Give It Away

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

I believe what we are going to talk about works and if done correctly works really well.  This might be that extra shot your next fundraiser needs.

The other day I got a call from the world famous Jon Hamilton who runs Christian FM / WSCF FM in Vero Beach Florida.  He wanted to chat about his upcoming fundraiser and had one main question he wanted to ask.  The question was, what have I seen on the road in regards to stations doing some major prize drawings during their fundraisers.  My response is that I have a lot of clients who are using drawings for iPads, Mini iPads, TV’s etc…for drawings during their fundraising events and have great success with doing this.  Usually stations have one or two major drawings daily, so it’s not a ton that will clutter the fundraiser.  I’ll write more in a minute about the give aways.  I shot a note to Jon and asked him how using major give aways worked during his recent fundraiser.

“I have to admit I am a late adopter of give-always.  To me, it sounded too much like a lotto and I bristled at what I perceived to be bad giving motive.  But truthfully, the issue these days is often less convincing people to give, it’s convincing them to act NOW.  Eventually I became convinced that an incentive to interrupt the trip taking Johnny to karate practice to make a call was needed by Becky.

On WSCF had good success securing some giveaways, so we introduced drawings for TV’s, hotel getaways, furniture and food.  We even had a nicely catered home party for ten. (That was crazy)   

In the end, what it accomplished was a much more consistent stream of calls, and a marked increase in participation.  The pledge drive ended early with 110% of goal reached.  We had not seen that since the Florida real estate bust.”

I am telling you it works and I have to ditto what Jon just said, “…these days is often less about convincing people to give, it’s convincing them to act NOW.”  We live in a world where radio is competing with so many other devices, media and other distractions.  Many times your station has made the sale to your listeners but you have to close the deal, to get them to call right NOW.  Great prizes will not sell your station to your audience, that has to be done all year long, what it does is it gets them to call you when you give the number.  A great prize for your first day of your fundraiser could actually allow your station to have a great start.

Coaching with Bill Scott

Be careful how you give away your prizes.  You must make sure you don’t end up with a lottery on the air.  Everyone can enter your drawings, even if they don’t give and you must say this on the air at some point.  Usually I’ll say something like, “Any pledge you give right now enters you in our drawing, your financial pledge, you prayer pledge, just call now and lets see how we can support WSCF.”  I don’t do this a lot but I will throw that in a couple of times per hour.  If you want to have a log of when you make those mentions, than put together a promo to run once an hour has that information in it and you are covered in case someone has an issue.

In closing, I am told that Andrew Patton will be giving each station all the major prizes needed for your next event, just tell him Bill sent you, well maybe you better use the name Jon Hull LOL.

This Spring I am offering the The Fundraising Tuneup, two calls approximately one hour in length with management and on-air staff.  These calls would take place the two weeks leading up to your fundraiser.  This will include how to be more effective during your fundraiser as personalities, which of course will result in more donations along with a number of tips that will enhance your fundraiser.  It’s amazing how a few tips and some coaching can make all the difference in connecting with your listeners.  After being involved in over 600 fundraisers I have a list of things that will help your staff.  We can meet on the phone or a live video stream.  Contact me for more information about this service, space is limited due to my fundraising schedule.

Feel free to shoot me an email should you need more information at  Happy fundraising.

April 28, 2015