I’m launching my own fundraiser

Eat your heart out, NPR. I’m starting my own fundraiser.

For a pledge of $100, callers can have an old NPR mug. For a pledge of $75, you get a Morning Edition click-whoosh-wow umbrella plus a collectors’ recording of “My Crazy Uncle Charlie” on your choice of CD or vinyl.

For the basic annual membership of $40 – that’s about a penny a day – you get an autographed copy of my grocery list and an all-expenses-paid tour of LOVE Park.

We really, really need your money during this fundraiser, so call in your pledge now. We hate to interrupt your regular programming, but we need 30 calls during this pledge break, 30 more of you to call in to express your support for a whole-house attic fan.

Tomorrow morning, from 9:30 to 10, will be the college challenge, when you’ll have a chance to make a donation in honor of your alma mater. Will U VA win again, or will Slippery Rock place first? Tomorrow only, the first three callers will receive one dozen of my husband’s left socks AND a free tote bag.

Notice that this pledge drive is not simply about sending money. If you send money – and we accept VISA and MasterCard – you become a member, and membership has its privileges. By donating to this fund raiser – and, again, we’re holding it only so we can balance the budget – you become a member. You can make a difference.

To raise the profile of your company in the metro area, consider sponsoring a kitchen grant. You could promise that, if 10 other people each pledge $100, you will send food for the volunteers at Pledge Central. (Greek salads, hold the anchovies.)

We have five pledges in now, only 25 to go. To those of you who made donations during the last fundraiser, our thanks. Your contributions have enabled us to buy a state-of-the-art hose for our bathroom shower and a three-pack of T-shirts for the gym.

If you’re just tuning in, it’s a short pledge drive, but it’s vitally important. If you’re already on our books as a valued supporter, please go ahead and send more. We were a bit unnerved yesterday, because the support was not what we needed to keep my home running at the current level. Are there 25 of you who care enough to help us in the next half hour?

Two more pledges, two more enthusiastic members indicating their support, and to those callers we send a framed certificate of our son’s third-grade archery award. Only 23 pledges needed during this short break. We build up our enthusiastic support and membership drive with the help of you, our members. No advertising. You have to get involved.

Fourteen of your friends and neighbors have called in so far. We need just 12 more calls during this pledge break. For $120 you get a three-year subscription to Shampoo Monthly. We have corporate funding and foundation funding, but we count on you to make up the difference. Supporting this effort makes life in the metro area just that much more worth living.

Thank you so much for your support. Twenty-three of you have called 215-555-1234 to make a new pledge, and some of you have pledged before. Take just 91 seconds out of your busy schedule to endow us for the rest of the year. We need your donations so we can see foreign films at the Ritz, entertain friends at the Kimmel Center and check out the sales in the Gallery.

Only eight more pledges to go. Let’s celebrate with a report from Shadow Dry Cleaning.

One last call needed. One more. Can we hear that phone ringing? Yes! There it is! Thank you. Thank you for that! We’ve met our goal! $14,200, enough for a new linoleum floor in the laundry room. We’ll let you know when we schedule our Spring fund drive.