Educate. Plan. Inspire.

Just as you educate your potential supporters about Christian radio, educate your fellow staff members too.

John Maxwell’s ‘The 360* Leader’ teaches you to overcome challenges and lead in your area of influence.

The leaders in your organization may not have the time to delve as deep into your everyday activities as you do. They may lack a lot of knowledge as to what it takes for you to secure underwriting donations, as you meet face to face with local businesses.

One myth you may hear is, “Underwriters are never in the building, obviously out playing golf or on the lake,” when in reality, you are fighting traffic to get across town to see a business about a copy change, or sitting for half an hour in a waiting room when your appointment gets pushed back by an emergency. Or, you are attempting to pick up a check that was promised a couple of weeks ago. All the while, as you drive through town, you are taking notes of businesses coming to your area that might be a good fit for your listeners and a boost in revenue for your ministry.

Others may not see the numerous times that you have been to a business; building a solid relationship, sharing your ministry’s mission and vision for your community, then finally getting to the closing stages of a contract. Crafting a schedule that best suits your donors needs, writing copy that will meet FCC guidelines, explaining the “What Can I Say in an Underwriting Message”; then getting their approval, setting up a payment option and securing the donation. If it is a credit card donation, it also involves getting in touch with your home office to be PCI compliant. Then the approved order moves to your office manager to put in the schedule. You turn copy over to your production department to produce audio. You then get the audio back a couple of days later and play it for the donor… and a word is mispronounced, a change is needed, or they don’t like the voice. Back to production you go! You may have to revise your schedule and repeat the process yet again…I think you see the process and frustration can begin with your fellow workers.

Now, multiply that by the 15-20 annual donors on your list, or if you are the only underwriter at the ministry, you could have 35-45 donors. That doesn’t include the seasonal or one-time donors. Thus you have to overcome challenges; play peacemaker throughout the building, and with your donor, and become a leader without actually having a title of a leader.

Your area of influence is very important for your ministry, and when you multiply that tenfold, you get a peek into your GM’s world. That’s why you must be the leader in your area of fundraising. Sure, your GM is there when you’ve exhausted all possibilities but you were hired to lead and succeed. What are some ways to help you maximize your time?

Plan your routes as to not waste precious time on the road. Create a Google Map and “pin drop” your client’s location. See how you can plan to see several donors in a smaller area instead of having to jump in the car for a 45-minute drive to your next destination.

 

Prepare for your visits. Make sure you have everything you need and prepped for everything they have asked you to explain. Put it in your station folder and make a copy for yourself. Have a pen for them to sign your contract. Leave the pen if it has your logo on it! If you have talked about credit card donations, alert your home office that you are heading to the business so you can easily make that transaction for the donor.

You will never find a more rewarding life than a career helping fund your radio ministry that speaks into the lives of tens of thousands of people every day. Remember, that business person jumps in their car for the same encouragement your ministry offers. Tell the stories. Build the relationships. Help inspire your community to live passionately for Jesus Christ.

Dear Christian Radio:

1) Educate. Cross train if necessary.

2) Plan. Stop wasting ‘car time’.

3) Inspire. That’s what we are called to do.

Randy Pierce
Services Partner, WCQR
Vice President of Underwriting for PAR

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