Years ago someone coined
the phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” While this
isn’t entirely true for me, since 1977 I have held a number of
positions in several different industries. The last 30 years or
so have been in sales, management and advertising. Working with
Christian radio stations and ministries over the last 5 years
has afforded me the opportunity to apply many life and learning
experiences to a number of operational and fundraising
Tell us about how you became involved with ShareMedia?
I met ShareMedia’s President and co-founder, Todd Isberner in
1981 through a personal connection. He and I developed a
friendship over the years and when an opportunity presented
itself and God’s timing allowed, I came on staff in 2007.
2. Describe your typical day on the job?
Funny. There is no typical day on the job and all of them are
FULL. We coordinate and help produce over 100 on-air fundraisers
every year and most of them are condensed into a very short
season. We’re also consulting stations and ministries and
constantly mindful that “timing” is vital to make sure our
services for stations and ministries meet the ever-expanding
need for funding.
3. How is ShareMedia benefitting Christian radio stations?
Our client stations would probably say that the talent and
experience our fundraising hosts bring is the reason why they
have remained with us for literally decades, but there are also
elements of fundraising off-air that we have expanded and
enhanced that can help them. We also regard ourselves as part of
a station’s extended staff, with the expertise to advise them in
a number of areas.
4. Describe ShareMedia's involvement in a typical sharathon?
Our involvement with station
sharathons is continuous (year-round) but the intense work
begins about 4 months ahead of a staton’s Sharathon dates. We
assign a consultant to each station who walks the station staff
through a series of things that help them be prepared. With at
least 50% of a station’s success of their Sharathon or other
on-air fundraiser wrapped up in their preparation, we’re always
making sure that they get the best consulting and most current
information and trends in fundraising.
5. How does ShareMedia keep up with trends in Christian radio?
We’re fortunate to work with stations from across the country
and recently have been engaged with stations internationally.
This gives us many opportunities to learn what is affecting
these stations in their fundraising efforts and get a better,
overall understanding of audience response.
6. What ways does ShareMedia assist stations other than
Besides service offerings that
enhance and improve on-air fundraising, we also consult with
stations and networks on a continuous basis to help them with
off-air communications. Data management system suggestions,
direct mail writing, strategic year-round planning and
programming consulting are just a few. Since every station is a
bit different from the next, we tailor our services to each to
maximize the ROI for the station or network.
7. Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest
obstacles facing Christian radio today?
It’s a tremendously over-used buzzword, but I think it’s
relevancy. Sometimes I feel like Christian radio is preaching to
the choir and there is a whole world that needs to hear the
Gospel clearly. If it’s true that Jesus came to restore all
things to Himself, if He came back tomorrow, I wonder what he
would think. Are we really reaching the lost? Are we ministering
to the poor and meeting the needs of those in prison, the
homeless, the widows and the fatherless? I wonder…
8. There are still some big markets without a CCM station, why
do you think that is?
Smarter people may know the answer to that one. Ironic though,
that folks that might need it the most don’t have the option.
9. What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as
Rather than answer specifically, I am most impressed with
stations that are staying true to their mission and vision AND
are able to succeed financially in what has been a very slippery
economy. I think God’s provision for these folks is a response
to something that they are doing right not necessarily
10. Where do you see Jim Smith in 5 years?
Well, I’ll be over 60 which is
somewhat scary, but I have a young family and lots of things
that I would like to see and do. I fantasize about writing a
book from time to time. And If the Lord wills, I will have a
clean bill of health and enough energy to keep doing what I am
doing and continuing on a mission to feed the hungry, care for
widows and orphans and help Christian radio stations do the