Are you changing lives?

Your listeners can answer that question.

For the past few weeks we’ve provided you with a series called “Get Ready for Something Great” … things that you really should do to get ready for your fundraiser.

If you missed any of the prior posts you can read them here in our blog. Everything on the site is easy to find. Just use the Search box above in the navigation.

The most vital thing that you need to do to help generate response during your fundraiser?

4. Capture compelling listener stories for use on-air and on your website

Research shows that listeners who are tuned in during a fundraising broadcast will respond when they hear sincere and convincing appeals and stories from fellow listeners. They are natural, unscripted, and come straight from that person’s heart.

Here’s how to capture and use these great stories:

The first step is to solicit stories from your callers. You can do this anytime but some of the best ones occur during your on-air fundraiser so capture them at that time. When folks call to pledge or donate ask them what they would tell someone else when asking to support the station. With the right question you not only have a great story about the impact of the ministry but a great appeal coming from someone who is sincere and has “listener credibility.”

Second, find the best way to record the call and when you have the audio ask the caller for permission to use their story.

Finally, collect all your recordings and assign a “theme”, “name”, “title” and/or “topic” to the file name so you know what the caller talked about.  Make sure you catalog all the testimonials you receive and keep them easily accessible so you can use them. This will be important as you plan your fundraiser and continue to produce your various year-round fundraising elements.

Do the same thing for your website. On your homepage during your fundraiser, have some pictures of listeners and creative “hooks” to draw the user’s attention to the listener stories. Or better yet, post a video or series of videos on your website homepage.  And then invite new users to “tell you their story” on your blog and/or Facebook page. We find many stations are using these very powerful tool to connect with new donors.

The ShareMedia Fundraising Toolkit contains a focused number of produced testimonials with different themes.

Listen to this sample: “Changing Families” Promo

The toolkit also contains “opens and closes” so you can simply drop your listener recordings in to produce a complete spot. If you prefer you can use the completely dry versions so you can mix with your own music or background to make them uniquely yours.

Our friends at Christian Family Radio WEMI produced a promo spot that made use of both listener stories and a celebrity endorsement. Here it is: WEMI FM Fundraiser Promo with Brandon Heath

General Manager Paul Cameron explains how this all came together (with the help of artist Brandon Heath):

“We got this a couple years ago from Brandon when he was in the area. We had the scripts written and cut them up a bit. Then, last fundraiser we were getting audio from phone operators and got the woman’s audio, and lastly I gave it to the production team for final editing.”

Capturing, cataloging, and using listener stories will bless you and your team and will greatly enhance the sound and success of your fundraiser.

Give us a call or send me a note. We would be glad to help you.

Todd Isberner
ShareMedia Services