Is your fundraiser all about the listener?
I am sure your first response to the title of the article is, of course, our fundraiser is all about our listener.
Can I encourage you to take a deeper look? Often a fundraiser is all about you, your team and not the listener. How often do you listen to a fundraising event and you hear, “We need your help”, “Would you help us right now”, “You can help us hit our goal”, “We did it, we hit the goal.” It’s all about us and not the listener or we wouldn’t be using that kind of verbiage. It’s not about helping us, it’s about helping their radio station. We take back ownership from the listener when we make it about us. We should be saying, “Your station needs your help”, “Would you help your station make this goal”, “You did it! you helped your station make this amazing goal.” It needs to be all about them and their station, not about us.
Being in radio you understand that you are talking to one person but when it comes to a fundraiser we often begin talking to the masses and no longer just the individual. “Thousands are listening and we just need 100 to call us right now.” How about, “Thousands are listening but it’s going to come down to you and 99 others to call and support your radio station.” Again, it’s about making it all about them as an individual and their station.
My guess is if you are on the air during drive time, mornings or afternoons, phone calls are a part of your show. We include listeners on the phone every hour, perhaps multiple times per hour because the listener is the star of the show. So let me ask the question, where does the listener go during your fundraiser? Why are you not taking calls from those who just donated to your event? Trust me, they can make a much better pitch than you can and it’s wonderful peer pressure. I’m sitting in Australia as I write this article and we work very hard with a producer on each shift to get listeners on the air multiple times per hour. The stories are amazing when you get a raw on-air phone call. Yes, it takes a lot of extra work but the pay off is huge. It sounds like the listeners are pushing your fundraiser and not you. When I work with my good friends at WGTS we make sure there is a producer for the morning show, he looks for great stories from those who have just donated and calls them back to get them on the air. This will change the entire sound of your event and you’ll ensure the fundraiser is all about the listener and THEIR radio station.
Bill Scott has over 30 years of experience as an on-air talent at stations like WCIE, The JOY FM, WAY FM, has produced five syndicated radio programs and has hosted about 700 broadcast fundraising events helping stations and organizations fund their ministries. You can reach Bill via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.