Community Radio Fund Assistance Service

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The Community Media Association (CMA) set up the CRF Assistance Service back in June to assist CMA members who were applying to Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund (CRF). It is a free and confidential service.

Nine stations contacted our Service. One of these got in touch too late for us to be able to help. A further three decided not to proceed for various understandable reasons. The CRF Assistance Service will contact these unsuccessful stations in time for the next CRF Round.

Of the remaining five, four were successful and one was turned down. The one that was unsuccessful submitted an application probably best suited for other funding bodies. Of the four successful applications, one received a relatively low award but had been generously funded in the emergency rounds, and was very satisfied by their award.

Of the other three, all were in the top ten by the amount awarded. In total, the CMA assisted stations that received just under 25% of the total funds awarded.

The level of assistance offered to the stations varied. For some it was a simple review of their written application with suggestion for editing, amendments, and so on. For some it was much more a hands-on process helping them to bring out the best aspects of their station in a coherent manner that reflected the good work they are doing but had previously been unable to articulate in an appropriate way for funders.

The Service does not write the applications submitted and is not in the business of doing this. The Service does not have the time or resources to do this - and this is made clear to stations from the start. It is about assisting the station to present the best possible case for funding.

The next step is to make contact with those stations that were unsuccessful in Round One and offer to work with them now rather than wait until the next Round is announced. We hope that the applications we assist will help the CRF Panel with their difficult decision-making.

An application form to apply for help with CRF applications is online here.

Below are a couple of testimonials from successful stations:

  1. [The Service] was an enormous help with our application to the Community Radio Fund and […] really clarified the expectations and priorities of the review panel, and helped us to refine our application accordingly. We have applied to the fund in the past and the process, as with all funding applications, can be stressful and often a rush to get it all done in time. Our application this year however was far more straightforward; […] We really understood which parts of our responses needed clarifying, refining or even just required more detail to be brought to life a bit more. The end result being a far more engaging, informative and well-structured application, which resulted in us being awarded the funds we needed!
  1. After several attempts of applying to the CRF over the years, this was our first successful application and all of us at [… are thrilled with the opportunities that this funding will bring the station. We would highly recommend the CMA’s CRF Assistance scheme to any CMA member who wishes to improve their chances of being funded by Ofcom’s Community Radio Fund.