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#26: Steve Bell — Fundraising as a singer-songwriter

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On a special Christmas edition of the podcast, we are getting a behind the scenes look at how an independent artist raises funds to support their mission. 

Today we’re talking with Steve Bell. Steve is a singer-songwriter, author, and speaker. He has been sharing his music and message for almost 30 years across Canada, the US and beyond. 

Steve has a two-sided business model. He tours and sells music — but he also raises funds and relies on philanthropy. Over the years, Steve has built a broad base of donors by giving people a chance to support his mission in a meaningful way.

This is one of the more insightful fundraising chats I’ve had in a long time. We get into the philosophy and mindset of fundraising: giving someone an opportunity to be a part of, and sharing in, the work we do.

Today we’ll cover:

  • [3:25] – Getting to know Steve as an artist, author, and mission-driven fundraiser
  • [9:16] – How Steve maintains an active relationship with his audience
  • [11:46] – How to grow a donor base while doing what you care about
  • [18:43] – The currency of music
  • [16:55] – Steve’s explains his pre-COVID marketing strategies and revenue streams
  • [25:20] – Mike and Steve talk about advent; Steve performs, “The Magnificat”
  • [31:20] – What Steve has done to adjust to fundraising during COVID-19
  • [37:50] – What losing live events has meant for Steve’s business
  • [37:30] – There is so shortcut to great fundraising  
  • [45:30] – Steve performs the title track of his new album, “Wouldn’t You Love to Know”
  • [49:34] – Steve’s parting thoughts for nonprofit leaders

Resources mentioned:

A Spirituality of Fundraising by Henri Nouwen

“A Hunkered Down Christmas” by Steve Bell

7-book series “Pilgrim Year” by Steve Bell

Steve Bell’s newest release “Wouldn’t You Love to Know”

Get connected:

Steve would love to connect with you. You can find information about him at his website:

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