Mark Ramsey makes the case for radio stations personalizing charitable campaigns because it increases giving.
While that’s good for the charity it doesn’t do much to set stations apart from other media which is important to establish a unique relationship between the charity and station, or with listeners and station.
It’s not that I disagree with personalizing the giving story – but that’s really the charities job. The stations job is to rally as many people around the story as possible using the unique characteristics of the medium – because giving is a numbers game and as any student of psychology will tell you – peoples behavior tends to align when they are in groups.
Radio is a social medium and it should focus its contribution around that when it supports charities. Take a group like Night of 1000 plates a group that uses individually hosted dinner parties (1000/city ideally) to raise both awareness and money for landmine removal.
Stations can fit right in with this type of event. Of course mixing land mine stories (personal ones as Mark suggests) with music can make them the sound track for the evening – but that’s just the start. They can use their web sites to post and trade recipes during planning phase of the event – and at the same time show the pledge levels at individual parties, creating friendly competition that can raise donations. They can use call-ins, and their web sites, to connect parties to each other and build on the in-party competition.
By doing this they help the charity not only raise more money – they show that giving is ultimately a social activity not just a personal one – and promoting social causes works best with the best social media – radio.