff they can get for free. It’s a trick that public radio has gotten pretty good at." However, he adds that Kickstarter has taken that trick and improved upon it, and consequently they want to: "[learn] what we can...and then [feed] that back into the public-radio world." With the success of the Planet Money campaign, public media executives are definitely paying attention.

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