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Power the Tower: Fund Asheville Free Media's LPFM Station!

Make your tax-deductible donation now!

Asheville Free Media is ready for the FM dial! Broadcasting online since 2009, our programming is truly free-form, including jazz and comedy, pop and poetry, rock ‘n’ roll and sports talk, world music and local news, hip-hop and health, old-school country and anarchist journalism, blues and kids’ shows, politics and dance music, live simulcasts and Spanish-language programming, and spotlights on local non-profits and community causes, with everything in between and more to come!

In the fall of 2013, Asheville Free Media applied for a license during the first Low-Power FM application window in over a decade. The Federal Communications Commission granted our construction permit, which means we can expand our mission to serve as a community radio station on the airwaves on 103.3 FM, at the full 100 watts, from atop the Hotel Indigo in downtown Asheville.

This is your chance to be part of the community that is Asheville Free Media! Your tax-deductible donation will fund the equipment and building expenses needed to broadcast locally-produced, original programming onto the airwaves in Asheville, NC. Take a moment right now to donate to the cause, and join us in celebration as we take this next step!

About Asheville FM

Asheville Free Media (AFM) is a volunteer-based, grassroots community radio station created by Friends of Community Radio, a non-profit entity. The idea for Asheville FM was hatched in early 2009. Radio lovers from Western North Carolina came together to serve pipin’ hot sounds and have fun while doing it.

Our goal is to add to and reflect the rich stew of arts, culture and community involvement that is Asheville. We want to hear music, news, and the unusual all produced right here in our neck of the woods. We want to hear sounds from around the world, discerned and distilled just for us by our neighbors. We want to help make connections between diverse groups and support the local economy of ideas. We believe people from all parts of our community should have a chance to let their voice be heard.

Asheville FM began broadcasting as an internet radio station in September of 2009. In late 2013 we filed for a terrestrial Low Power FM frequency with the Federal Communications Commission, and in March 2014, our application was granted! Asheville Free Media will be broadcasting soon at 103.3 FM from downtown Asheville. Sound Good? It’ll sound even better if you get involved and help us bring this vital local programming to our community!

About the Campaign

Power the Tower is a grassroots fundraising campaign, initiated by AFM and our founding organization, the Friends of Community Radio, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All funds raised for this campaign will be used to cover the one-time costs, above and beyond our annual operating budget, of putting our LPFM license into action. All funds raised will contribute to construction, set-up, and technological support for our new LPFM tower. Funding will be received whether we meet our goal or not, but if we reach our goal, we keep a larger percentage of our earned funds. Please donate now to help us meet our goal!


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Wow, $45k--that’s a lot money! What’s the money paying for, exactly?

It sounds like a lot of money to us too! But getting a signal on the air the right way is expensive. Our board has done a lot of research, and we want to get the best possible signal right from the beginning. Here’s our budget for this project:
  • LPFM transmitter ($7800)
  • Single-bay antenna ($1000)
  • Antenna filters (to eliminate interference) ($2000)
  • EAS (Emergency Alert System) equipment ($4100)
  • Permits ($150)
  • Signal processing (studio-side and transmitter-side) ($12,000)
  • Signal-to-Transmitter Link (STL) ($3000)
  • Tower construction by pros (including lightning grounding) ($7000)
  • Cabling ($1000)
  • Transmitter box (with air-conditioning) ($3000)
  • Engineering and legal fees ($3000)
  • Computer equipment (server rack, switches, failsafe internet, etc.) ($2000)

Total: $46050. We asked for $45k because we have a couple of outside donations already set up to make up the difference. Once we're on the air, if there's any money from this campaign left over, it will go to our equipment depreciation fund.

Wow, $45k--is that all it costs to run a radio station?

No, the $45k doesn’t include any operating expenses (which include rent, utilities, music royalties, internet fees, studio equipment, insurance, and the like). We’re relying on underwriting, special event fundraising, show dues, and other donations from the community for our operating expenses, just as we always have. And we wouldn’t be able to build out our transmitter site without the incredible generosity of the Hotel Indigo. They--and all our supporters--are awesome members of the Asheville community!

Does anyone get paid at Asheville FM?

No, not yet. We’re an all-volunteer operation, with dozens of folks laboring away constantly, because we love community radio and we love Asheville! We’ve made it work for almost 5 years now, but later this year, we’ll be having our first on-air fund drive, and we’re hoping that will allow us to hire a part-time station manager. A next step will be to hire a full-time station manager as soon as we can. With community support, we’ll grow quickly!

My business would like to underwrite the station. How do I do that?

We’d love to have you as an underwriter! Drop us a quick line at manager@ashevillefm.org, and we will fill you in on all the details!

What do the t-shirt and bumper sticker look like?

Here's the cool design, courtesy of Adam Strange! (Thank you, Adam!)


Team on This Campaign:

Help make it happen for the team! Contribute to Power the Tower: Fund Asheville Free Media's LPFM Station!.