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2020 has been a year like no other in generations. A worldwide pandemic has changed social, cultural and economic life in communities everywhere. Racial justice movements have pushed every sector of society to look closely at how we can do better. Conversations once thought unthinkable are happening before our eyes. And, community radio has faced unprecedented pressures to respond to local needs in ways we never would have guessed at the start of the year.

To its credit, community media has been responsive. Stations have collaborated with area stakeholders to address natural disasters. Some have been awarded grants to provide effective coverage. Others have taken the moment to reimagine their missions in a difficult year. NFCB has also risen to the occasion to deliver an array of instruction and tools. We have done so to help stations realize their full potential in this stressful year.

In addition to core services, such as the Solution Center, SoundExchange discount and peer networking, NFCB delivers resources aimed at helping your nonprofit organization make a difference in these most uncertain times. Whether it is gathering stations together to talk about COVID-19 responses locally or showing you how to help your community dispel election misinformation, NFCB is watching the currents to offer needed community radio guidance.

It is that time of the year when NFCB asks member stations to renew and new stations to join. Being a part of NFCB in 2021 is a vote for community media growth, as well as an investment in the future.

Despite the challenges, NFCB was at the table in April, making the case to CPB for rural and small-market stations during CARES Act distribution deliberations. NFCB provided extensive guides for podcasting (January), COVID-19 safety and stations (March), and diversity, equity and inclusion work (July). NFCB hosted training sessions on managing your budget during a pandemic (June), efficient and compliant music reporting (May), good governance at stations (September) and succession planning (November). Finally, NFCB hosted many free public events this year, including the crises facing college radio (September) and case studies for responding to the climate crisis (August). Nowhere else in community media is such support available to stations that need it most.

Members in 2021 can look for more of the same forward-thinking approaches. On tap, NFCB expects to roll out new editions of the NFCB Underwriting Guide, the Public Radio Legal Handbook and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion guidebook. With our allies at the Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark School of Journalism, NFCB will also launch a series of conversations on tackling polarization in our communities. We will also continue our advocacy work with the Rebuild Local News Coalition, Free Press and other allies.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was quoted once as saying, “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” You are the people who amplify the voices, information, and creative energy that gives communities a fighting chance for a better future. NFCB delivers quality support for your efforts and we depend upon you to keep doing that.Join us for 2021 to stay connected. Together we can make it count.