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Bill Scott “Time To Earn The Money”

This is no surprise but raising money on air is becoming more of a challenge. I remember decades ago it took three days to raise your annual budget. Those were beautiful days for sure. The landscape has changed over the decades. So many things are distracting your audience. It use to be that Christian radio was the only way to to listen to CCM music and if you had a CCM station in your town you won the lottery. Again, those days are done.


If you are banking on your on air fundraisers to cover your full budget, you are going to be very disappointed in most cases. It’s time to take the pressure off of the on air fundraisers and begin to really work hard off air on raising money, engaging major donors, working your mid level donors, retaining your monthly givers and reactivating your laps donors.


If you don’t have a full-time development director, you have missed the boat big time. This could be on of the most valuable staff members on your team. Now it does take a team. If you on air products stinks, your development director doesn’t have a chance.


Over the years Christian radio got lazy in the area of fundraising. We just counted on our on air fundraiser to do 100 percent of the job and then coasted between events. We need to be FUNDRAISING 365.


You need to be calling your listeners regular telling them how important they are to you. Shaking hands and kissing babies. I won’t lie, it’s going to take a lot of off air work to meet your budget but the good news, the money is there.


As I end this article, let me give you three ways you can connect with your donors off air.


  1. Personalized Communication: Personalization is key when it comes to connecting with donors. Address your donors by their name, and try to tailor your communication based on their interests and giving history. You could send them personalized emails, handwritten notes, or even make phone calls to show your appreciation. 


  1. Social Media Engagement:Social media is a great way to connect with your donors, especially the younger generation. Use social media platforms to share your organization’s mission, your success stories, and updates on your fundraising campaigns. Engage with your followers by responding to their comments and messages. 


  1. Events:Hosting events is an excellent way to connect with your donors and build relationships. You could organize fundraising events like galas, auctions, or charity runs, or even host smaller events like dinners. Make sure your events are well-planned, and provide opportunities for your donors to network and engage with your organization. A small station I work with just did their first banquet with listeners. No artist or special speaker, just dinner and sharing their vision. They raised $25,000. For a small station, this was a shot in the arm.


My prayer for you is that you crush your year in-regards to fundraising.

Bill Scott is Chief Content Officer with Vidare Creative / www.VidareCreative.com. Contact Bill at bill@vidarecreative.com

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