The winter is here and, with it, comes the time for community radio stations to join or renew membership in the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

This is a critical time for community radio. Across the country stations are navigating rapid and transformative change. While other media is losing audience, radio’s has grown. A new generation of leaders and media makers is taking the lead and revitalizing the space. An increase in emergency situations and climate events have highlighted local stations’ resilience and service. New business models, digital tools, and social movements are changing the way stations operate and what they respond to. Membership to NFCB helps stations optimize their capacity to respond to these tectonic shifts in media.

Why join or renew today? NFCB’s membership cycle runs January-December, so new members can take advantage of the full 12 months of services by joining now. Current members have received invoices to renew for 2019.

Membership provides many advantages to stations, including:

  • Access to NFCB’s Solution Center, community radio’s vetted and reliable knowledge base providing stations guidance on a range of regulatory and other issues facing radio
  • Superlative training opportunities for volunteers and staff, including in-person events, webinars, consultation and more
  • Discounted access to SoundExchange, which ensures your station is in legal compliance with its online streaming of copyrighted music
  • A seat at the table with community media’s most trusted peer network of emerging and veteran leaders and stations

If the highly regarded resources NFCB offers don’t convince you, some of community radio’s most respected voices have been sharing their reasons for involvement in NFCB.

Native Public Media President & CEO Loris Taylor says, “Much like a diamond, NFCB is multifaceted, spirited, and brilliant. NFCB is a community. A community where the voices of diversity can be heard at the table of broadcast public investment. NFCB is the home of universal access and public engagement for underserved communities. And, NFCB is a community square where our collective democracy can remain resilient, robust, strong, and healthy for all peoples. Native Public Media, appreciates the decades of partnership and service NFCB provides to community media, including Native radio.”

Jo Anne Wallace, former general manager of powerhouse KQED, offers, “As our national organization, NFCB represents stations on major issues with CPB, the FCC and other national institutions. NFCB inspires and encourages its member stations as we work hard to serve our local communities. And it introduces station best practices for us all to consider and learn from.”

And finally, AshevilleFM’s General Manager K. P. Whaley says, “I stepped into the role of GM for our small LPFM station two years ago, and I really can’t tell you how much I’ve relied upon NFCB and its staff. The Solution Center is a valuable resource full of templates, policy help and guidelines that I’m constantly referring to as we continue to develop new policies and guidelines here for our volunteer programmed station. Navigating the FCC can be challenging, but Ernesto, Sally, and Gretchen have always made themselves available to me to answer questions or help me navigate an opinion of any scenario that I think may be of concern. That alone is worth the annual membership fee.”

“NFCB is a community of other like minded stations and people who have varying levels of experience, knowledge, and passion for community radio and being a member of that group is encouraging and supportive,” Whaley adds. “It feels much like the family we have created here at our member station and the community we serve. The annual meeting is a must-attend for our station for those networking and learning opportunities, but also for the necessary encouragement it provides to go back home and continue to make an impact in our community.”

2018 was a strong year for NFCB. Some of our biggest accomplishments featured:

  • Regional summits in Grand Rapids, Charlottesville and Santa Rosa, bringing a dynamic mix of speakers on topics such as emergency preparedness, effective fundraising, digital strategy, creative content and much more
  • A Solution Center relaunch, offering even more tools to support community media
  • Webinars on remaking pledge drives, creating safe/harassment-free stations for volunteers, music licensing, innovative fundraising efforts, emergency preparedness, and deep balance in journalism, among other topics
  • A comprehensive community radio survey demonstrating where stations are succeeding and where greater attention is needed to realize their full potential
  • Advocacy and representation coast-to-coast in support of community radio needs and experiences

2019 is already shaping up to be dynamite, with the national conference coming in June, and webinars on donor relationships as well as underwriting already announced.

NFCB helps fuel your station for the road ahead. No matter what challenges you face, membership helps you do your best work and serve your community with confidence and purpose. Your investment in NFCB membership today returns knowledge and support dividends all year long. Not a member yet? Click here to inquire about membership. If you’re already a member, please ensure you return your membership renewal today.

This article appeared in NFCB’s monthly newsletter. Click here to subscribe.