Have a Question or Need a Document?
We may be able to help. Contact us

Return to the Rogue Radio Research Main Page

Table of Contents

Who We Are

Research on Micro Radio

Pamphets and Practical Guides

The Joint Statement on Micro Radio

Annotated Web Links
Links are grouped by catagory and internally indexed for easy searching.

Micro Radio Art Gallery
Cool micro radio art and graphics-hacks from around the web.

Visit Our Other Rogue Domain Sites

Rogue Scholar

Rogue Communication Consultants

Beyond Rogue

About Rogue Communication

Domain Directory

    Rogue Radio Research

    Research and Resources on
    Micro Radio/Low Power FM

    Rogue Radio Revenue:
    Creative Concepts for Funding your Micro Radio Station

    Contact us

    Origins / General Strategies / Capitalism v. Enterprise / Concerts and Benefit Shows / Listener Support: On-air, Canvassing, and Tabling / Selling Stuff: T-Shirts, Buttons, Bumper Stickers, and Whatnot / Staff Funding / Non-profit Status / Concluding Comments

    This website is a practical guide to raising funds to help keep your Low Power FM Community Radio Station on the air. Barter, Begging, Borrowing, and .....well, Barter, Begging, Borrowing can only take you so far. The idea's and information here are tried and true money makers used by operating Micro Radio Stations and their support organizations. The goal is to generate enough cash to keep you on the air without falling prey to the problems that come from advertising and underwriting.

    Excuse Me While I Cover My Butt
    This site is provided free as a public service by Rogue Communication. Feel free to share this information with others. This site in copyrighted Rogue Communication, 1999. Reproduction for commercial use of any part of this site, especially articles, is prohibited without written authorization. Reproduction for non-commercial educational purposes is allowed with proper attribution.
    The information on this site is utilized at your own risk.

    Operating an FM radio transmitter in the United States without a license or waiver from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a violation of Federal Law and may result in a fine, imprisonment or both. Currently, the FCC is considering licensing LPFM. Operating a LPFM station without a license may endanger your ability to obtain a license when or if LPFM licenses become available.

    If you have not put your station on the air yet or are unfamiliar with Low Power FM, please read the selection of
    Practical Guides on this site.

    Back to top

    The idea for a central data base of fundraising ideas and strategies came about after a meeting in Berkeley, CA in August of 1999. Called by Micro Radio Pioneer Stephen Dunifer, founder of Free Radio Berkeley, it reflected the growing need of an ever expanding micro radio movement to deal creatively with the problems of keeping their stations on the air without reverting to commercial advertising or underwriting. These traditional funding methods have driven commercial and (a majority of ) non-commercial media into a compromising relationship with corporations and other power elites that threaten the tattered remains of our democracy.

    I figured that there were quite a few stations that had been on the air for a number of years so they had to be raising money some how. So, Rogue Radio Research undertook a survey (on-going) of micro radio stations and their support groups to determine effective methods of raising money while maintaining complete station independence and autonomy. This was done primarily through the Micro Radio Network Listserv (MRN), a major conduit for the Micro Radio Movement. If you aren't on this list, you are missing out on a valuable resource and news source.

    If you want to know what is happening in Micro Radio sign up for
    The Micro Radio Network (MRN) Listserv

    To sign-up send an email message toMRN. To subscribe, in the body of the message write: "subscribe microradio" and your email address.

    This MRN survey is ongoing. The second phase is to contact individual station and organizations via their websites and email to see what fundraising works for them. Micro Radio has a major presence on the Internet. There are several sites you should be aware of that offer information as well as links to a variety of micro radio and related websites.

    Probably the best index site with a wide variety of content and advice.

    The Free Radio Network
    Index and content site including some micro radio home pages.

    Rogue Radio Research
    Hey, your here right now! Follow the link to our index page. Our site contains scholarly research and general information on micro radio and related subjects. This is a good source for students and researchers as well as those who would like to learn about the back ground and origins of the Micro Radio Movement.

    If you have any sights or information that might help, Contact us

    Back to top

    General Strategies
    Based on the feedback so far, several themes have emerged concerning planning your funding strategy.

    There is no single method that will cover all your funding needs. Some stations are able to produce enough income with one method to cover a majority of costs, however, this is more the exception than the rule. Relying too heavily on a single source to pay the bills is a recipe for disaster. It can also give that source (if a business or individual) a great deal of power. This is the problem with underwriting and advertising. The best way to approach fund raising is to have several different ways of getting money to run your station.

    Make it Easy
    Keeping it simple and easy is a must. You have to especially make it convenient for people to give you donations and to buy items you may be selling for fund-raisers. While some people will give you cash, many will want to write checks (especially if they send it through the mail). This usually requires a business account at a local bank or credit union, That way, checks can be payable to "Free Radio Whatever." Banks will often give reduced rates to non-profits or for limited business checking accounts that are based on using the ATM only. These can often run less than $10 a month. Shop around. Some banks will negotiate fees.

    Put Someone in Charge
    Anarchy is great, except when it comes to balancing the old check book. I suggest that there be a committee (3 is a good number) that handles the finances, reports to the staff, and keeps records.

    Keep Records
    Record keeping is important. Besides making it less likely you'll bounce checks, it also allows you to see if, in fact, your fundraising is working and your getting a good return on your efforts. It also makes it easier for those who take over these tasks when people move on or get tired of doing the book work.

    Develop Relationships
    Whether it is a local club or cafe owner or a t-shirt shop, it pays to develop a personal relationship with business people and their staff. This is not about kissing butt, it's about realizing what they want and need and balancing it with the wants and needs of your station. If you are friendly and understanding, people are more likely to want to help you out. There are a lot of business owners who would find common cause with the Micro Radio Movement. I have heard many stories of screaming deals given to stations by like minded entrepenures.

    Back to top

    Capitalism v. Enterprise
    Remember you radicals, not all business people are capitalist scum! Here is a bit of wisdom on the subject lifted from a website called Un-american Activities. I hope the link will compensate for the usage.

    Free Enterprise Will Destroy Capitalism, O Yes

    "We believe that the forces of FREE ENTERPRISE and CAPITALISM are inextricably opposed. "Free enterprise" is a philosophy that holds that you or I or any combination of people can gather up some resources and start a new business. Believing in FREEDOM includes believing in this inalienable right. We support the power of enterprise to empower people's lives, and we think that encouraging this process is the wave of the future. "Capitalism", however, is a system that holds that CAPITAL, not people, should dictate the way society uses its means of production. With this system, we find glaring inequities, and therefore we will struggle against it.

    Every business has its origins as a small group of innovators who sense a market opportunity and learn to "work it". As success hits, however, innovation goes out the window in the animal pursuit of mere PROFIT. Unamerican Activities believes that too much money is like too much food - though empowering at first, ultimately, it slows you down. We believe that a business is only as valuable as its IDEAS.

    Competition has a way of making it difficult to profit from mediocre ideas, because innovators don't compete - nobody else is doing what they're doing! Why would ANYONE try working in an industry bereft of new ideas?

    Unfortunately, that's where the COERCION comes in. In an idea-free, competitive market, the only way of turning a profit is by ELIMINATING the competition, through nefarious means that regard only the bottom line - as opposed to the welfare of the workers or society's best interests. Ultimately, as the business becomes more entrenched in "battle" mode, HIERARCHY becomes the only way to organize the business - thereby creating thousands of crappy jobs at the foot of the pyramid to support the bloated salaries of those few criminals who have made it to the top.

    We must fight back. This can be done through sabotage or counter-organization, yes, but it can ALSO be done through the pursuit of NEW IDEAS. We feel that, given the right diversity of approaches to these ideas, new ideas will EVENTUALLY COMPETE THE CAPITALISTS INTO THE GROUND. We are hoping to reach people who potentially could HAVE these ideas, and encourage them NOT to allow the jobs that they wind up taking (and, eventually, creating) interfere with this revolutionary necessity." [lifted from unamerican.com]

    That said, please check out the rest of the site for more information about specific fund raising strategies. This page last up-dated on September 6, 1999

    Back to top