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Hey there,

We’re in the final stages of 2022, and while this year has been full of challenges, it has also been full of opportunity. So read on for some good fundraising news and advice on getting started for next year. The “awesome-o-meter” for this newsletter doesn’t lie.

But before all that goodness, just a word of encouragement for you between now and January 1. Your donors are NOT tired of hearing from you. On the contrary, a report recently showed that 38% would be more likely to give more if they heard from you more (and that’s the highest level in 5 years.)

The truth is that people don’t pay attention as much as you think they do. Did you do a fundraiser this month? Most listeners didn’t hear it. Did you send a letter? Most didn’t read it. 

Research firm Next/After reported that 50% of all year-end giving happened during the last week of 2021, and 21% occurred on the LAST DAY.

So don’t feel guilty. Keep asking, and use the built-in urgency of the end of the year to drive response.

Ok, that’s off my chest. Let’s get this party started…


Finally, some good news

by Dave Kirby dave@vidarecreative.com

I subscribe to dozens of newsletters and blogs related to fundraising and marketing. As a result, I wade through hundreds of emails each week, looking for insights that can be helpful to us as fundraisers.

And believe me, I wade through a lot of junk. 

That’s why this article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy made my heart leap for joy. Rarely do I get TWO nuggets of valuable information from ONE newsletter.

If you’re like me, you might lose a little sleep when you try to look into the crystal ball and foresee how much inflation will impact our donor’s willingness to give. On the surface, it would be logical to assume that higher prices = less disposable income = less giving. But let me drop these two good news bombs on you:

  1. “Why America Gives 2022,” a joint report by Classy and GoFundMe, asked 1,000 Americans who had given in the previous 12 months about their anticipated giving this season. It found that despite economic turmoil, ninety percent of respondents planned to donate the same amount or more than last year.
  2. A Vanguard Charitable poll found that sixty percent of donors with charitable giving in their budgets say inflation will not impact their contributions. Twenty-four percent say they gave more due to inflation.

Not only do donors plan to keep giving despite inflation, but a good percentage of them also plan to give more. And while I don’t have the complete picture yet, as of this writing, we see that playing out in the year-end fundraisers we’re part of at Vidare Creative.

Giving Tuesday raised $3.1 billion this year, up 15% over last year and 25% over 2020.  

Despite inflation and all the anxiety it causes, be hopeful. There’s plenty of generosity out there for those who do the work, tell the story, and connect with their donors.

Fundraising 23: check out our speakers at fundraising23.com!

And now, a Christmas poem:

Twas the night before Christmas,

And all through the house,

You get $50 off your first registration when you sign up for Fundraising 23 by December 32.

Ok…it’s a work in progress. 

But you will learn and grow as a fundraiser if you join us.

And you will get $50 off your first registration if you click the little button below.

So, all in all, Merry Christmas to all and to all a massive fundraising year in 2023!

Links will direct to sites not affiliated with Vidare Creative

The world as we know it is about to change. Don’t believe me? Try out ChatGPT, the new AI platform from OpenAI. It will both amaze you and scare you about what the future holds. But the company understands the ethical concerns and is working on a system to watermark content. 

Surprise! Different generations communicate differently. This report from Edison mail will guide you through the most preferred platforms for Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z.

One of my favorite daily newsletters is The Hustle. This blog post from them helps you identify and uplevel your leadership skills.


Beautiful Fundraising Lessons From The Beast

By Paul Goldsmith paul@vidarecreative.com

On-air fundraisers can be brutal for all involved: Management, on-air staff, and especially, the audience.

But that need not be true. 

Fundraisers can also be the most beautiful, compelling content you create all year.

In fact, when the best fundraising is done, it’s like a great romance that involves subtle exchanges of information that keep the other person interested and intrigued.

Know the quickest way to kill a romance? Make it transactional.

Telling listeners that your station is a non-profit and thus requires their donation to stay on the air is transactional. It’s boring.

Your station is not in the business of being a non-profit organization. You are in the business of encouraging people and reminding them that they are loved by God.

Is that worth supporting?

You bet.

Simon Sinek, in Start with Why, reminds us, “People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it and what you do simply proves what you believe.”

To compel listeners to donate to your station, your WHY needs to be front and center and communicated 365 days a year.

When communicating your Why, for it to be heard, it’s essential that content adheres to the 3 core principles of all-powerful radio, as outlined by talent coach Valerie Geller:

  1. Tell the Truth
  2. Make It Matter
  3. Never Be Boring

You tell the truth to your listeners when you proclaim God’s goodness and love. And it’s the financial support of your listeners that enables you to do that. The listeners, and the station, are on mission. Together.

How do you make fundraising matter? Start with the listener. What matters to her? Then tell powerful stories that inspire her. Celebrate with her how God is at work through her and the station year-round through music, personalities, and ministry outreaches.

How do you make it not boring? Invest in your team to become better storytellers. Work with a coach, and then put in the reps by telling stories of impact every day.

If you want a masterclass on how to never be boring in your fundraising, check out what 24-year-old Jimmy Donaldson, better known as Mr. Beast, is doing on his YouTube Philanthropy page. Mr. Beast’s primary YouTube channel has over 115 Million subscribers, but what is even more impressive is that his separate fundraising account has close to 11 Million subscribers and growing.

In 2023, let’s take the lessons from Mr. Beast and make fundraising fun for everyone by being more relational and less translational, and making it beautifully compelling even for the people who never give.

A Parting Thought For 2022

From Bill Scott bill@vidarecreative.com 

You hear us preach at Vidare that everyone in your building is a fundraiser, not just the on-air people or those in your development department.  

You cannot raise money without a good on-air signal. Engineering did that.  You cannot raise money if the music director is picking the wrong songs.  Everyone is on the team. I encourage you to raise your budget as a complete team, not just a development department.

But as we close out 2022 and look ahead to 2023, I want to encourage you. I think it’s just as important to know that everyone in your building is also a minister. You have every bit as much to do with what God is doing in the lives of your listeners as those on the air. Again, you are a team heading in the same direction in the area of fundraising and in doing ministry to your listeners.  

So as the year ends, be blessed and encouraged that what you do really matters!


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