Listener Tune Out During Fundraisers – It’s the Foxes!

Listener tune out during fundraisers is a reality. We’d like to think it’s not so bad at our station, but the fact of the matter is – it happens. Part of our strategy for the event needs to be minimizing this, and for that, we go back to the basics…and the Bible.

Song of Solomon 2:15 says…

“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

The “little foxes” trip us up, and ruin what could be a better, smoother, more successful fundraising event. What are these little things that trigger listener tune-out?

  1. Lack of focus & planning each break.We’re all guilty. Fatigue, slow phones, the repetitive nature of the event all can translate into haphazard, non-strategic breaks. Holding each other accountable can help with this.
  2. Breaks that are too long.This is a function of #1 above, but worth expanding on. At our recent station fundraisers we begin most breaks with a pre-recorded song story to connect the emotion, and spent the balance of the break, “pivoting” to why it’s important, and setting or re-setting a goal. Maximum talk time? Three minutes. As a result we play more songs, and oh, by the way records are being set in terms of money raised.
  3. Lack of air staff buy in.Many on air people dread fundraisers. There I said it. They do their best to deliver a great on air product, but the lack of enthusiasm can begin to show as the event wears on ( or even at the outset ). Like so much in our lives and relationships, talking about this is the beginning of growth and improving fundraising success.

Why listeners tune out – during fundraisers or regular programming – is often subliminal. Sometimes they don’t know why they’re switching stations. Clear communication, honest communication with the listener, and holding each other accountable in the above areas will go a long way toward eliminating the “little foxes” that can undermine the success of your fundraiser.



i58:10 Media is a fundraising and creative agency based in Wilsonville, Oregon. Our mission is to inspire and activate generosity for a broken world. Connect with us: or through e-mail at

David Harms • President, i58:10 media

Related posts