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Well, we’re halfway through the summer. If you’re like me and hate the heat and humidity, it feels like we’ll never get to September. Apologies to my northern friends who are dreading the winter.
Fundraising season is coming at us like a freight train. And truthfully, it should never end. So in this issue of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’ll give you some ideas of things to work on, not the least of which is your talent and how important they are to your fundraising efforts.
As always, your comments, questions, and keto recipes are welcome. Just hit that reply button.
Here we go…
by Paul Goldsmith
Winning radio stations are not unlike winning political campaigns. It boils down to connecting, on an emotional level, with enough people willing to listen and take action. The best way to do that is to focus on one central theme. No brand can be all things to all people.
James Carville, one of the most prolific political strategists of the 20th century, understood this and coined the phrase “It’s The Economy, Stupid” for Bill Clinton’s 1992 winning presidential campaign. That singular focus brought clarity and, ultimately, victory against an incumbent president.
You do a lot of good things at your radio station – you play encouraging music, share hopeful messages, and create concerts and events that inspire unforgettable experiences for your listeners.
All solid, tactical stuff. However, if you were to boil down your station’s most essential core value to the listener: it’s the experience they have when they listen. The emotional payoff. How do you create an emotional payoff each time?
People connect with people. In other words, It’s The Talent, Stupid.
Yes, music contains emotion, but it’s no longer enough for radio to compete. The 2022 Jacobs Media Tech Survey showed that in 2019 the power of personalities surpassed the appeal of music for radio listeners, and the trend continues.
For radio stations to thrive, the air talent in each daypart needs to be engaging and create a unique and compelling experience every time. That’s easier said than done. I know what you or your GM might think: “What happens if we invest in talent and they leave?”
What happens if you don’t invest in your talent, and they stay? As Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don’t want to.”
High-performing talent needs direction. They need ongoing support. They need coaching. If you don’t have the resources for all that, then a syndicated show that is focused and well supported might be a good solution for certain dayparts.
Vidare gets hired to come alongside and coach air talent in every daypart in which stations seek to raise money. Yet many air talent don’t receive coaching outside of the fundraisers. There is a noticeable difference in the fundraising response.
Can you imagine if Tiger Woods only hired a swing coach during the Masters? A coach helps an individual discover their blind spots and continually improve their performance. A blind spot is an area where a person’s view is obstructed. You can’t see what you don’t see, and you can’t hear what you don’t hear. We all need a trusted outsider’s perspective.
We haven’t all been replaced by algorithms yet. And stations that invest in coaching and talent who are able to consistently give listeners an incredible experience each time they listen will continue to grow.
If you’re interested in a free, no-obligation coaching session for one of your air talent, send me an email, and I’d be honored to do it or connect you with another great coach.
Unfortunately, as we age, our memory can not be as sharp as it was in days gone by. Fast Company has some memory tricks, including walking backward…seriously. Don’t forget to read it.
Text messages have a 98% open rate. Are you using them in your fundraising and donor engagement? This special report from Podium is full of tips and strategies. You’ll have to give them your email address, but they consistently send me good info.
Do your donors know you love them?
Most of us are not consistently taking advantage of the number one fundraising tactic: keeping the donors we already have.
Kind of a no-brainer, right? So why don’t we pay more attention to it?
Keeping them requires a consistent plan to keep in touch. Invest in them, treat them like a friend, and say thank you. Show you care.
That’s why Vidare Creative has created our Fundraising 365 toolkit. It’s a monthly plan to communicate and love on your donors. It includes a communication calendar, plus monthly donor spot scripts with audio.
The Fundraising 365 Toolkit is free for Vidare clients, but it’s available to everyone for the Whiteboard Wednesday special price of $99.
Ready to retain more donors and develop deeper relationships? Click here to find out more about the Fundraising 365 Toolkit from Vidare Creative.
by Dave Kirby
Imagine you are flying from New York to Los Angeles. That distance by air is about 2,500 miles. But when you look out the window when you’re ready to land, you realize that you’re nowhere near LAX, but rather you are over Costa Mesa, CA, some 40 miles to the south. How could this happen?
You became a victim of the 1 in 60 rule.
What’s the 1 in 60 Rule? It’s a principle in navigation that says for every 1 degree you are off from your target, for every 60 miles you travel, you will have deviated by 1 mile.
The obvious lesson for those who are not pilots is that it only takes a small change to make a big difference. Even small mistakes, over time, can create expensive problems. But, conversely, minor corrections can produce significant rewards.
This principle is true in our fundraising. Unfortunately, over my years of raising money for organizations, I often see simple mistakes that can cost us significant effort, resources, and ultimately money.
The good news is that simple course corrections can also create substantial rewards.
The key is to identify the areas where you’ve veered off course, pick one, and correct it. You don’t have to fix all the problems right now. Just pick something and do it. Don’t have a meeting and talk about doing it, then never follow through. A pilot who recognizes he’s off in his navigation will not simply make it to his desired destination by recognizing he’s off by 1 degree. He has to course correct.
Here’s a list of areas I see many organizations fail when it comes to their fundraising efforts:
• Not getting good data.
• Not thanking their donors enough.
• Not cleaning up and segmenting their mailing list.
• Not fixing programming issues that affect fundraising.
• Not using enough urgency in their fundraising appeals.
• Only communicating with their donors when they need something.
• Not making their mission and need for support known 365 days a year.
By all means not an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Pick one, and then identify the FIRST STEP you can do immediately to begin course correcting.
Just start. A 1% action can make a world of difference.
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