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This has been a year for community radio to innovate for the betterment of public service around the nation. NFCB was able to lead a cohort this year to provide lessons for all of community radio. In addition, we trained stations on matters like building an effective underwriting program and handling underwriting from controversial businesses as well as groups invested in the upcoming election season. With equity and inclusion rising as essential conversations in media, NFCB presented learning opportunities for stations. NFCB has also endeavored to help community radio do its best work in areas like volunteer management and digital strategy.

This summer, more than 200 community radio leaders traveled from all points to San Diego for the 2019 national conference. Author Nina Simon articulated important questions about media relevance, John Crigler reminded us of our past and our future, and a cast of experienced speakers offered station organizers needed training, data analysis and insights on noncommercial media trends. Along the way, we’ve also been present across the radio spectrum, sharing community media perspectives on the Community Service Grant front, low-power FM space and in alliance with like-minded organizations in defense of the public’s right to the airwaves.

NFCB member stations enabled the organization to accomplish so much this year. We’ve been able to teach new community radio leaders, advocate for and represent community radio in Washington, and host the longest running convergence of grassroots media in America.

NFCB could not have had such a powerful 2019 without you. We need you in 2020.

In the coming weeks, NFCB member station leaders will be receiving notices to renew their station’s membership to NFCB for 2020. For stations that are not NFCB members, this is the time to contact NFCB about joining. Membership works on a January-December calendar.

Membership provides many benefits to community radio stations, including:

  • Discounts, including participation in the SoundExchange reporting agreement for your station’s web stream.
  • Access to the Solution Center, which contains a host of source documents, such as NFCB’s Public Radio Legal Handbook, Underwriting Guide, and more to help you navigate the federal laws and regulations that govern public broadcasting.
  • Training webinars, email communications and peer-to-peer learning providing innovative ideas, grant opportunities, best practices and more.
  • Customized station-based consulting to meet your specific organizational needs.

In 2020, NFCB’s agenda for community radio includes webinars on political broadcasting and underwriting in an election year; helping board members do their best work for their organizations; music licensing for community stations; how to evaluate your program schedule; and more. 2020 will also feature a new edition of NFCB’s guide to free/low-cost programming for stations and a tutorial for community radio podcasting. In addition, we expect to continue our colleague cohort of video chats bringing station leaders together to receive support.

These initiatives, and more to be announced, are incredibly important to fostering a vibrant community media. Most stations serve their communities admirably with limited resources. NFCB brings every member a dynamic toolbox of resources that can change the livelihood of a station.

As the accomplished football player Walter Payton once said, “We are stronger together than we are alone.” NFCB is well-positioned to help stations do their best work in and for their communities. We ask current member stations to renew their NFCB membership for 2020 when you receive your notice later this month. Outlets interested in joining NFCB should do so now to be part of the exciting year ahead. Working together, we can ensure that public media remains a relevant, thriving and diverse resource for all.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to hearing from you.