Preparing your station for a new year of fundraising activity

The arrival of 2017 means new opportunities and responsibilities for nonprofit broadcasters.
Date Published

Public and religious broadcasters alike are busy wrapping up 2016, concluding year-end efforts both on the air and in terms of fundraising. As 2017 approaches, it’s vital that broadcasters start thinking about short- and long-term donor engagement efforts. While you don’t need to kick off a barrage of new initiatives as soon as the calendar rolls over, you should have a good handle on how your station will connect with its contributors and the improvements to make for increased fundraising effectiveness.

“A plan for 2017 and beyond is an important asset for fundraising and your radio station as a whole.”

Make sure donor information is complete, correct and organized
Effective data management isn’t as attractive as developing new fundraising campaigns or hosting events, but it’s a vital component of those efforts. Without accurate information about existing contributors, it’s far more difficult to engage in effective outreach. The same concept applies to new donor information – failing to collect and store vital data about individuals making their first gifts significantly reduces the chance that they continue to do so in the future. Donation management software is a powerful tool in the battle to keep contributor data current and accurate, allowing broadcasters to automate many of these processes and avoid the potential for human error.

Develop and update long-term plans
A plan for 2017 and beyond is an important asset for fundraising and your radio station as a whole. While the short term always requires additional, detailed planning as an event or donation drive draws near, a lack of advanced discussion and decision-making can increase stress and reduce the effectiveness of those efforts. The National Council of Nonprofits said it’s vital that long-term planning be regularly revisited and updated to maintain its effectiveness in guiding your fundraising activities. Looking for a place to start? Identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – often called a SWOT analysis – allows nonprofit broadcasters to gain the broad perspective needed to drill deeper down into specific issues.

Pay attention to staff and volunteers
Nonprofit watchdog GuideStar suggested improving morale and results by making some plans for staff and volunteers in the coming year. Simple and fun options, like a weekly team lunch where everyone sits down together, a regular mindfulness break or light group physical activity – like walking – are all small, unobtrusive perks that can easily fit into the work day. Incorporating these elements into your station’s regular schedule for staff and volunteers can boost productivity and engagement, which tends to have a positive impact on fundraising and other job duties.

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