Category Archives: Media History

Non-profit Funding Vendors or “Underwriting”

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Whole article:  http://www.raise-funds.com/2001/should-your-organization-sell-products-services-to-raise-money/

[Here is an excerpt from the comments, that I am putting here before the main article:  ”

  • Dear Vera,not Verna,

    Seriously, as they say, yours is a question for the IRS, though its Director recently stated that they do not answer about 60% of the calls made to the IRS.

    That’s about as helpful as I am, but my excuse is that I am not a non-profit attorney or IRS-regulations-skilled.

    However, what I think I do know, is the Paul Newman salad dressing sales/charitable foundation was threatened recently by the IRS for a huge payment of back taxes because the IRS rules state that a non-profit cannot own a business–as the PN Foundation apparently does.

    Can a pet food/supply company simply donate a percent of sales to such a national umbrella animal humane society?

    Yes, it seems, as some national commercial product-makers seem to do from what I have seen in the past with a “lean cuisine” product and aspirin, to name but two.

    So, such a hook-up would be great with Iams or Friskies — or better still, with such as PetSmart as the overall distributor.

    Another thing, should such sales be conducted, the IRS again has rules regarding limits of income in a percentage of what other funds the non-profit raises.

    I believe there is a rule about standard donations—that a non-profit organization cannot receive more than 30 percent of its funding from any one source—and it can reasonably be deduced that includes sales of products.

    So, you can see the waters here are murky and could be hazardous. Thus, the need for an attorney skilled in non-profit law.”

Should Your Organization
Sell Products & Services to Raise Money?

I am made increasingly aware of the conflict non-profit organizations experience when faced with choosing between:

  1. Raising the money they need using a traditional philanthropic process.
  2. Making a profit from selling and endorsing commercial products and services.

The number and variety of selling opportunities presented to non-profit organizations, especially through the Internet, is growing rapidly. All too often, the advertisements for those products and services make outrageous and misleading promises of big and easy money to needy and vulnerable non-profits.

There is nothing wrong with selling a commercial product or service to help support a non-profit organization if:

  1. The time expended can be justified by the profit gained.
  2. It neither restricts nor replaces the far more effective and time-proven philanthropic process—a process that has seen billions of dollars raised over decades of time.
  3. An organization institutes a product or sales program as additional and complimentary to their regular fund-raising, not as a replacement or alternative to it.

“Girl Scouts Can’t Live on Cookies Alone”

Raising contributed income for non-profit organizations requires much more than selling commercial products and services to make money. Such programs have their place, but most organizations simply cannot generate enough income from them to meet all their needs. A number of years ago the Girl Scouts proved that point with their highly visible campaign to let the public know that “Girl Scouts can’t live on cookies alone,” and that the organization required additional major support in the form of philanthropic contributions.

Selling products and services to generate income seems an easy way to make money. Some commercial vendors of products and services even tell their prospective non-profit customers, “all of the money you’ll ever need,” can be raised this way. That “sales pitch” is very attractive to non-profits which are unable to fathom how they can undertake the hard and sometimes frustrating work of recruiting volunteers, identifying prospects, managing campaigns, and asking for money.

It seems easier and less painful to sell products and services to their constituents and to the general public. The “make more money than you’ll ever need” sales hype they hear from some commercial vendors is quite attractive indeed.

While there are many reputable vendors of products and services now in the marketplace who seek to help non-profits develop new sources of income, they do not always apply a customer-first attitude to their non-profit customers and clients:

  1. They are not assessing the real needs of the non-profits to see if the proposed product or service-related program has a place in the organization at that time.
  2. If it does have a place, how it can be a good fit.

Well meaning vendors of merchandise and services often fail to realize that many charitable organizations are likely to embrace a sales program because they perceive it as a way to provide quick and promising rewards while being less stressful and labor-intensive than fund-raising campaigns.

A non-profit organization must always prioritize and put into meaningful perspective opportunities to generate contributed income. In the main, they must always strive to raise the greatest amount of money from the fewest funding sources in the shortest period of time. This simple premise is absolutely critical to most non-profits to employ because of their constantly imminent needs and limited resources. All fund-raising efforts should be measured in those ways.

When considering selling a product or service, officials of a non-profit organization should ask themselves:

  1. If we sell a product or service to help support our organization, will the effort be justified with the time expended relative to the profit gained?
  2. Will we assure that the selling program neither restricts nor replaces the far more effective and proven philanthropic process we should be employing?
  3. What marketing plans can we develop which will maximize our chances for real profit?
  4. Will we attempt to sell to the general public which does not know our organization? If so, do we really believe we will make money by selling a commercial product available elsewhere? In short, what compelling reason do these persons having no relationship whatsoever with our organization have to buy from us?
  5. If we sell to our regular donors, will we run the risk of annoying them and perhaps losing their charitable support because of what they may see as yet another solicitation? Contrary to what the vendors say, our regular donors will see their purchases from us primarily as charitable support of our organization.
  6. When we promote the products and services of one company, will we risk the loss of traditional philanthropic support from other competing companies?
  7. Is the product or service of a type and quality we would want to associate with our organization?
  8. If the product or service is to be purchased via the Internet access, what do we know about how Internet-capable our constituents are and how receptive they may be to buying online?
  9. Are we willing to take the chance that the product or service we are selling can be withdrawn by the provider at any time leaving us high and dry?

. . . .

And please remember, the good name of your organization is far more important than any financial gain. Whenever you associate your organization’s reputation to a particular vendor or service provider, or the type of product and service you will be presenting to your constituencies, be certain to avoid embarrassment for less-than-tasteful associations and watch for any hidden potential for controversy. If at all possible, seek to match the commercial enterprise with your mission for a more acceptable and logical “fit,” such as the Heart Association has with the maker of “lean cuisine” and the Arthritis Foundation has with the maker of aspirin.”

[And there are comments at the original posting site.]

Millenials to Radio?

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OUR PODCAST

Does running a LPFM now require persuading millennials to come back to FM?
By on August 6, 2016 in LPFM, LPFM Watch

Ferndale radioI am following Ferndale Radio’s campaign to raise enough funds to launch a Low Power FM station in and around the Rust Belt Market zone of Metro Detroit. The group has a nice promotional Vimeo on its indiegogo page. It confirms what I already knew but haven’t really wanted to face. Lots of young people really, truly do not give a crap about FM radio any more.“FM radio?” one filmed interviewee responds to a query.  “It’s actually more Internet radio now because I’m getting tired of all the commercials and the same music over and over.”

“I don’t listen to FM radio,” another Certifiable Young Person rather unashamedly proclaims.
“Why not?” the interviewer asks.
“Because it sucks,” she replies with a big grin, and then laughs.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/174998078

Oh fudge. Well, I shouldn’t be surprised given stats indicating that around one out of five ‘Muricans no longer owns an AM/FM receiver. You can bet some of these hip looking kids are among them. Still, what a revoltin’ development. It took years to get this wave of Federal Communications Commission Low Power FM licenses. Now the owners have to figure out ways to entice their intended audiences back to FM.
On the other hand, the Ferndale radio group, which got its license in 2014, seems to have a very smart strategy for making their LPFM work: park it right in the middle of their little town’s commercial hub  and put an emphasis on broadcasting indie music. We are talking the city of Ferndale, Michigan here; population around 20,000 or so souls.
There’s a nice interview with Chris Best, the owner of the Rust Belt Market, whose said an LPFM was part of his original development plan. “We had no idea about the FCC and the regulations put in place,” he confesses. “We just thought it was as easy as starting a radio station. You guys have done all the leg work. We couldn’t be more excited to make this happen.”
Here’s the project’s official indigogo statement:

“Your donation will ensure an alternative to Taylor Swift’s domination of the airwaves. We’ll play music you can’t hear anywhere else on the FM dial, and we’ll offer unique programming, like on-air book clubs, radio dramas and much more. This is a radio station for the Ferndale resident, and we’re going to need your help to make it a reality.”

“I would be very interested in something like that,” somebody in the film says, “as opposed to hearing Taylor Swift 63 times a day.”
Ok, we get it. No Taylor. Yes to local music and local talk. So far the campaign has 39 backers and has raised a little over $1.8k of its 15k goal. That is pretty good for a proposed radio station serving a town this size. Hopefully these folks will make their goal in a month or so.


Start an iNet Radio Station

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Lonely in Hong Kong (or elsewhere)? Start an Internet radio station

Lonely in Hong Kong (or elsewhere)? Start an Internet radio station

Radio LantauAre you working abroad? Do you now live in some wonderful city that is fascinating and different, but also pretty difficult to navigate through, socially speaking? Well, one solution is to do what Michael Egerton, now an expat resident of Hong Kong did: start an Internet radio station.

Egerton hails from the Netherlands. He lives on Hong Kong’s biggest island: Lantau. Hence no surprise that he dubbed his station Radio Lantau. The South China Morning Post has a great profile of the operation. It caters to around 12,000 listeners, many of whom miss the kind of tunes they heard back home. Comments from Egerton’s fans attest to this:

“His show is pretty much the only Hong Kong programme I listen to. Old school hip hop on Hong Kong radio is really not happening.”

“A lot of music he plays, I would say he plays for western listeners … stuff that reminds me of back home, back in the day.”

Having spent some weeks in Hong Kong not that long ago, I can corroborate these quotes. Hong Kong AM/FM listeners are really into talk radio. No surprise there. The place is so intensely political because of its fraught relationship with the People’s Republic of China, hence the yearning for 24/7 commentary. The other radio genre they love is (obviously) “Cantopop” (or HK pop as it’s also called), which is lots of fun but very idiosyncratic.

So if you are looking for the latest western stuff, music-wise, you are going to have to resort to your own devices, figuratively and literally in Radio Lantau’s case.


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Want a new station?

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http://transom.org/2012/youre-on-the-air/

Nan Rubin may be able to help you.
She was part of a Strategic Process imposed on KPFK in 1986.  But Lorenzo Milam’s off-titled Sex in Broadcasting book was the handbook for getting on the air for many years.

You’re On the Air!

onair_FEATURED

My greatest personal satisfaction in a long public broadcasting career has come from building a radio station from scratch. Flipping the switch and filling that empty space on the radio dial with brand new sounds for the very first time — nothing can match it.

I’m close to social security age now, but signing my first station on the air in 1975 was one of the biggest thrills of my life.

Cover of Sex and Broadcasting

My first radio station was WAIF 88.3 FM in Cincinnati, one of a wave of community stations in Atlanta, Madison, Memphis, St. Louis, Tampa and elsewhere that hit the airwaves between 1970 and 1980 as part of the counter-culture and anti-Vietnam War era, guided in part by Lorenzo Milam and Jeremy Lansman’s irreverent station-building guide “Sex and Broadcasting.” We were licensed to Stepchild Radio of Cincinnati, Inc. and our bumper stickers read “Out of the Ordinary Radio.”

Building a radio station takes a serious commitment. First, you have to set-up a non-profit organization so you can legally apply for a broadcast license and also raise money. At the same time, you have to do a technical search to find an open frequency on the FM dial, plus locate a real physical place to put a transmitter and antenna. Then you are ready to fill out an FCC application requesting the frequency, and the FCC sits on it for months while they make sure everything meets their requirements.

In the meantime, you become a community organizer, holding a gazillion meetings to plan station operations, implement decision-making, devise programming schedules, scout out broadcasting equipment and studio locations, and ask people to give you money for a radio station that is just an idea and doesn’t exist yet. You are also holding your breath and hoping no other group has the same idea and applied for the same frequency.

…………

 

Note: David Barsamian-Alternative Radio

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Just ahead of a speaking engagement in Kansas City, David Barsamian will be on the phone on a pledge drive edition of Tell Somebody on October 9, 2014, 9:15 – 10:00 am Central Time on 90.1 FM KKFI, streaming at www.kkfi.org.
https://www.facebook.com/events/707444282663151/?ref_notif_type=plan_mall_activity&source=1

OCT9

Thu 9:10 AM in CDT · on your radio dial 90.1 FM KKFI
4 people interested · 15 people going

Like

Regular Producer for Pacifica and KPFK

KPFT Founder Ray Hill and history of FM Radio

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“About my returning to The Prison Show this Friday: www.kpft.org is in its Fall fund raising mode and I want all of you to consider offering your $$$ help. In 1968 in a small office on Bissonet four of us: Larry Lee, Don Gardner, Debra Danburg (then just a child prodigy U of H student) and I were plotting to give Houston a vehicle of free speech on the radio. From that came KPFT. The station became the vehicle for Wilde n Stein our pioneering GLBT program (evolved now into Queer Voices and After Hours) In 1980, I became the first openly gay and first ex-convict to be authorized to be general manager of an FCC licensed station in the country and began The Prison Show, an iconic effort at expanding to an otherwise neglected audience. The station needs and deserves your tax deductible support and you can support The Prison Show now on the KPFT web page or listen Friday and call a pledge into the station.”
~Ray Hill

Tune in Houston’s community public radio station- KPFT 90.1 FM
May 9, 2014
This today from KPFT founder, Ray Hill:

“I borrowed this note from Writer’s Almanac and would add that in 1949 Lewis Hill and a few friends began non-commercial FM broadcasting in the San Fransisco Bay Area leading to the founding of KPFT, Houston in March 1970. She is still there globally at www.kpft.org Where The Prison Show will be broadcast tonight at 9:00 pm Houston Time. Listen up and support.

On May 13, 1939, the oldest commercial FM radio station in the United States made its first broadcast from Meriden, Connecticut. FM — or “frequency modulation” — radio was the brainchild of Edwin H. Armstrong, a radio pioneer who had been designing technical improvements to radio broadcasters and receivers for many years. Radio signals were transmitted using “amplitude modulation,” and although AM radio signals traveled great distances, they were full of static and the quality was poor. Armstrong tried varying the frequency of the radio waves, rather than their amplitude, and the signal became much clearer. Armstrong received a patent for FM radio in 1933, and in 1934 he broadcast an organ recital from the top of the Empire State Building over both AM and FM frequencies, so people could hear the difference for themselves.

While FM was being perfected, a few experimental radio stations were trying to increase the quality of the AM signal. These were known as “Apex” stations, in part because their transmitting antennas were so tall. One of these Apex stations, W1XPW, was licensed to Franklin Doolittle in 1936. He built his station atop West Peak, in Meriden, Connecticut, and first began his test broadcasts on this date in 1939. By the time the station began full public programming six months later, it was broadcasting on the new FM band, under the call letters WDRC-FM. It’s still on the air, serving listeners in the Hartford area, 75 years later.”

Edwin Joseph Jesús Johnston's photo.

Herbert Hoover on Radio

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http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2015/08/03/herbert-hoovers-warnings-about-radio/

“Hoover was a staunch believer in public control of the airwaves. He wrote that when he arrived at the Harding Administration in 1920, radio broadcasting developers wanted regulation to prevent interference with each other, but “many of them were insisting on a right of permanent preemption of the channels through the air as private property – a monopoly of enormous financial value.” Mr. Secretary thought this was crazy. Their arguments for total privatization were “in a fashion comparable to private ownership of a water navigation channel,” he wrote.”

kpfphooveronradio

Los Angeles County Demographics

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part of:  Los Angeles County, California, US Census 2014

Los Angeles County, California

[bolding by me]  [note KPFK’s listening area is much larger than this]

Want more? Browse data sets for Los Angeles County
People QuickFacts Los Angeles County California
Population definition and source info Population, 2014 estimate 10,116,705 38,802,500
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 (April 1) estimates base 9,818,664 37,254,503
Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1 definition and source info Population, percent change – April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 3.0% 4.2%
Population definition and source info Population, 2010 9,818,605 37,253,956
Persons under 5 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 5 years, percent, 2014 6.4% 6.5%
Persons under 18 years, percent definition and source info Persons under 18 years, percent, 2014 22.8% 23.6%
Persons 65 years and over, percent definition and source info Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2014 12.2% 12.9%
Female persons, percent definition and source info Female persons, percent, 2014 50.7% 50.3%
White alone, percent definition and source info White alone, percent, 2014 (a) 71.3% 73.2%
Black or African American alone, percent definition and source info Black or African American alone, percent, 2014 (a) 9.2% 6.5%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent definition and source info American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent, 2014 (a) 1.5% 1.7%
Asian alone, percent definition and source info Asian alone, percent, 2014 (a) 14.8% 14.4%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent definition and source info Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent, 2014 (a) 0.4% 0.5%
Two or More Races, percent definition and source info Two or More Races, percent, 2014 2.9% 3.7%
Hispanic or Latino, percent definition and source info Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2014 (b) 48.4% 38.6%
White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent definition and source info White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2014 26.8% 38.5%
Living in same house 1 year & over, percent definition and source info Living in same house 1 year & over, percent, 2009-2013 86.4% 84.2%
Foreign born persons, percent definition and source info Foreign born persons, percent, 2009-2013 35.1% 27.0%
Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+ definition and source info Language other than English spoken at home, pct age 5+, 2009-2013 56.8% 43.7%