Career Capsule: Fundraising was always the end goal for me. Growing up in a family of missionaries and radio geeks, it seems my current career was inevitable from the start. After studying advertising and nonprofit business, I went to work for Christian FM in Florida as their donor development director for a couple of years. From there I was launched across the country to work as an account manager at i58:10 Media in Oregon, where I am enjoying my second gorgeous fall, fundraising for and on radio stations across the country.
Hope. Tell us what’s new with i58:10… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
There’s always new things happening at i58:10 Media! The addition of Scott Michaels to our team, research into new fundraising avenues, new ministry partners, continually expanding into new radio markets and formats… We have a team that’s always learning and growing, thinking outside the box—which makes for a fun work environment. There are some very new and exciting things coming down the pipeline.
Christian Radio is very competitive, what strategies do you recommend to stand out in the crowd?
I’m a huge fan of authenticity. We all know it’s a buzzword for millennials; but it’s what everyone craves in this congested yet lonely culture. Connectedness and investing in the listeners’ lives outside of time spent on air (via social media, dinners, meet and greets, etc.), brings that authenticity home.
What is the best fundraising advice you’ve been given? The worst?
Don’t ever be ashamed or afraid to ask. Asking someone to give, is truly giving them the opportunity to be blessed and impact lives.
The worst fundraising advice was “people need a big gift incentive to give…” The vision of lives a ministry changes should be the true incentive to give, and creates the most loyal donor.
Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
The more people impacted by the Gospel, the better. Competition can push us to be more excellent; to find what our listeners need, and push ourselves to better serve them. At the same time, there’s something beautiful about markets where a station has served for generations as the only beacon of hope for their listeners…that kind of loyalty and listener relationship is hard to find in saturated markets.
What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?
Vision to see Charles get his first good meal in 6 months. Vision to see Annie cured from parasites. Vision to see Dawn turn from suicide after hearing a song that tells her she is loved. Vision to see beyond the stack of emails, phone calls, and the walls of my office…vision to inspire and activate generosity for a broken world.
Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
From stations that are intentional about discovering and developing talent. Stations who don’t force their personalities to conform to a safe established box; but allow personalities to take risks, be vulnerable, and make mistakes.
Generally speaking to the industry what are the biggest challenges facing Christian radio fundraising?
Saturated markets, distracted listeners, and tightening purses.
Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
Corny though it may be, my biggest radio hero has always been Jon Hamilton of Christian FM. Not only does he have a stellar last name, but he’s radio brilliant in everything from the tech to on air talent, always puts others first, and has the greatest integrity of anyone I know.
I admire David Harms, and not just because he signs my paychecks; but because he’s real, does everything with excellence for Jesus, is an amazing vision caster, and invests his whole heart in every second on air.