Regardless the size of your radio station, I believe
you are a few steps away from attracting big gifts to fund your
In our experience, organizations with
a one person development staff member or even organizations without
development offices can dramatically increase the flow of big gifts,
regardless of their development budget. Just as donor-supported
missionaries prepare lists of potential funding partners, your
organization can move forward in development success. What are some
of the key principles and practices to build your major donor team
on a small budget?
The key is to attract the attention
of those with both capacity and passion for your cause. How do you
find the wealthy, passionate donors that should be interested in
joining your major donor team?
1. The first place to look is to
brainstorm a list of your organization's own constituency. Can your
staff identify a dozen high capacity friends of your organization
who have demonstrated interest through their giving and
participation? Treat this list like gold. Make it a priority to
identify, build a relationship and make the ask of those capable of
making immediate and near-term big gifts.
2. What if you do not have the
benefit of a large segment of high-capacity friends/donors?
Stephen Nill, founder of
Channel offers a great suggestion—get to know the vast number of
advisors to the wealthy in your community. Cultivate relationships
with allied professionals such as attorneys, accountants, insurance
professionals, real estate and stock brokers, bankers, asset
managers, and others who assist with wealth counseling and estate
planning. Following a disciplined regimen of taking advisors out for
breakfast and seeking leads, Nill averages two referrals per year
per advisor. For many organizations, one big gift of $100,000 or
more resulting from these relationships would make an amazing
difference in furthering your mission. The cumulative funds raised
from such gifts likely will far exceed any other fund development
strategy that can be pursued.
3. Finally, we use a tool called the
Centers of Christian Influence to rapidly spot Christian leaders who
“walk the talk” in a community. We have discovered that every region
is blessed with a number of generous believers like Mary in Jesus’
day who sacrificially gave her life savings in perfume to lavishly
anoint her Lord and Savior (John
12:3). We identify these individuals through an extensive survey
with leading pastors,
Christian bookstore owners,
chaplains, Christian Business Network executives and even editorial
staff of local newspapers. Our main question - - "Who walks the talk
in their Christian leadership activity in your region?” Over the
years, the answers we receive turn out to be 90% correct and we
immediately build a major donor funding team. Send me an e-mail if
you’d like a copy of this tool.
The time is now to prepare for tomorrow's major-gifts campaign.
Bringing your organization to the attention of individuals capable
of making major gifts and leading them to full participation will
help assure fulfillment of your near-term and long-term
organizational goals. May your journey of discovery exceed your
With 24 years of experience in corporate and non-profit leadership
positions and almost a generation of experience in listener
supported Christian radio, Mark Kordic helps radio stations across
the country grow income from major donors and pledges.
Before joining Advocace, Mark was the Director of Media Advancement
for CDR Radio Network-The PATH®, the media division of Cedarville
University in Cedarville, OH. At The PATH® he successfully
served in a number of marketing and executive positions, helping
fund network expansion. Kordic also previously served as assistant
pastor at Shawnee Hills Baptist Church in Jamestown, OH.
Contact Mark by e-mail at