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Nonprofits Invited to Learn How to Own The Airwaves

Radio >

Are you a nonprofit?

It’s time to dream big! Now, your nonprofit has an opportunity to own a piece of the airwaves, and it’s easier than you might think.

This Friday, November 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will announce rules on how nonprofits can apply for low-power FM radio licenses (LPFM) across the United States. These radio signals will reach 3 to 10 miles, serving communities in a similar way to how neighborhood and community blogs do for the online community.

We expect the FCC announcement will guarantee that the new local stations are run by truly local organizations and are broadcasting programming that originates locally. As radio signals go, LPFM isn’t too expensive, and you’d  have two years to raise the money. Watch the live Internet stream of the FCC meeting announcing the rules for application at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST,  here.  Join me for a #LPFM Twitter Party, hosted by Prometheus Radio Project, sharing comments, questions, and insights as we all watch the event.  If you miss the event, don’t worry!   To learn more about about what this announcement could mean for your school, community organization, or nonprofit, read on!

Imagine local news and music that can make a difference in your community. Help your local music scene flourish. Use the station as a tool to organize in order to accomplish community goals, for elevating and sharing local arts and culture, and as a driver for your local creative economy.  Tell the stories that matter to your nonprofit, your mission, and your community. There are many possibilities to explore.

As the Brown Paper Tickets Doer specializing in Public Interest Media, Community Engagement, Experiential Marketing, Non-profit Fundraising, and Social Giving (Crowdfunding/Giving Circles/Friend-raising), I can help connect you to resources that will get you going. To find out more, email me, Sabrina Roach, at, with a short description of your nonprofit and how you would plan to serve your community with a low power radio signal.

In partnership with the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, I’ll be hosting a free information session for nonprofits about the Low-Power Community Radio Opportunity on January 24, 2013, in Seattle (also available for download after the event via my Doer webpage) to find out what this opportunity means for nonprofits, to share easy steps on how to evaluate if your nonprofit is right for this opportunity and to talk about what’s possible with a radio signal and studio. If you can join us for this free event, RSVP here.

This is the first of several workshops Brown Paper Tickets will produce to help nonprofits assess if they have the capacity or can reasonably build the capacity to run a radio station! Topics covered in these workshops will include:

* Navigating the application process
* Doing a community needs assessment and developing a community engagement strategy
* Fundraising using traditional public media methods and emerging social and participatory fundraising
* Considering governance structure options
* Ensuring ongoing FCC reporting requirements are met
* Recommendations on how to seek legal counsel
* Managing volunteers
* Exploring youth and community development through media
* Thinking through approaches to programming

Email me, or reach out to me on Twitter @BrinaSea to be added to the invitation list for these free events.   Our goal is to share information and to help local nonprofits build organizational capacity for the application process, community engagement strategy, governance models, and fundraising.

Join Brown Paper Tickets in learning about how your nonprofit can use this unique opportunity to make a difference!  We’d like to thank The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs for their support of the effort to bring more community media to the neighborhoods of Seattle and surrounding areas. The Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs supports the health and vitality of our city through arts and culture, advances the role of artists in our community, and advocates for issues affecting the entire cultural community.

We’d also like to thank 4Culture for their programming contribution to our workshop eduction series for nonprofits interested in the Low Power FM opportunity. They will join us to talk about what excites them about the possibility new nonprofit radio stations in King County and how to apply for  their funding. 4Culture, the cultural services agency for King County, Washington is committed to making our region stronger by supporting citizens and groups who preserve our shared heritage, and create arts and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors.

In Seattle, 80% of the events on Brown Paper Tickets benefit nonprofits. Nonprofits and corporations who support nonprofits and causes in 27 countries around the world regularly turn to Brown Paper Tickets. Their donors trust that the most money possible from each ticket sold is going directly to the nonprofit, instead of the ticketing company. This is because of our business ethos and a track record of over a decade of giving back 5% from every ticket sold to communities, nonprofits and causes. We feel a responsibility to support nonprofits with information that can help them thrive. As social entrepreneurs, we believe in building community — in bringing people together to make a difference. That’s exactly what local community radio does. We’re very excited about what this can mean for nonprofits and the communities they serve.