Not long ago, a friend of mine was talking with a client and the staff made it known that doing a fundraiser was the necessary evil in order for them to stay on the air.
No doubt it’s a challenge to keep a non profit radio ministry funded, that is pretty much a given. If your staff has the attitude it’s the necessary evil in order for your station to exist, then you have already lost the battle. If you don’t believe in asking for money, the listeners won’t respond to your fundraiser in the way you need them too. Asking for money is Biblical and can be something that actually blesses your listeners.
When you look in the Bible you find biblical heroes like Moses, David, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, Jesus, and Paul who asked people to financially support God’s work. Despite this, almost every time I’ve told radio friends that I love asking people for money they say, “Thank the Lord you like doing that! I find it hard asking for money and just don’t feel right about it. I’m sure glad you like going around the country doing it.”
Moses did fundraising in Exodus 25 and Exodus 35. He asked his people to give to the Lord. You’ll find a difference in “whose heart stirred him up” and “whose spirit was willing” (Ex 35:21). Those who were willing they say, brought what was required. That is good fundraising But those whose heart stirred them were more generous giving more than their obligation. That is why we tell stories during fundraisers because it stirs the heart and when that happens you’ll find you’ll get a larger gift and one that is more likely to be an on going gift. There is a lot to learn from Moses.
I thought it was interesting that it’s recorded that the offering was made to the Lord, not to the tabernacle. If you read the story you’ll see it’s amazingly God-centered. God was present in every step of the process. As a radio station, you’ll want to learn from this with your own fundraiser because it fits perfectly and will perhaps give you peace of mind while asking for money. Marc Pitman listed these below in one of his articles and he was spot on.
- God details the need;
- God tells how to use the supplies;
- God prompts Moses to ask for them;
- God prompts certain people to respond;
- the people give to God;
- the gifts are used to glorify God by craftsmen God gifted.
It’s so important that we take time in prayer asking God to determine your radio station’s needs and how you need to share those needs with your listeners. I think you’ll be amazed at the response from your listeners when you do this. With Moses, they responded with more than enough for the work.
This might seem weird to think of it this way but you are actually leading your listeners in an act of worship when you lead them to give. If your fundraiser is done right, you actually teach many of your listeners about the principles of giving. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve talked to listeners that were so moved by God when they gave that it blessed their life. God wants to use your listeners to do great things for the Kingdom and you are giving them a chance to do that through your station.
So this year you don’t have to ask your listeners for money, you get to ask your listeners for money. You get to partner with those who believe in your station to do great ministry in your community. Be excited to ask for money. Fundraising is not the necessary evil in order for you to stay on the air
Bill Scott is a fundraising consultant and on-air host with ShareMedia Services. He’d be glad to hear from you at Bill@ShareMediaServices.com