The answer is, it very well could if you are not prepared. I know that is a loaded answer. Inflation has everyone’s attention. When you pay $5.00 a gallon for gas or more, you begin to get concerned. Our friends in Canada are already paying $7.00 to $8.00 a gallon. The price at the pump is just the beginning, because as you know, as gas prices rise, so will the price of everything else. I am not sure if you have realized this, but there isn’t anything cheap anymore.
So, will inflation hurt your fundraising? No doubt it will be harder than we have experienced in the last two years. I believe you can still hit your goal in most cases. During tough times, especially economically, people begin to look at what is important to them. If your station has connected with your audience, you’ll be one of the important things they continue to support. I’ll be honest, if your station has been coasting and not connecting with your listeners, you’ll more than likely take a big hit during this season.
If you miss your goal, can I encourage you not to freak out. Vidare Creative has been built on the principle of fundraising 365. You can still meet your annual budget and miss your on-air goal. Fundraising should be year-round and if you are doing that properly, you can make up the donations needed throughout the year, but there has to be a plan in place to make that happen.
For decades Christian radio has relied mainly on our on-air fundraisers and it’s caused some to not try to fundraise outside of those campaigns. The days of relying only on just a few on-air days to raise the budget are pretty much over. If you don’t have a plan to raise money 365, you are leaving money on the table.
My wisdom for you is this, connect with your listeners like never before! Tell great stories of lives being changed during your fundraiser AND all year long. Get out and meet your listeners. Call your listeners during the year to tell them you are praying for them. We need to earn their donation and that comes through being intentional in connecting with their family. Have a plan to connect with your mid and major level donors, and keep those relationships strong.
This is not an easy time, but it can be a time of sweet victory if you do things correctly.
Happy fundraising season this fall.
Bill Scott is Chief Content Officer with Vidare Creative / www.VidareCreative.com. Contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org