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Hey there ,

We’re a week late this month. Several of our team members came back from Momentum with Covid. It hit me especially hard, but we’re all on the mend. I heard others also went home not feeling well this year. Hopefully you’re back to kicking butt and raising money!

This edition is especially timely. You’ll get:

    • Tips for fundraising during inflation.
    • Common mistakes stations make in their fundraiser.

Let us know what you think of the content by emailing dave@vidarecreative.com or reply to this email.

Here we go…


5 Tips for Fundraising During Inflation

by Dave Kirby

These are interesting times indeed. 

I was talking to Kevin Krueger from WGTS the other day, and he mentioned the word “layers.” To me, that’s an accurate description of what’s happening right now. It feels like one bad thing gets layered on top of another. First, Covid starts to die down, then Ukraine. Then inflation. Then baby formula shortage. What’s next? I’m afraid to ask!

The average person can feel like the world is crumbling around them, and they have no control. 

These are also scary times for non-profit organizations. Several clients have expressed concern about shrinking donor pool, canceled monthly gifts, and increased reliance on larger gifts. It’s worrisome when you see fewer eggs going in fewer baskets. And how does that translate into the long-term health of your donor base?

Est quod est. 

That’s Latin for “it is what it is.” Unfortunately, this is our current reality. All the wishing in the world won’t change it. Only action and prayer will change things. There’s a quote I’ve seen attributed to everyone from St. Augustine to Charles Spurgeon to Dave Ramsey. It doesn’t matter who said it; the truth still applies, “Pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if it all depends on you.”

So pray. Then act.

That said, there are my top 5 action steps for fundraising during inflation:

  • Double down on the mission. Tell even more compelling stories of changed lives. So often, the people who are most affected by inflation are the ones who can least afford to give. Remind those who can give of the immense impact they can make. Create a compelling big vision that inspires people to give.
  • Be honest. Acknowledge the elephant in the room and tell them its impact on your ministry. Help them see the big picture and their place in it. But don’t whine. People who have trouble paying for food and gasoline don’t want to hear your problems. Keep it donor-focused.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. Here’s the reality: during inflationary times, the pool of potential donors shrinks. As a result, people give less money or give to fewer charities. But the paradox is that, due to a number of factors, the wealthy often become wealthier. And that additional wealth can inspire a wave of generosity. In fact, a recent study shows that 68% of wealthy donors plan to increase their giving in the next two years.
    • Reach out to upper-mid and major donors and ask them to do a little more. Times are tough, and those who can give are needed even more. 
    • Ask mass donors to increase their smaller gifts or convert from single gifts to monthly.
    • Create a re-engagement campaign for lapsed donors. These are warmer leads since they have already given in the past.

As always, a goal and a deadline are critical. Give donors a clear picture of what you are asking for and help them feel empowered to meet the need.

  • Be willing to accept what the donors are willing to give. We all remember the good old days when people would line up to give $30/month. While there are still many people who can give that amount, many more cannot or will not. Would you rather have them give $15/month or nothing at all? Personally, I would rather them give $10/month than a $100 single gift. At least we have them committed and can work them up the ladder as things improve.
  • Step up the communication. Engage your core donors like never before. Your donors are people and will gravitate towards things that make them feel good. Invest in them with content that helps them navigate the trouble surrounding them. Make them feel like they are valued. Pray for them and encourage them. As they look for ways to tighten their belts, earn the right to “make the cut” of expenses they are eliminating.

Challenging times call for creative solutions. It’s hard work, and it’s not business as usual. At this point, I wouldn’t expect business as usual to come back any time soon. 

But tough times push us to be better. They help us focus on what matters most. So lean into the challenge, do the work, and trust God for the rest.

And, as always, if you need help executing these action steps, let us know. Contact paul@vidarecreative.com

Links will direct to sites not affiliated with Vidare Creative

We all struggle with how much to email our donors. So here’s some advice from the online marketing world that might shed some light on the best practices. 

The thing that gets people to buy is the same thing that gets them to donate: emotion.

“I don’t think you could pack more valuable information into two days than what Vidare does with their fundraising seminars. Every speaker gave me actionable steps to become a better fundraiser – and not just on-air, but how to do a better job with fundraising 365 days a year. If you think that you do a pretty good job fundraising on your own, this conference will blow you away at how much more you can grow, and how much more money is out there for your ministry!” - Andy Youso – KTIS/Minneapolis

Fundraising 22 is almost here. Are you registered? It’s really a small price to pay for two days full of training from fundraising experts. Our speakers have collectively raised over $1 billion for ministries worldwide. 

Realistically, if you raise an extra $1000 because of what you learn, the trip has paid for itself. But what if you raise 20, 30 or $50,000? Then it looks like a no-brainer.

Excellent training, fantastic food, networking with other fundraising leaders, and top Christian artists. Seriously, what are you waiting for?


By the way, our most recent Vidare Creative webinar was a preview of what to expect from Fundraising 22. Check out the on-demand video here.

Top 3 Mistakes Stations Make During Their Fundraiser

by Bill Scott

Every fundraiser has room for growth.  Here are the top three mistakes I see during a fundraiser:

• Not knowing your data. You need to have real-time data when you are in the studio. You need to know how many are on the phone, how much money is pending on the phone before the operator hangs up, how many people are on your web page, and of course, names so you can thank donors in real-time. The longer it takes to get that information, the slower the fundraiser will go. 

Trust me, having data is your friend. You need to know your open rate on your fundraising email blasts and how many you engaged with on Facebook and other platforms. Knowing the number of total phone gifts vs. web, app, etc. is crucial to how you message your appeals. Also, what the average gift is in real-time. 

The closer the data is to real-time, the better your fundraiser will be.  Again, data is your friend!

Inconsistent messaging across all channels. Your station needs to have the same messaging going across all channels simultaneously. Your website, email blasts, direct mail, postcards, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, video, on-air promotion, and anything else you can think of needs to be consistent with the same messaging to brand your fundraiser correctly.

• Not enough urgency and deadline. Urgency and deadlines are your friends in everything you do. Not only during your on-air fundraiser but also in your direct mail and email blasts as well. 

Your listeners are busy, and at best you are background noise. You have to cut through the clutter in their lives, and the best way to do that is with urgency and deadlines. I love what my partner Dave Kirby says, “Give me a story with no urgency, and I’ll give you urgency with no story, and I’ll beat you whenever it comes to raising money.” Dave is not encouraging you not to tell any stories, but at best, a story without a deadline and urgency only makes your listeners feel good about what you are doing. 

You need action, which comes with urgency and a deadline. The perfect break marries all three. A great story followed by urgency and a deadline is the most impactful beak you can have.

I hear people say regularly, wow, folks always call at the end of a match at the last second. That is because there is urgency and a deadline. So my question is, how many deadlines can we give our listeners each hour?

If you can focus on these three areas, you will watch your fundraisers grow.

This year has presented new challenges. Inflation is definitely top of mind for your donors. But have you seen the airlines lately? Every plane is packed, in spite of airfares doubling and tripling in some cases. Restaurants are full.

The point? People spend money on what’s important to them. That includes you. Make yourself more important to them.

We love you, and if we can help, please let us know. We’re happy to spend time with you on a free consultation. Just email paul@vidarecreative.com.


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