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
Personally how do you keep the ministry in the “business”?
Without sounding super-spiritual, recognizing the
invisible aspects of what is happening on a daily basis helps me to
keep a proper perspective. It is important to affirm
that ultimately, every Christian-formatted radio station is wholly
dependent on God’s provision to fulfill its mission. Another unseen
aspect of life that underscores the ministry orientation of
Christian radio is joining listeners in prayer involving their
pressing issues. I was privileged to participate in a prayer meeting
recently in North Carolina where staff members read listener
petitions describing heart-wrenching life issues. In the midst of
praying for these seemingly hopeless situations I was reminded of
the Apostle Paul’s commendation of Epaphras in Colossians 4:12, as
he “agonized in prayer” for members of the body in distant cities.
Humble dependence on the Holy Spirit’s work in listeners’ lives
creates fertile ground for meaningful ministry.
2. Overall, how is Christian radio different today, from 5 years
Christian radio stations are taking a more proactive
role in responding to the spiritual and material needs of people
domestically and internationally. Our stations coordinate efforts
with local, regional and national organizations to provide direct
relief, critical information for action and prayer, along with
communicating a biblical perspective to the masses. Local examples
include leadership support for rescue missions, pregnancy care
centers and single parent encouragement efforts. Similarly, overseas
partnerships with outstanding evangelism and/or relief organizations
such as Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision
and Voice of the Martyrs serve to position our stations as community
leaders in compassionate action. This is a very encouraging
3. What do you think is the main role of the station
donor relation person?
The donor relations staff member’s role is to
dedicate themselves to unconditionally serve their donors. While it
is important to seek new financial partners, I would concentrate on
those friends who have indicated their capacity and desire to make
our station one of their top giving priorities. Have you ever played
on a sports team where the manager was always looking for additional
talent to bolster the lineup while neglecting the development of his
own players? How did it make you feel? You may have been less than
enthusiastic to extend yourself for the team. Considering the
lifetime value of each and every donor and the amount of effort
needed to replace them, the process of nurturing and developing
significant friendships with your current donor base should be a
4. What should a station look for when hiring for that position?
In his book, The Speed of Trust, author Stephen M.R.
Covey identifies trust as the number one
competitive advantage skill for the 21st century. He
defines a person who can be implicitly trusted as someone who has
demonstrated a high level of competence in their work (their
strengths and results they produce) while valuing strong character.
Others would add the skills of communication and exercising
compassionate care to the trust mix.
BTW - When seeking to validate a candidate’s fitness
in these areas, I would seek six references instead of the customary
three references. Due diligence in the evaluation phase of
recruiting will help to assure a better match for this important
5. Overall how can a donor relations person help a station reach
Develop compelling communication tools that convey the results of
Concentrate on building relationships to offer opportunities for top
donors to invest in projects that advance the mission of the
Promote special events which highlight the way your station has made
a tangible impact in the lives of listeners. Deliver memorable
moments that your major donor and major donor prospects will want to
relate to ten of their closest friends.
Develop and maintain the fundamental principles of donor development
such as identifying, qualifying, cultivating, soliciting, and
sustaining the support team.
to eagerly run to God in prayer with station needs and
opportunities. Seek intercessory prayer partners to help us fulfill
God’s calling to be an effective connecting tool for the body of
Christ in our community.
Regularly conduct surveys with donors asking them how our mission
effects them personally and also their preferences in our
communication and events.
Maintain and take action on important donor measures such as
conversion rates, lapsing rates, renewal rates for each level of the
does a donor relations program connect with station promotions?
Promotional activities of stations offer
opportunities for donors to serve as volunteers and encourage their
friends to meet the station staff. These events provide a venue
where donor relations staff can invite donors to “meet and greet”
opportunities with artists or broadcasters. Donors will be
encouraged if the event is well managed and fulfills the objectives
outlined by station leadership.
your opinion what are the biggest obstacles facing Christian radio
Attitudes toward Christian radio are changing.
However, overcoming the perception that much of the programming on
Christian-formatted radio stations is irrelevant is an obstacle to
growth. Another obstacle is the lack of capital funding to purchase
major market stations.
What (if any) Christian radio stations do you consider as innovators
I appreciate stations that combine Internet
broadcasting with terrestrial broadcasting while encouraging
interactivity with their audiences. I also appreciate those stations
that present Christian truth in innovative ways and allow the
younger generation to serve in leadership.
Where do you see Christian radio in 5 years?
I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet…yet since
you asked me, I would predict an increasing level of intolerance in
our culture to our exclusive message of eternal salvation through
the grace and work of Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12) In
response, I believe Christian-formatted radio stations will forge
active partnerships with life-giving local churches and regional
para-church organizations to protect our freedom of communicating
the Gospel and/or commenting on controversial societal issues. We
can expect to face persecution and suffering for boldly taking moral
stands. May we rely on God’s promises and sustaining grace during
these last days.
In regards to donor development, our stations will
develop new ways for supporters to interact with station staff.
Donors will increasingly choose to fund the station activities or
projects that they can get involved with on a personal level.
Although providing these opportunities with supporters will become a
much more complex task, those stations who lead the way will grow in
influence and income.