“In a way, the world is a great liar. It shows you it worships and admires money, but at the end of the day it doesn’t. It says it adores fame and celebrity, but it doesn’t, not really. The world admires, and wants to hold on to, and not lose, goodness. It admires virtue. At the end, it gives its greatest tributes to generosity, honesty, courage, mercy, talents well used, talents that, brought into the world, make it better. That’s what it really admires. That’s what we talk about in eulogies, because that’s what’s important. We don’t say, “The thing about Joe was he was rich.” We say, if we can, ‘The thing about Joe was he took care of people’.”
Peggy Noonan’s Wall Street Journal tribute to Tim Russert after his death in 2008
Vidare Creative is a fundraising company, not because we worship money, because we value the power it has to make the world a better place and take care of people. And the first people we must take care of are in the hallways of our organizations.
At our Fundraising 21 conference, one of the most poignant moments came when Coach John Brock, who has been radio fundraising around the world since 1983, shared “I think the thing we miss most of all coaching our fundraising teams is … some of the most broken people I’ve ever met are in the hallways of our radio stations.”
His experience was echoed by several other speakers and attendees.
Coach Brock challenged us to connect with, pray for, and truly get to know what’s going on in the lives of our coworkers. When we care or, to put it another way, “love one another … by this everyone will know that we are followers of Jesus”.
It is our privilege at Vidare to train and equip Christian radio teams to raise more money to be a beacon of hope in our communities and to share our faith, hope, and love with a hurting and disconnected world. And how we do this matters to God and it matters to us.
It is estimated that 95% of our brain activity is unconscious. Thus, it’s essential to have a clear process for how we manage the relationships with our teams as well as our listeners and donors. As James Clear writes in his terrific book Atomic Habits, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
At Vidare, we’ve created a metric system for our clients to measure the data that matters to them. Here’s a quick primer … What is your process for celebrating birthdays or remembering important anniversaries? Do you have a process for retaining donors or re-capturing them once they have lapsed? What about a process for calling each donor or listener to offer to pray for them?
Passion for the Product
Assuming you have the right people on the team and are truly caring for them well, have set up the right systems, then we can get to the essence of what makes for great radio fundraising … good programming. Not just good programming but programming with soul.
Remember when Howard Shultz retired and then returned as CEO of Starbucks to rescue the company after its languishing sales? Schultz declared the reason for returning, “Starbucks had become operationally driven, about efficiency as opposed to the romance. We’d lost the soul of the company.”
In the process of doing ministry, make sure you don’t lose the souls of your team or the soul of your radio station. Alan Mason, the co-founder of Good Ratings Strategic Services, reminded those in attendance at Fundraising 21 that fundraising is a year-round pursuit because listener-supported radio stations have to concentrate on excellent & connective programming 24/7/365 to convert listeners into donors.
It takes time to convey passion; a process to maintain it, and passionate people to inspire it.
The team at Vidare Creative is here for you. If you need someone to talk to or listen, or would like someone to pray for you, it would be our honor to do so. We will not share anything shared in confidence. We love to raise money for great causes but we love the people we get to serve even more. Feel free to reach out to any one of us.