One of the most frequently cited reasons for gift income plateaus or decreases in a broadcast ministry is that donors are bombarded with requests for gifts from many ministries. It’s easy to conclude that donors spread their gifts around and dilute their giving to any one organization. But, does research back up this reason?
Data from two studies suggests, for most stations, that is not a major problem.
In Advocace’s Listener-Supported Radio Development Outlook (LSRDO) 2017 study, Christian radio station executives ranked the importance of 17 possible fundraising challenges. On average, they ranked “Donors giving to too many ministries” #11 out of 17 challenges. They clearly didn’t see this as one of their top problems.
Donors Give to How Many Ministries?
In Finney Media’s Why Listen 2018 (a nationwide study of Christian radio listeners) donors were asked how many ministries, aside from their local churches, they gave to in the last year. Here is a summary of their responses:
Key Discoveries About Donor Giving
- 57% of donors donate to three or fewer ministries (other than their local church)
- 81% give to five or fewer ministries
- 19% give to more than five ministries
- The number of ministries donors give to varies significantly, depending on the programming format of the station they listen to.
Looking at data from both studies, we conclude donors giving to many ministries and diluting their giving, is not a significant problem for most radio broadcasters.
Why has your gift income stopped growing?
So, if your gift income has stopped growing (either plateaued or decreased), where else do you look to improve income? There are many answers to this question, but here are a few suggestions:
- Have you clearly shared your vision? Your vision should include anticipated results and a trajectory of future growth for your station. Have you made a compelling case for support?
- Have you evaluated on-air events, direct mail and e-appeals? How would you rate the quality of these three main generators of gift income? (Join our October 31 webinar "How to Skyrocket Station Impact with Epic Donor Communications for great tips on Donor Communications >> )
- Do you have a Major Donor program in place? This will help you to identify and solicit gifts from major donor prospects. (We can help you start or grow your Major Donor program. Take a look >> )
As a subscriber to the Why Listen 2018 study, you received a programming tabulation from Finney Media. Advocace can provide a custom tabulation for your donor segments to understand how to grow your income. Let us know you’d like to talk by scheduling your Free Coaching Call >>