Working with Charities: Promotions that Make a Difference

Radio promotions are, obviously, a great thing for everyone involved. The client gets exposure, the station gets exposure, the talent gets paid, the sales rep makes the sale, everyone wins! What about the promotions where maybe the talent doesn’t get paid, the sales rep doesn’t make the sale, but the listeners are exposed to something maybe they never thought about.

When working with charities, it’s not about the sale or the paid talent. It’s about using your platform for something good, and these days, we need it more than ever. There are many organizations who could use air-time or fund raising. This is an opportunity to stay local and prove how important local radio is.

Picking a charity or organization isn’t as simple as, “ooo that looks good, let’s do that.” There are as many shady groups as there are legit ones. Once again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to RESEARCH. Look into all aspects of a company: are they set up as a non-profit, does the money raised actually go where they say it goes, how much are the board and CEO paid…every little aspect needs to be evaluated to ensure you are partnering with a solid institution.

Once you’ve done your due diligence, you need to meet with them and really listen to their needs. Do they need funds? Do they need sponsors? Do they need volunteers? What is it you will be raising awareness for? Work together to be sure you are all on the same page as to what the end goal is.

Yes, it’s a very serious thing when working with an establishment like this. But you can make the promotion fun! My favorite thing to do is raise awareness or money for companies that help veterans. Let’s face it, they do NOT get the support they need. A station I worked for did a Seats for Soldiers event every year. My program director was DEDICATED to this and it was inspiring to see what he did. He stayed in a seat at our local baseball stadium for 36 hours. If you pledged a certain amount, he would sit in that seat and place an American flag there to save it for a member of our military. He moved throughout the stadium as people donated. By the end, the view of all the flags for our military was very cool to see. He broadcasted from the stadium and it was really neat to hear on-air who showed up to say hi and help out. You can raise money for local animal shelters (See the blog I wrote about Adopt a DJ.) You can raise money for your local children’s home. Again, there’s an abundance of groups who need our help.

And yes, you do get exposure. The sales team CAN make a sale with sponsors. However, the real star of this promotion is the people you are helping. You can use this to your advantage, business wise, but always keep in mind what the true meaning of it all is. Spring and summer are perfect seasons to get these annual events started.

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