Last month we considered ways and means of financing the local radio program, particularly by the book-of-the-month plan. We continue now with other suggestions. First, let us consider how to get names for a mailing list. It is important that you make a free offer every time you broadcast. If you have copies of a special evangelistic sermon you have given, this brings a large response. I offer two mimeographed evangelistic sermons a month, and over a period of time those who write in every two weeks obtain the whole evangelistic series in order. Some radio evangelists offer copies of the day's broadcast. Others offer special numbers of Present Truth, Health, Watchman, or Signs of the Times.
The Bible Reader's Check Card brings a good mail, also the Morning Watch Calendar, but the latter is a little too expensive to give away, at least until your radio income has grown. The offer of a special poem which you have read to your listeners brings a good response. Each item should be offered two weeks in succession, or three weeks in succession if there are five Sundays in the month. In other words, make two offers each month.
Keep a file of all names (with addresses) of those who write you. Then each month send a letter to all on this list, and as new names are added to your file, they will receive the letter of the month. You may also wish to send this monthly letter to all the church members in your district. The following is a sample letter of the month :
Dear Radio Friends:
Just a note again this morning. I wish I could write you in detail about the wonderful way the radio work is going. I wish you could read some of the stirring letters we are receiving. But it seems that the days are packed so full there's no time to get everything done.
I wanted to write you about our book of the month for July, "Imperiled Democracy." I wish you could have this book in your hands and actually see it. The beautiful cover, with the flag waving, pictures the glory of our present liberty. Here are a few of She chapter headings : (List some of the most striking.)
I wish it were possible to give this book away wholesale—every person in America ought to read it. We do not cherish fully enough the wonderful liberties which are ours, but which are being attacked on every side. I wish we could sound an alarm loud enough to cause all America to listen. This is a book you will want to read and reread and then lend to others.
You know the plan. This book of the month is sent to all of you who are able to, and care to, help with the broadcasts to the extent of a dollar or more this month. Remember!—You are the sponsors of these broadcasts. In no other way will a dollar go so far in carrying a message of hope to the world.
Some of you will receive this letter who cannot afford to give a penny. All we ask is that you pray earnestly for this work, and remember that we are always glad to hear from you. Others will give more to make up for what you cannot give.
As I send this letter, it is with a burdened prayer that God will deeply impress you to lift in this heavy load. Enclosed is an envelope for your dollar or ten dollars or whatever it may be. I will be eagerly watching the mail the next few days to receive your letter.
Thank you for your kindness, and please, friend, don't forget to pray for this work. Hoping to hear from you this next week, I am
Sincerely your radio friend,
[Signed by hand or on the stencil]
Return Envelopes. Enclose a bright-colored envelope which has your address printed in the center, with each outgoing letter of the month. Be sure it is bright colored—green, blue, canary, or even pink, but not white ! The listener sees that envelope around the house, and it is a constant reminder that he should send it back to you. Many feel the donations are materially increased if a return-postage guarantee appears on the envelope enclosed with the monthly letter about the book of the month.
Sunday NIght Radio Offering. While conducting an evangelistic series five nights a week, I always call Sunday night "Radio Night." During the announcements I say:
"And now tonight is 'Radio Night' again, and here in my hand I have this marvelous book of the month for October, 'Jonah and the Whale.' Listen to these chapter headings. [Read some, or read a striking paragraph from the book.]
"This wonderful book contains a great deal more material than even the chapter headings suggest. It is sent to all of you who care to help with the broadcasts this month to the extent of a dollar or more. Oh, I wish we could have a flood of dollar bills tonight. The radio response is immense. Hundreds of Radio Bible Correspondence Course lessons are pouring in, and I know you want to support this great work of faith.
"Now the ushers will come forward and pass out the radio envelopes. [Use the same bright-colored ones you use with the letter of the month. Many will take an envelope and mail it in later.] Please put your dollar bill or hundred-dollar bill in the envelope, and your name and address on the outside, so we can send you this unique book and also the material you hear offered free over the radio each month. Thank you for your great help tonight. These envelopes will be collected with the general evening offering."
The ushers then pass out the envelopes, and as the special music or organ continues, they return and pass the offering plates. The evangelist can use the whole offering for radio work, or just that in the envelopes—depending on the effort budget.
Church Offering. Some pastors pass out the colored envelopes and on one Sabbath a month take up a radio offering in the church service. This educates our own people to give systematically to the radio work.
In December urge your listeners to give a double offering—a gift to Jesus. Offer some extra inducement such as a larger book, or two books, or your picture along with the book of the month. (This larger December offering will help in January, which is often a slack month. In hotter sections of the country, I have also found July and August low months for donations.)
With all these ideas for money raising, there is none so important as prayer. Take your load constantly to the Lord—lay your financial statement before Him and appeal to Him to lay it on the hearts of people to give. He will recognize your sincerity and answer your prayer. Marvelous experiences prove that in a radio speaker's extremity, God steps in to help. I would list prayer as by far the most important factor in financing a radio program.