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Underwriters Are More Like Major Donors Than You Think

underwriting, Corporate Support, Major Giving

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While scrolling through my feed on LinkedIn I came across an item titled “7 Principles of Major Gift Fundraising Including Planned Gifts.” There wasn’t a link to find its source, nonetheless, while reading it, I was reminded that many organizations support public media for the same reasons that individuals do: 

  1. Underwriters don’t give to satisfy your station’s needs. They underwrite to satisfy their need to reach your station’s listeners with information about their business, products and services.

  2. Underwriters are looking for a partner to help them satisfy their needs. A partnership requires two way conversation, sharing information and expectations.  A partnership is, by definition, not a transactional process.


  3. Underwriters want an opportunity to help change the world and make an impact. Most underwriters want that impact to be for the benefit of their business.

  4. Underwriters want to give through an organization, not to an organization. There are underwriters who understand that their financial support helps the station pay for its programming, which benefits the people in the community. 

  5. Underwriters want you to facilitate the process by making it easy, convenient, pleasurable, and valuable in order to enhance their business and their lives.

  6. Underwriters want to be heard and involved, not ignored and treated like an ATM machine. (See the previously-mentioned partnership that underwriters want to have with you and your station). Not every call you make on an underwriter should be with your hand out asking for money. Your underwriter’s business goes through changes and you should be aware of what those changes are. Listening to your underwriters solicits their involvement, and ultimately their satisfaction.

  7. Underwriters want to be engaged in a relationship, not a solicitation. It takes less time for a solicitation than it does to establish a relationship that ultimately functions as a partnership. But the results are more rewarding.
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