QUICK SHOT: Releasing Generosity – The Greatest Gig on the Planet
By Kevin Bryant, Director of Client Partnership
Years ago, I got to spend an evening with ZZ Top. Working for a promotions agency, I partnered with Warner Brothers Records to create a cause-related campaign highlighting their RECYCLER Tour. Save the planet and get to hang with the band.
It was Dusty Hill, the long-bearded bass player of ZZ Top, who once said,
“When the band is tight and all is right, we call it, ‘Going to the Bahamas.’”
As a musician myself, I get it. When you trust your teammates and you share a common goal and experience, endorphins are released, peace and happiness abound – and incredible music is made together!
Believe it or not, the same principle applies to fundraising. Any Development Director will tell you that in today’s development world, your “band” can feel more like an orchestra.
As fundraisers, there’s an astounding number of disciplines we must master. Greg Taucher, Advertising Department faculty at Michigan State University, suggests a search for today’s Development Specialist might look like this:
WANTED: Advertising Management Executive
Experienced in insights and strategy, digital transformation, integrated marketing communications, programmatic media and dynamic versioning, and data & data analytics. Must have the ability to simultaneously and efficiently lead dozens of stakeholders (often with competing interests). Successful candidates must also be skilled in software and hardware, managing up, down, sideways and across, understanding of AI, AR, CX, UX, BOIs, EBIT, FTEs, etc. Ability to develop, plan and “change manage” a SOW in these unprecedented times, guide & mange a P&L; accurately forecast next year’s revenue; and “future proof” the agency’s relationship with the client.
No individual or even a small in-house team can possibly have all the proficiencies needed. So, for an organization of any size, “Going to the Bahamas” means aligning yourself with the right talent. Their diverse skills and shared values will help you navigate the integrated fundraising channels together.
As you build your band of associates, consider the following:
SEEK PARTNERS WHO LISTEN
Who wants a drummer that plays louder than the band? Your partners who stay focused on others first win the hearts of your audience. It’s not only good customer service, but the true quality of “ears first, action second.”
Partners who possess an ability to respect and recognize the talents and experience of others are more inclined toward balance and motivation. Greater performance occurs when all partners listen and collaborate with one another.
INNOVATE WITH STEWARDSHIP
It was jazz legend Miles Davis who said,
“Play what you know, and then play above that.”
To stay relevant, you have to take risks and invest in strategies that inspire. In direct response, history and controls play a big part. Proven experience provides the best platform for experimentation. Following the basics lets you step out and improvise later. Work with those who recognize what performs best and where your strengths are, then build on it.
If you’re wanting to push boundaries, find teammates who understand your roots and rhythm. Your bottom line will be stronger and your solos will sound even better!
PLAY ON THE SAME TEMPO
You may know the songs, but when playing “live,” always be ready for something. Monitoring your program and being ready to respond with urgency is crucial, especially in digital marketing.
It seems like the Composers (or Big Tech Media) are changing the score by the moment. Your digital team has to adapt to the beat – adjusting to the platform, the culture and even the political environment. But also, remember: This chaos is your time to show the world what you do.
FIND YOUR PASSION – THE WHY
In my musical career, I’ve played nightclubs with cookin’ three-piece bands. The stage lights shining on my face sometimes felt like sunshine. The Bahamas weren’t far away.
Finding contemporary worship not only changed my venue, it also changed my purpose for playing. Facing a congregation of believers committed to the Kingdom, hearing their voices fill the room with praise… it simply astounded me.
Today, I continue to play for the Kingdom, and I’m so grateful to have joined a band of associates at BDI united in service to faith-first ministries caring for a hurting world.
As Christian artist and worship leader Matt Redman says,
“The revelation of God is the fuel for the fire of our worship.”
Finding partners to serve alongside you in your organization means connecting with those who share your passion for service. Those who, like you, have offered their gifts, talents and abilities “as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God… your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV).
When your work is worship to the God who heals and transforms lives, together, you provide a pathway for generosity and move the hearts of donors with your music. This, truly, is the greatest gig on the planet.
Kevin Bryant, Director of Client Partnership
Internationally recognized as an ECHO and ADDY Award winning creative talent, Kevin is a fundraising veteran with clients including; The North American Mission Board, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Precept and Guidepost Ministries, and Samaritan’s Purse. Having worked on both the agency and client side, he’s dedicated to building a bridge between the two to make programs and partnerships successful.
As our front line personality, Kevin opens new relationships for Brewer Direct – matching the needs of an organization to our agency’s talents and expertise. His vision is to provide solutions that are specific for every ministry’s market, goal, budget and resources to maximize their communications and fundraising programs.