The Times and How They Are Indeed Changing

What a busy summer! I’ve barely had time to recover from a wonderful Maritime summer vacation, going full time at my job (and what a life change that will be!), getting ready to move from my apartment, and just thinking about what the future holds for me. The big news that sparked all of this recuperating, reflection, and rethinking? After a year of letters, conversations, and a hearing, the CRTC issued its new Campus and Community Radio Policy in July!

It (of course) contains various regulations for campus and community broadcasters, such as how much local spoken word they need to produce, or how much Canadian music they need to play. But it also includes a mechanism for some much needed funding for the sector. And who will be managing and distributing those funds, you might ask? The organization I work for — the Community Radio Fund of Canada. What a proud moment for me. For sure, I have played my part in that. But I also think back to the summer of 2004 when four or five people first started talking about a radio fund. What a journey it has been since then. It’s amazing how it feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago.

For those who are interested and have not yet seen it, here’s the CRTC-published policy as well as a press release from my organization. And congrats to us all!

Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2010-499: Campus and community radio policy (July 22, 2010)


A First for the Sector: $775K annually from broadcasting industry

Ottawa, July 22, 2010 — The Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) is pleased to announce that the campus and community radio sector will receive vital funding following the decision released today by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) on the Review of the Campus and Community Radio Policies.

The Commission approved part of the CRFC’s request for mandatory funding from the private broadcasting sector through contributions to the Canadian Content Development (CCD). Once in place, this will mean that the CRFC will likely receive $775,000 annually. This funding will then be distributed through the CRFC’s programs to more than 140 stations and their representative associations.

“This is a encouraging step in funding for the sector,” said CRFC President Ian Pringle. “With this funding, we will be able to begin providing more meaningful support to stations across the country as they work to better serve their communities, tackle the challenges of 21st-century broadcasting in innovative ways and give voice to Canada’s diverse experience where it is the richest – at the local level.”

Since its inception in 2007, the CRFC has already distributed more than $300,000 to support 42 local programming and training initiatives across the country. From youth radio camps, to a series about local history, to training immigrant women to tell their own stories, these projects have had immediate and direct impact for stations and Canadian communities.

The CRFC thanks the Commission for recognizing the importance of campus and community stations, both in the broadcasting system and for Canadians. With this funding, our stations will be able to better serve their local communities by producing strong locally relevant Canadian content.

However, this funding is just a start in helping the CRFC fulfill its mandate. Pringle notes: “We did not get everything we asked for, but this decision remains a step forward in the growth of community programming. There is a lot of work still to be done, and we are ready to take it on.”

The CRFC also believes that this funding will have a significant and meaningful impact on the promotion of local Canadian talent. For decades, our stations have been committed to providing exposure and airplay emerging, independent, local, and/or niche musicians. By strengthening campus and community stations, the Commission and the private broadcasters are also directly contributing to the Canadian music industry.

For more information about the CRFC, please visit


It’s 2010, do you know where your funding is?

The title is from a quote by Katya Andresen who wrote a handy document called “The 8 Online Fundraising Changes You Must Make in 2010” (PDF document), which is a free ebook from Network for Good. (The actual quote is “It’s 2010, do you know where online donations are?”) This document inspired me to post some other fundraising tools. We are well into 2010, but many of us are still coming up with that perfect fundraising plan that incorporates traditional fundraising and grantwriting as well as internet and mobile forms of communication.


Links to online articles

  • Gift acceptance issues: Dealing with difficult donors and restrictions, by Elisa Birnbaum (CharityVillage) “Fundraisers grapple with this issue all the time: they must raise enough funds to keep their organization running, but also must balance this against any perceived conflict of interest with regards to where those funds come from. This week, we talk to Rebecca Davies, director of fundraising at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada to find out how that organization successfully implemented an aggressive corporate giving policy.” (Link updated November 2013)
  • Fundraising Q & A, by Cynthia J. Armour, CFRE (CharityVillage) “Each month, Cynthia J. Armour offers expert advice and feedback about the fundraising issues and challenges facing nonprofits. This month she expands on last month’s topic of how to grow your individual donor base, outlining where to find your donors.” (Link updated November 2013)

And don’t forget … FOLLOW-UP! It is essential. I just came across a fantastic article for writing those time-consuming grant/project reports. The article is certainly specific to grants and projects, but there are a few useful tips that could be applied to other kinds of follow-up, especially around impact and telling stories.

Fundraising, Leadership, and Social Media Resources

Here is my latest offering to my friends in non-profit community media. I’m sure a few others will find it useful, too. Some of these links and more can also be found on my resources page.

Fundraising Resources

  • Fundraising Authority is a website with a large number of fundraising articles geared toward small nonprofits, churches, and schools. Articles cover such topics as individual fundraising, fundraising ideas, volunteers, and strategy and planning. Also helpful is a section for beginners called Fundraising Basics.

Leadership Resources

  • The Peel Leadership Centre is a community collaborative whose mission is to cultivate, enhance, and support leadership in the nonprofit sector in Peel. But the centre’s website contains a wide array of leadership articles, resources, and links covering such topics as leadership renewal, innovation, diversity, and collaboration that are useful for everyone.

Social Media and Website Resources

  • 10 Keys to Effective Non-Profit Organization Websites
  • Social Media and Young Adults: This is a report about the shifts in social media use for teens and young adults. “Much of the drop in blogging among younger internet users may be attributable to changes in social network use by teens and young adults. Nearly three quarters (73%) of online teens and an equal number (72%) of young adults use social network sites. By contrast, older adults have not kept pace; some 40% of adults 30 and older use the social sites in the fall of 2009 … However, even as blogging declines among those under 30, wireless connectivity continues to rise in this age group.”
  • Webinar: Integrating Social Media into Your Website: “More and more organizations are benefiting from using social media tools like blogs, Facebook, and Twitter in their online communications. While the tools can be relatively straightforward to learn and adopt, many organizations struggle with how to effectively align messaging and communications across their online channels. This webinar will focus on best practices for integrating social media into organizational websites, including basic nuts-and-bolts changes to web page templates and enhancements to contact, staff, and email sign-up pages. Effective and simple processes for coordinating various channels and maximizing traffic between them will be explained. In addition, a range of contrasts will be drawn describing the different natures and uses of the respective channels, and methods for measuring how different channels are driving traffic to one another will be presented.”
  • Four Reasons Why Nonprofits Need a Mobile Website: If you are experimenting with text-to-give, text alerts and/or smartphone Apps (or planning to), then launching a mobile website is something you  should seriously consider.

(Post and links updated November 2013)

CRTC Policy Review news for Campus and Community Radio

One of the reasons I’ve been hanging out more in the physical world is that I was working on the submission of the Community Radio Fund of Canada (CRFC) to the CRTC Policy Review for our sector. One month and 22 pages later, here we are. And more than 100 stations, organizations, private broadcasters, governement agencies, and individuals submitted their thoughts as well. More information in the CRFC posting below.

CRFC Participates in Review of Campus and Community Radio
Friday, 16 October 2009

In July 2009, the CRTC launched a review of its Campus and Community Radio Policies. The CRFC filed its comments today outlining the funding reality of the sector and some possible solutions to help lessen its financial stresses. The CRFC is recommending a funding model for both the campus and community radio stations and the CRFC that includes funding from the federal government as well as Canada’s private broadcasters and distributors. You can read the CRFC’s comments here. The CRTC hearing for this process will begin on January 18, 2010. (Links updated November 2013)

Fundraising 101

Well, it certainly has been a while since I’ve posted anything online, even on Twitter. I manage to post a few photos and see a few Live News Feeds on Facebook. But these days I’ve been living much more in the physical world without much connection to the virtual one.

But I have been saving a few things top post. One of them is this great article from CharityVillage. I’ve just posted the first couple of paragraphs below, but I highly recommend that you check out the full article.

Fundraising Q & A
By Cynthia J. Armour, CFRE

October 26, 2009

The question:
I want to ensure our grant proposal to a foundation makes it through the initial screening process and gets real consideration. How do I make that happen?

Cynthia’s Response:

Great question! Last month we spoke about getting the “corporate ear”…let’s now examine charitable foundations, the only source of funds that are mandated to disperse money. All others (individuals, businesses, service clubs, churches, etc.) are supporting charities voluntarily. Some of these donors actually choose to set up a foundation to ensure their support remains relatively balanced, despite hiccups in the economy. However, given last year’s significant market crash, even those foundations are suffering; many have had to seriously re-evaluate their donations budget.

In 1988, I was recruited to Trent University as the foundation fundraiser. Trent was building its environmental sciences facility, automating the library, expanding the Native studies program, and engaging donors to invest in an exciting future. Google’s inventors were probably still in high school! The best information available was the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy’s (now, Imagine Canada) Directory to Foundations. This guide still exists and remains a reference that summarizes (in searchable form) the T3010s that registered charities have to submit to Canada Revenue Agency within six months of their fiscal year end.

Check out the rest of the article here.

(Links updated November 2013)