Full TIME Community station funding to run it without selling a kidney

We are currently in the running for the one of the new community licences and feel we have a good chance of winning it (we’re the only applicant for Liverpool but Im not counting me full time chickens just yet
) we realise if we do get it then the fun starts as we’ve been online for 7 years and have been trying to keep , in particular the funding, interested in how people with licences at the moment are funding their stations, especially as you can only generate 50% from advertising alone? We have costed our project at £100,000 for staff and running costs, what do other stations run on (amount) and have I over or under estimated?
Interested to hears from others.
If you dont want to reveal stuff on here then I can be emailed on sfaragher@l-c-r.co.uk 07792854307

One idea we have is is take a leaf out of NPR’s book and have a day a year of pledges or even encouraging people to pay an annual subscription/donation of a £1 a day (£52 per annum in one payment by standing order)
Grateful for any info have a good christmas holiday etc.
steve faragher

The 50% applies to the Licensee organisation which must be a Not-for-Profit company constituted in one of the five possible forms:
1 - Company limited by Guarantee
2 - Charity, or from 2013, a charitable incorporated organisation.
3 - Co-operative.
4 - Community interest company ( CIC )
5 - Sole trader or business partnership.
However, there is nothing to stop you - and indeed Ofcom suggests it - that you also form a conventional limited/VAT-registered business which operates in a profit-making fomat and feeds the Licensee company at the correct funding level.

Hi Stephen,
This is a big question for us all. I would urge a little caution, and plan to start small, with room to grow later on.
It’s good to plan a mixed business model, for example some advertisting, some grants, training and projects, membership, listener subscriptions, training etc.
Some stations do very well out of pledge days, however this is very familiar to USA audiences, and less common here so it is not always successful.

What support are you getting in your city? There are some organisations that can hold your hand through this, such as:
https://www.lcvs.org.uk/
http://www.sentogether.net/
http://www.senw.org.uk/
https://www.the-sse.org/schools/north-west/

The 50% advertising restriction applys to on air only. The simplest approach to handling this, is to give your advertisers an equivalent deal for space on your website. Then, any invoice you send them would detail equal amounts for on air and off air, meaning that you will never go over the limit.

Good luck with the application!
Lucinda

Hiya Steve,

Firstly good luck with it all.

I would also caution against being to big to fast and growing with a certain amount of caution, if nothing else sustainability should be key.

The average income for CR stations is around £51k (and the median is £31k) so a £100k budget is high in comparrison, but thats not to say its not possible (there are around a dozen CR stations over £100k).

The station that I ran briefly used to get lots of income from advertising / listener donations, but also a lot of grant and other funding through training.

You might find a lot of stations receive a lot of their income from training related activity, and thats not all broadcast radio training, but other media and related skills (even IT, admin etc skills).

Also dont let the 50% rule put you off, it gets talked about on a regular basis, and I have a standing challenge for anyone to show me a station that has had to turn advertising away because of it, remember you can also count your volunteer time for up to 25% of costs, and as Lucinda says its only for on air advertising not, for web and other advertising so you can portion it out as long as its realistic. So in theory for every £1 income for non on air advertising (grant, donation, other income) with volunteer value you can have £2 commercial income.

I am more than happy to discuss ideas and anything if you wanted.