THINK BIG is a series of online learning and mentoring programs designed to support community media organisations to strengthen and diversify income.

Our latest course finished at the end of November when learners from 14 community radio stations met online to present their fundraising project plans.

The plans included the why and how behind the ideas, presenting the most suitable fundraising avenue, resources and promotions plans, and potential impact for each project.

Over the 12-week program of webinars, online learning tasks and meetings with industry mentors, participants focused on their organisation’s needs, capacity, and strategic priorities.

This culminated in presenting project pitches that built on the strengths of their stations, and ranged from revamped sponsorship packages to podcasting initiatives, subscriber drives and an online fundraising campaign for a studio refit. 

For most, the course was the first time writing grants and proposals and they shared ideas and support, with comments including the importance of ‘a clear call to action’ and ‘not undervaluing ourselves’.

In Queensland, Jane Hodgkinson from 4WHO Wild Horse FM worked with mentor Anna Schinella to develop the Yarraman Youth Podcasting Project. The pitch included drafting a grant application for software and training to work in partnership with schools for the longer term impact of increasing local content and improving youth engagement. 

In the shorter term, Belinda Ritchie and Luke van der Meulen at 3GCR Gippsland FM worked with mentor Ian Hill to present a 30 day online fundraiser to make up the shortfall on a grant-funded studio renovation and upgrade. The pitch included the importance of engaging the whole station in integrating on-air, telephone and social media campaigning.

Without exception, learners commented that the most valuable part of the training was the relationships they’d built with their mentors, with new skills and knowledge including;  

how to organise the needs of the station and how to apply for a grant along with my first powerpoint presentation’

‘thinking outside the square, how to focus on the outcomes, creating positives from negatives – I’ve got an absolute head full of ideas and info’.

The THINK BIG introduction to sponsorship, grants and fundraising program will run again in 2021 and participants will have the opportunity to take their ideas to the next level with an advanced course to be launched in April,

‘I enjoyed and learned from every minute’.

THINK BIG Three will be launching in 2021 and will include accredited units from the CUASS00043 – Community Broadcasting Marketing Skill Set, sign up to our bulletin for the latest updates.

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