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Welcome to Whiteboard Wednesday!
I hope you’re having a nice summer. This is my annual time of year to wish I didn’t have the whitest skin known to man.
Here’s what other people look like at the beach
Here’s my beach experience
Oh well, I’ll just slather myself up with SPF 50 and hope for the best.
There’s lots of great stuff in this issue of Whiteboard Wednesday, so scroll on and enjoy (if you didn’t blow your fingers off with a firecracker recently.)
by Dave Kirby email@example.com
I’m a baseball fan. My love of the Cincinnati Reds goes back to the mid-70s days of the “Big Red Machine” and my favorite player Johnny Bench.
My favorite team is at the center of many “firsts” in baseball. In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional baseball team. And on May 24, 1935, MLB held its first night game, made possible by new lights installed at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.
The Reds played 8 night games that year, and despite their less-than-stellar 68-85 record, paid attendance skyrocketed by an impressive 117%.
That exponential growth made me start thinking about the mindset that led to the breakthrough for major league baseball and how we can apply that same mindset to our fundraising efforts. Here are my thoughts:
Think of what you’re doing from your donor’s perspective.
Think of how it serves them in their lifestyle or mindset. People work during the day, so it’s hard for them to get to a baseball game. Then someone in the room said, “Hey, why don’t we put up lights and play games at night when people aren’t at work?”
Meet the needs of the donor, and the donor will meet your needs.
How many of us even know our donors? Do we know their lifestyle? Do we know what motivates them to give?
I don’t have the corner on innovative ideas, but they all start by finding a problem that needs solving. When Vidare started recommending our Kickstarter campaign to begin a fundraiser, that came out of a realization that, based on listening habits, many listeners might not even hear a 3, 4, or 5-day fundraiser. So we asked ourselves, “How can we spread the fundraising message out to get it in front of more people?”
Figure out who your donor is, connect with them in ways that make sense to them, and make giving easiest based on their lifestyle.
It usually starts with the words, “What if we…”
Decide to do it.
There’s a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. Innovation is hard. Trying something new brings inherent risk.
When we started recommending the Kickstarter campaign to our clients, the risk was that it would burn the listeners out on fundraising. That didn’t happen, but the risk was there, and that’s scary if you’re the one with your name on the dotted line.
“What if it doesn’t work” is a question you’ll have to ask yourself. But it’s also a question you’ll have to overcome if you’re ever going to innovate.
Find the tech
Playing night baseball would not have been possible without the invention of the electric light unless you had a gargantuan number of candles (I figured out it would take over 509,000 candles to light a modern sports field. Yeah, I’m that nerdy!)
The first incandescent light bulb was demonstrated in 1879, and it took decades to develop the technology and infrastructure needed to light a baseball stadium.
As with any innovation, once you decide to do it, you will need to develop the technology to get it done. Luckily we live in a world of almost endless technology options. I’m confident there’s tech for just about anything you want to do. You may not know about it, but it probably exists.
But remember, your decision drives the tech. Not the other way around. Decide to do it, then find what you need to get it done.
The status quo never made anything better. New results require new actions. Nobody has changed their world by playing it safe. There are so many ways to make things better for those with the courage to explore the possibilities.
This is normally the part of the newsletter that we promote something. But I don’t have anything to promote this month, so I thought I’d improve your life with a helpful graph.
This is true. But if you’re going to wear them, trim your toenails.
By Don Burns firstname.lastname@example.org
When I was in high school I was not the best of students. My teachers would tell you that I was pretty smart, I just wasn’t interested in school. For the first couple of years, I did just enough to get by. Just enough to play basketball. Just enough to not get grounded.
Then I had a teacher in 10th grade, Mr. Thomason. He was the one teacher who asked me to sign my yearbook. That kind of shocked me. And what he wrote inspired me to do better in high school (I ended up being on the honor roll every grading period of my senior year), and it has also inspired me in my adult years. Mr. Thomason wrote,
“My word to you, effort = success. When you apply yourself, you do very well. The Lord demands constant application – think on it.”
When it comes to fundraising on Christian radio, I have found the same thing to be true.
When stations have put in the effort before the fundraiser, the fundraisers have done very well. When they do just enough to get by – it shows.
So many times, we view the fundraiser as something we dread. But, fundraisers are necessary to stay on the air sharing the Good News every day. I know fundraisers can be exhausting, but they can also be fun. They can be tiring but also encouraging. They can be draining but also very rewarding. I think it all comes down to what kind of effort you put into it.
If you really think about it, we are always fundraising for our station. With every on-air break, with every song we play, with every promotion we do in the community. We never know what is going to make that connection with the listener. That is why it is so important to do the best we can in everything “as unto the Lord”.
A couple of ways we can get prepared ahead of time for our fundraiser can include
A calendar of things that need to get done ahead of time.
One of the stations I worked at had a 6-week calendar leading up to the fundraiser that they stuck to without wavering.
Get those listener stories!
Some stations have used events like concerts, sticker stops, or snow cone remotes to help promote the event. And when you get in front of the listeners, engage them in conversations about your station. They LOVE your station! Get them to tell you why AND RECORD THEM!! Their story, in their words, is so much more powerful than you reading their story on the air.
If you don’t have a chance to get out before your fundraiser, but you have an app with an open-mic feature, ask your listeners to use it to share their stories. Maybe even give them an incentive to do so. An Amazon gift card, a grocery card, concert tickets, etc. They love the station, and they love free stuff.
If you don’t care, why should they?
You can tell, and the listener can tell if the people who are on the air really believe in their station. If it’s important to you, they’ll notice, and it will be important to them.
Mr. Thomason was right, “Effort = success. And the Lord demands constant application.”
As we wrap up this month’s issue, I’d like to thank those of you who read Whiteboard Wednesday.
You might not know that Apple has changed their mail privacy, and now we can’t accurately count how many people open this newsletter. So if you could reply with a comment or just a 👍🏻 we’d appreciate it.
And if Vidare Creative can help you in your fundraising efforts, please reply to this email and let us know.
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