Who We Are & How We Got Here:
For fifteen years, the Prometheus Radio Project has advocated for and built Low Power FM (LPFM) community radio stations all across the country. We sued the FCC and won - returning control of a portion of the airwaves to you! We have successfully curbed corporate control of the media and we have built twelve radio stations in the United States through our "barnraising" model where people all across the country come to help a community launch their station.
This Moment, This October
Prometheus fought for twelve years to pass the Local Community Radio Act. Since it was signed into law in January 2011, over 10,000 people have contacted us for help in starting their own community radio station. We have helped over 1,000 groups to prepare for this moment. This October, the FCC will accept applications for these radio station licenses for two weeks only.
We are launching this fundraising campaign to supplement the cost it takes to provide engineering and technical assistance to the most promising groups who make it through the FCC application process. Right now we are closely supporting hundreds of groups who want to build a station in their community. This is the largest expansion of community radio in history and we need your support to make it happen.
Who are these stations?
The stations we've helped build and the community groups we are now supporting are strong, grassroots organizations with missions dedicated to serving their communities in ways that commercial and large public radio stations don't.
They relay local news, arts and culture, and programs created and hosted by members of the listening community. They are low power stations that can operate on a car battery, so in times of natural and man-made disasters, their signal is still able to share life-saving information. Once licensed, these stations will be able to share their voices and stories and strengthen the fabric of their communities.
Here are just some of the groups we are closely working with!
What We Need
Prometheus has an engineering and technical support team that is, and will continue to be, in high demand after the Low Power FM application window closes on October 29. Once groups are awarded a construction permit they have eighteen months to begin broadcasting, and we have those eighteen months to help them get ready. The clock ticks down pretty quickly. The amount of support we receive from you TODAY impacts how many groups we'll be able to help tomorrow and over the next year.
Prometheus must maintain a solid team of people that can provide uninterrupted support that allows these new stations to flourish. Most of our resources and services are free so that grassroots organizations can take advantage of what we offer. Everyone on our staff earns the same flat salary rate, helping to keep our operating costs low. We do a lot with a little, but if we exceed our modest goal here, it will help us expand our resources and reach.
Here's what $20,000 can provide:
- Support our engineering and technical team, composed of several part-time and full-time staffers
- Create and hold at least ten online trainings on: best practices for station management, community engagement, programming creation, FCC compliance and more!
- Coordinate regional trainings for several stations that include hands-on workshops
- Dedicated staff time to coordinate individually with fledgling stations to create a timeline for building their station
While we have set our goal at $20,000, any and all funds raised during this campaign will be used to strengthen our ability to provide technical and engineering support after the application window.
What You Get
Perks: What you get when you support this moment is a more just and democratic media landscape, populated with stations truly dedicated to serving their communities without having to cater to commercial interests. As if that wasn't enough: We humbly offer our sincerest gratitude and appreciation! We are a small but mighty organization. The next wave of station building will be time and resource intensive and we want to focus on the task at hand, not creating costly merchandise that we would then have to manage. That said - we have a couple of "Thanks!" to offer you here. But the real gratification comes from knowing you played a role in getting these stations the resources they need to be successful.
During the next week, 90% of households nationwide will tune in to a radio station. What are they hearing? What is missing? Contributing to this campaign now ensures that the next wave of radio stations have what they need to broadcast what is relevant to their communities and speaks to their needs.
Radio reaches across generations and is an essential lifeline for those without broadband access - 28% of urban dwellers and 42% rural residents. Those numbers are even higher in communities of color. Contributing to this campaign now ensures that all communities, especially those underrepresented or misrepresented in commercial media, have an opportunity to participate in media ownership.
Prometheus is part of a national grassroots movement for local media. Contributing to this campaign means you are building a network of platforms that enable communities to tell their stories, preserve their local culture, and provide life-saving information in times of emergencies.
The stations we've worked with have had quantifiable wins for their communities: cleaning up toxic waste, fighting cases of modern day slavery in the fields of Florida, providing health care information to rural populations, and offering youth technology training opportunities, among many other inspiring programs and missions. Contributing to this campaign means real, positive, lasting changes for these communities.
Whether your town is starting a community radio station or not, this is a huge opportunity for the entire country. The groups we work with are as varied as the communities themselves and all of these stations will engage and empower their listeners, which will create a ripple effect all across the country. Be a part of this moment and support the next wave of community radio!
Other Ways You Can Help
Please share this campaign far and wide! Be a "broadcaster" to your friends and let them know this fundraiser is happening!
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