Feature InterviewInterviews

Kayla Sanders Interview 11/27/15


Kayla Sanders
Director of Partner Services
Positive Alternative Radio
Blacksburg, VA

Career Capsule: I have been with Positive Alternative Radio since February, 2007.  My background was actually early childhood education but God has a sense of humor.  I enjoyed helping at Sharathons when we lived in New Orleans (I think it was in the fine print of the marriage contract considering Brian’s passion for radio).  My studies in education and classroom organization have actually served me well in my role as Director of Partner Services here at PAR.  I’m told I have a keen eye for details and I love organizing and coordinating.  I try to view everything we do through the eyes of our donor.  If it doesn’t benefit her, it’s got to go.  I prefer to remain behind the scenes speaking one-on-one with donors, so no microphone for me, thanks!  

1.  Kayla, tell us the latest about you, news, changes bring us up to date…

We are just finishing up a very successful Sharathon season for our radio group.  So thankful for how God moved on the hearts of our donors to support us so generously.

2. Describe your position (Director of Partner Services) at PAR?

It is my privilege to assist our 5 radio stations with donor-related needs;  provide support and training to our Office Managers, Call Team and on-site assistance with our donor software during our live fundraising events.   This year we have also branched out, through PAR Services, to provide support to other radio groups; helping them utilize donor software and new ways of creating revenue.  It’s been a fun year!  

3. How are you involved with the different PAR stations?

We process all donations for our 5 stations.  We send out monthly mailings on their behalf.  Our Call Team reaches out to our donors in the evening… thanking them for their support, asking them to consider another gift and asking how we can pray with them.  We provide a variety of reports each day to our GM’s so they can feel connected to what’s happening through our donors.  There is a great camaraderie amongst all PAR team members and we have great freedom to speak into situations that affect our donors.


4. What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?

A computer…and coffee! (Okay that’s technically 2 but they are right up there with the main thing which is Jesus leading me.)  Everything we do is tied to our donor software and you better believe my prayer life improves when it encounters hiccups!  

5. What is the typical day for the Director of Partner Services like?

I’m usually working on an upcoming mailing, pulling stats on a prior mailing, processing donations, speaking with donors, training team members on some aspect of our donor software; chatting with, mentoring, encouraging members of my team.  For six weeks in the Spring, and again in the Fall, a typical day for my team is pre-Sharathon,  post-Sharathon; traveling to radio stations and assisting our stations with their Sharathon.  I am blessed to have an amazing assistant, Pauline, who travels also and serves our teams so selflessly.     

6. How does someone prepare to be in a position like yours?

One must have a heart for people.  

Be willing to read books that teach you how to create a great experience for your donors.  

Stay connected yourself with Jesus because there are days when people will call or write and share some really hard things.  We frequently hear from our donors about personal tragedy, disappointment, wavering faith and even criticism lands on our desk some days.  If we aren’t grounded in Christ, it quickly becomes about us and we lose sight of our Mission.  

7. Generally speaking what is the main thing that stations tend to miss when it comes to Director of Partner Services?

We think we know what our donors want but have we really asked, with a willingness to make the changes they are requesting?  We recently conducted a survey and some of the results were surprising.  May we always be willing to step out of our radio bubble and ask the donor, “How can we better serve you?”  

8. Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?

My radio heroes are the women in radio (sorry fellas you’re pretty cool, too) who juggle their work tasks against family demands.  Let’s be honest…on mornings when junior isn’t feeling well he probably wants Mom and that’s hard on a Mom’s heart when she knows she’s got to crack that mic at 5:00 or 6:00 am.  As we all know, radio is not a 9 to 5 gig.  It demands a lot of time and energy.  I see the passion and drive these women have for reaching a world that needs to hear the hope of Christ; that they are loved, valued, not alone.   I pray for them, daily and cheer them on!

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