Barbara Appleby is co-founder and partner in Appleby Arganbright LLC and a fundraising veteran of more than 20 years. Public media professionals will recognize Appleby as the strategist behind numerous fundraising initiatives now considered industry standards, including the 3 Million Giver campaign and DEI’s Benchmarks for Public Radio Fundraising.
With professional experience ranging from leadership positions with NPR (Director, New Revenue Strategies), DEI (Vice President and Research Director) and most recently Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media (Manager, Membership) to consulting roles with numerous public radio stations, Appleby has amassed a depth and breadth of expertise unmatched in the field. One of her most remarkable achievements was her co-leadership of public radio’s highest dollar on-air fundraising campaign ever, which raised $3.14 million from 27,000 listeners in October 2001 to replace WNYC’s destroyed transmission facilities immediately after the 9-11 terror attacks.
Appleby has built her reputation on a capacity for generating transformational ideas, tackling seemingly impossible goals and producing actionable plans with significant, measurable results. Much of her success stems from a willingness to question status quo processes and an insistence on evolving solutions to meet current challenges
Technology has played a key role in many of Appleby’s most successful initiatives. At MPR she led efforts to better integrate multi-channel campaigns and to optimize digital fundraising, resulting in double digit revenue increases and a three-fold increase in the percentage of new members becoming sustainers with their first gift. Appleby was a principal contributor to the development of Strategic AudiGraphics from ARA, a suite of online tools that combines audience and financial data to allow stations to make sound strategic decisions, and has documented requirements and served clients as the business decision-maker during implementation of new fundraising systems.
Appleby is an accomplished presenter at conferences, professional association meetings and training sessions for nonprofit leaders. She graduated from Minnesota’s College of St. Catherine where she says she learned to think, write, and argue; harbors a lifelong weakness for the music of Emmylou Harris; and savors her opportunities to travel. She lives in Saint Paul on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.