So many are asking me if it’s ok to fundraise right now. I think it depends on what your area is going through at the moment. For instance, at The River in Columbus, we started with record-breaking numbers. But, on Wednesday and Thursday, the Governor did a press conference and began shutting down the different things, including no more than 100 people were allowed to get together for an event. So we had Universities shutting down, all of the schools about to close, churches shutting down services, companies sending employees home etc…. There was panic in the air. The fundraising became tough. No doubt, we could have continued to raise money, but we felt we needed to shut down the fundraiser and provide hope and encouragement on the last day.
I have personally advised a few more stations to push back their event if possible.
So yes, you can fundraise during this time, but I think it really depends on what your community is facing. This is a time for your station to shine. We all brand ourselves as a place that provides hope and encouragement. We want to be THE safe place for those in our communities, and this is the perfect opportunity if you can focus on that instead of fundraising.
I have found through the years that when you push back your fundraiser and put the listener first, you will experience a lot of goodwill. Listeners don’t forget when you put off fundraising to serve their family. I have always found the money will find you, and usually more than you expected, because of the goodwill that you built up with your listeners.
Again, I am not making a blanket statement that “no fundraising should happen.” Only you know what is right for your station. I am highly suggesting if you find your community in panic, displaced and out of their regular schedule, then delay your fundraiser for a few more weeks.
So I think the real question is not “can we still raise money,” but “is it the right time to be asking for money instead of just being a source of hope.” For many states, this would not be the time to be asking for money, in my opinion. Take the time to look into what is going on in your market, and make it a matter of prayer before you jump into your fundraiser this month.