ArticlesFeature Article

Stephanie Kay Welter “Who​ ​Pays​ ​For​ ​The​ ​Coffee?”

 The​ ​truth​ ​about​ ​on-air​ ​fundraising

I​ ​recently​ ​heard​ ​a​ ​PD-minded​ ​radio​ ​professional​ ​say​ ​about​ ​fundraising​ ​on​ ​the​ ​air; “It’s​ ​about​ ​sitting​ ​across​ ​the​ ​table​ ​with​ ​‘her’​ ​and​ ​having​ ​that​ ​cup​ ​of​ ​coffee.”

The​ ​idea​ ​I​ ​presume​ ​was​ ​to​ ​imagine​ ​myself​ ​sitting​ ​across​ ​from​ ​“her”​ ​(my​ ​friend/listener) in​ ​a​ ​coffee​ ​shop​ ​shooting​ ​the​ ​breeze.​ ​Catching​ ​up​ ​on​ ​life.​ ​Sharing​ ​stories​ ​about​ ​our kids,​ ​our​ ​husbands​ ​and​ ​how​ ​proverbially​ ​“busy”​ ​everybody​ ​always​ ​is.​ ​​ ​Since​ ​I​ ​AM​ ​the target​ ​demo​ ​of​ ​most​ ​Christian​ ​Radio​ ​station​ ​listeners​ ​(and​ ​givers)​ ​I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​very​ ​easy time​ ​doing​ ​that,​ ​and​ ​get​ ​to​ ​do​ ​it​ ​all​ ​the​ ​time​ ​when​ ​I​ ​am​ ​doing​ ​a​ ​midday​ ​or​ ​afternoon show.​ ​There​ ​are​ ​few​ ​things​ ​I​ ​enjoy​ ​more​ ​than​ ​doing​ ​life​ ​with​ ​“her.”

Sitting​ ​down​ ​with​ ​my​ ​friend​ ​across​ ​the​ ​table​ ​having​ ​coffee,​ ​and​ ​sharing​ ​life​ ​is​ ​good.​ ​It makes​ ​both​ ​of​ ​us​ ​feel​ ​connected.​ ​We​ ​feel​ ​cared​ ​for,​ ​heard,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​get​ ​a​ ​sense​ ​of community​ ​and​ ​women​ ​thrive​ ​in​ ​that​ ​setting.

But,​ ​when​ ​I​ ​walk​ ​into​ ​a​ ​radio​ ​station​ ​to​ ​help​ ​them​ ​raise​ ​their​ ​operating​ ​budget​ ​for​ ​the next​ ​6​ ​months​ ​or​ ​year,​ ​things​ ​change.​ ​​ ​Think​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​The​ ​conversation​ ​would dramatically​ ​change​ ​if​ ​when​ ​I​ ​was​ ​sitting​ ​across​ ​from​ ​her,​ ​it​ ​was​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​about “sharing​ ​life”​ ​but​ ​rather​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​her​ ​for​ ​her​ ​money.​ ​​ ​Right?

The​ ​conversation​ ​might​ ​look​ ​more​ ​like,​ ​“Hey​ ​Julie,​ ​I’m​ ​so​ ​glad​ ​we’re​ ​friends.​ ​I​ ​really value​ ​our​ ​friendship,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​hope​ ​you​ ​do​ ​too.​ ​I’m​ ​SO​ ​grateful​ ​that​ ​we​ ​get​ ​to​ ​come together​ ​like​ ​this,​ ​catch​ ​up,​ ​laugh​ ​and​ ​sometimes​ ​cry​ ​together.​ ​And​ ​because​ ​we​ ​are close,​ ​and​ ​we​ ​care​ ​about​ ​each​ ​other’s​ ​families,​ ​I’m​ ​going​ ​to​ ​ask​ ​you​ ​right​ ​now​ ​to​ ​help my family​ ​in​ ​our​ ​crucial​ ​financial​ ​need.​ ​It’s​ ​a​ ​need​ ​that’s​ ​real​ ​and​ ​that​ ​literally​ ​keeps​ ​our family​ ​going.​ ​I’d​ ​be​ ​so​ ​grateful​ ​for​ ​your​ ​support​ ​…​ ​and​ ​as​ ​friends​ ​that’s​ ​what​ ​we​ ​do! We​ ​support​ ​each​ ​other​ ​in​ ​our​ ​time​ ​of​ ​need.​ ​Right?​ ​Here’s​ ​the​ ​deal​ ​though…I​ ​need​ ​your involvement​ ​by​ ​this​ ​Friday.​ ​It’s​ ​very​ ​time​ ​sensitive.​ ​So​ ​Julie,​ ​can​ ​you​ ​help​ ​me​ ​right now?”

That’s​ ​quite​ ​a​ ​different​ ​conversation,​ ​don’t​ ​you​ ​think?​ ​Also,​ ​notice​ ​how​ ​it’s​ ​all​ ​about​ ​me? What​ ​does​ ​Julie​ ​get​ ​out​ ​of​ ​it?​ ​She​ ​GETS​ ​to​ ​help​ ​me​ ​(lucky​ ​her).

So,​ ​first​ ​things​ ​first.​ ​Fundraising​ ​is​ ​not​ ​an​ ​exercise​ ​in​ ​cume​ ​building.​ ​We​ ​are​ ​not​ ​sitting across​ ​the​ ​table​ ​for​ ​these​ ​short​ ​few​ ​days​ ​“building​ ​a​ ​relationship”​ ​with​ ​her.​ ​You​ ​and​ ​your on-air​ ​team​ ​needed​ ​to​ ​be​ ​doing​ ​that​ ​all​ ​last​ ​week,​ ​last​ ​month​ ​and​ ​all​ ​year…​ ​well​ ​before the​ ​fundraising​ ​event.

My job is to come in for a couple of days, and motivate and guide her to PAY for the coffee you all have every other day of the year.

We​ ​have​ ​a​ ​handful​ ​of​ ​days​ ​to​ ​raise​ ​the​ ​operating​ ​budget​ ​for​ ​your​ ​radio​ ​ministry.​ ​We need​ ​to​ ​be​ ​as​ ​concise,​ ​as​ ​focused,​ ​as​ ​motivating​ ​and​ ​as​ ​quick​ ​as​ ​we​ ​can​ ​about​ ​it.​ ​We utilize​ ​what​ ​we​ ​know​ ​to​ ​be​ ​true​ ​about​ ​human​ ​behavior​ ​and​ ​facilitating​ ​quick​ ​action​ ​to​ ​get the​ ​results​ ​you​ ​need​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​your​ ​ministry​ ​on​ ​the​ ​air​ ​and​ ​strong​ ​for​ ​the​ ​next​ ​year.

First,​ ​we​ ​want​ ​to​ ​have​ ​fun.​ ​Why?​ ​Because​ ​we​ ​want​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​her​ ​engaged,​ ​interested​ ​and invested​ ​in​ ​the​ ​outcome.​ ​We​ ​want​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​storyline​ ​for​ ​the​ ​week​ ​with​ ​a​ ​beginning,​ ​a middle​ ​and​ ​the​ ​end.​ ​We​ ​want​ ​her​ ​to​ ​want​ ​to​ ​check​ ​back​ ​in​ ​when​ ​she​ ​runs​ ​to​ ​pick​ ​up​ ​the kids,​ ​or​ ​on​ ​her​ ​way​ ​home​ ​from​ ​work​ ​because​ ​she​ ​wants​ ​to​ ​find​ ​out​ ​what​ ​is​ ​the​ ​latest twist​ ​to​ ​the​ ​story.

Secondly,​ ​the​ ​language​ ​we​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​use​ ​during​ ​most​ ​on-air​ ​fundraisers​ ​does​ ​not​ ​facilitate building​ ​a​ ​relationship​ ​that​ ​benefits​ ​HER.​ ​It​ ​tends​ ​to​ ​sound​ ​a​ ​bit​ ​egocentric.​ ​It’s​ ​all​ ​about what​ ​WE​ ​need​ ​in​ ​that​ ​moment,​ ​during​ ​that​ ​song​ ​or​ ​during​ ​the​ ​next​ ​challenge.​ ​What about​ ​her?​ ​What​ ​does​ ​SHE​ ​need?​ ​We​ ​hear​ ​language​ ​like,​ ​“Hey​ ​if​ ​you​ ​call​ ​right​ ​now, you​ ​can​ ​be​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​what​ ​God​ ​is​ ​doing​ ​HERE”​ ​(at​ ​and​ ​through​ ​our​ ​station).”

Get​ ​it?​ ​“YOU​ ​get​ ​to​ ​be​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​US.”​ ​Really?

Here’s​ ​what’s​ ​true.​ ​She​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​us.​ ​She​ ​let’s​ ​us​ ​into​ ​HER​ ​world​ ​…into​ ​her​ ​car,​ ​on her​ ​phone,​ ​computer,​ ​in​ ​her​ ​home,​ ​in​ ​her​ ​office.​ ​She​ ​isn’t​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​​us,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of her life​ ​and​ ​​her world.​ ​She​ ​brings​ ​us​ ​with​ ​HER,​ ​not​ ​vice​ ​versa.​ ​The​ ​fact​ ​that​ ​she​ ​trusts us​ ​to​ ​take​ ​us​ ​with​ ​her,​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​her​ ​through,​ ​point​ ​her​ ​to​ ​God,​ ​encourage​ ​her,​ ​have​ ​fun with​ ​her​ ​and​ ​lift​ ​her​ ​up​ ​when​ ​she’s​ ​hurting,​ ​should​ ​inspire​ ​awe​ ​in​ ​us​ ​and​ ​humble​ ​us.

So,​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​“letting”​ ​her​ ​be​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​what​ ​“we”​ ​and​ ​our​ ​station​ ​or​ ​ministry​ ​is​ ​doing, how​ ​about​ ​we​ ​tell​ ​the​ ​truth.​ ​How​ ​about​ ​we​ ​let​ ​her​ ​know​ ​that​ ​it’s​ ​all​ ​about​ ​HER.​ ​She​ ​IS where​ ​it’s​ ​at.​ ​She’s​ ​not​ ​a​ ​part​ ​of​ ​what​ ​we’re​ ​doing.​ ​She​ ​MAKES​ ​IT​ ​ALL​ ​POSSIBLE.​ ​​ ​It doesn’t​ ​happen​ ​without​ ​her.​ ​She​ ​is​ ​giving​ ​so​ ​she​ ​enables​ ​us​ ​to​ ​continue​ ​to​ ​give​ ​HER what​ ​she​ ​wants,​ ​what​ ​she​ ​loves​ ​and​ ​what​ ​she’s​ ​come​ ​to​ ​depend​ ​on.​ ​She​ ​gives​ ​so​ ​we can​ ​keep​ ​encouraging​ ​her​ ​and​ ​others​ ​who​ ​need​ ​it.​ ​So​ ​we​ ​can​ ​be​ ​her​ ​safe​ ​haven.

Here’s​ ​the​ ​challenge​ ​and​ ​the​ ​mission​ ​for​ ​your​ ​fundraiser:​ ​we​ ​will​ ​connect​ ​with​ ​“her” more​ ​easily​ ​and​ ​more​ ​quickly​ ​if​ ​we​ ​simply​ ​keep​ ​her​ ​as​ ​our​ ​focus​ ​during​ ​our​ ​talk​ ​breaks.

As​ ​a​ ​radio​ ​professional​ ​and​ ​someone​ ​who​ ​has​ ​been​ ​raising​ ​money​ ​for​ ​Christian​ ​radio ministries​ ​for​ ​22​ ​years,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​my​ ​job​ ​to​ ​make​ ​it​ ​about​ ​her.​ ​To​ ​make​ ​sure​ ​she​ ​knows​ ​she’s responsible​ ​for​ ​all​ ​the​ ​stories​ ​of​ ​changed​ ​lives.​ ​Not​ ​a​ ​“part”​ ​of​ ​it​ ​but​ ​responsible​ ​for​ ​it​ ​as she​ ​gives​ ​her​ ​gift​ ​of​ ​support​ ​TODAY.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​right​ ​now.

She’s​ ​paying​ ​for​ ​the​ ​coffee​ ​she​ ​shares​ ​with​ ​your​ ​on-air​ ​team​ ​365​ ​days​ ​a​ ​year.​ ​Not because​ ​she​ ​“gets”​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​our​ ​world,​ ​but​ ​rather​ ​because​ ​she​ ​trusts​ ​us​ ​to​ ​enter​ ​her world​ ​and​ ​give​ ​her​ ​what​ ​she​ ​enjoys​ ​and​ ​wants​ ​more​ ​of.   

Stephanie Kay Welter  is an Independant Radio/TV Host, Fundraising Expert, Voiceover/commercial talent, Coach, Owner Crowned Productions, LLC … contact her at stephaniekvoice@gmail.com. Visit her website at  www.StephanieKay.org

One thought on “Stephanie Kay Welter “Who​ ​Pays​ ​For​ ​The​ ​Coffee?”

  • Great coaching in this article, Steph!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *