How much should we apply for?
You should apply for what you need to continue your good work and also for seed funds to get new ideas established.
As part of your Development and Operations grant submission, you should consider applying for core operational costs such as:
1. Transmission expenses for primary and secondary/translator sites (site rental, electricity at the transmission site/s, ongoing studio to transmitter linking costs if you do not use a microwave link).
2. Salary subsidies for key personnel and technical support (be aware it is unlikely we will cover the full cost of wages and on-costs)
3. Costs associated with your financial management such as accountant and auditor services.
You can also apply for infrastructure requirements to maintain and develop your services, including the cost of equipment, freight, installation and testing.
Alternatively, you can also request support for development projects such as strategic planning, promotional activities, training activities, business development and income diversification plans or any range of activities that meet the objectives of the Development & Operations grant category as outlined in the grant guidelines.
Are some activities prioritised over others?
Some activities may be prioritised depending on available funds as defined by CBF funding providers.
How much funding is available?
The Department of Communications and the Arts allocates funds to the CBF to support particular activities. There are dedicated funds to support:
- Transmission expenses
- Indigenous broadcasting
- Ethnic broadcasting
- RPH broadcasting
- Other purposes (general funding)
- Occasional funds allocated to particular purposes, e.g. support 800Mhz transfer requirements.
Funding is allocated to support activities that fall under those objectives, e.g. stations broadcasting weekly ethnic programs may be allocated grants from ethnic broadcasting funds.
The amounts available for each allocation to support particular activities are published in the grant guidelines for each grant round. It is worth noting that the majority of funding is allocated in Round 1 grants, with Round 2 primarily supporting unforeseen needs that have emerged during the year.
In addition to your grant application, we encourage you to look at other ways of raising income. We have some inspiration for you – see our other funding ideas!
What is meant by membership fees?
Membership fees refer to organisational and individual memberships of other organisations. We expect broadcasters will self-fund membership to relevant organisations such as the CBAA, NEMBC, the Funding Centre or relevant industry unions.
What do the stages in the project timeline mean?
The project timeline table asks you to identify the when, what, how and who of your project plan.
A dropdown list of potential stages guides you through this process. Below is an explanation of what we mean by each of the stages:
- Already completed – what you have done before this application, e.g. researched equipment suppliers, met with project partners, gained approval for site access.
- Planning – what you still need to do before this project can begin, e.g. meetings, event promotion, recruit personnel, develop training resources.
- Implementation – what you need to do to deliver the project, e.g. purchase equipment, install equipment, stage the conference event, conduct training.
- Evaluation – what you will do after the project is completed to evaluate success, e.g. collect feedback, survey new listeners via social media, take photos of presenters using the newly installed equipment.
- Other – does something about your project plan not fit into the definitions above? Use the ‘other’ option and make sure the activity is described in detail.
What happens if we don’t supply three supplier quotes for infrastructure requests?
Your application will most likely receive a lower score against the implementation assessment criteria if you have fewer than three quotes for each piece of equipment you want to purchase. It signals you have not demonstrated clear planning for the activity. You have an opportunity in the form to explain why you did not include three quotes, however.
Our Supplier list may provide insight into different companies able to help.
Are basics like studio rent, power and insurance considered operational support?
Yes, those basics can qualify for support through a Development & Operations grant. You can apply for support for any expenses that your station has – but you’ll need to describe in the application what you are requesting support for and why your organisation needs the CBF to help with it.
If you are applying for operational costs, please attach previous invoices from providers or identify these costs in your financial statements. Demonstrate the support you need for our Grant Assessors. Please do not upload dozens of bills to demonstrate that you have basic operational costs.
You will already be attaching your most recent audited financial statements with your application which may provide some context for your request. It is helpful if you provide some supporting documentation for any expected increases to your costs or reasoning for why you need help with a particular request.
Can we apply for funds to keep just in case some equipment breaks down unexpectedly?
The failure of some equipment may be difficult to predict which is why we offer Round 2 of grant funding each year. Your station may need to borrow equipment or use backup equipment in between grant rounds. We would encourage stations to develop a cash reserve for equipment emergencies wherever possible through income-generation. While it’s good practice for stations to have backup equipment, it’s unlikely that our funds can extend to provide backup equipment for all community media.
Our Quick Response grants help stations to replace damaged or destroyed essential equipment to restore basic transmission following an unforeseen event. You can apply for an Quick Response Grant at any time, but it’s best to contact us in the first instance to confirm if your circumstances qualify.
Where can we get advice about which equipment is best?
There are many avenues for researching the best technological solutions for your station’s needs. One quick option is to post a question on Technorama’s Community Radio Tech Q&A Facebook group, and the techs on that page might be able to point you in the right direction.
Could we employ a full-time Station Manager funded by an annual grant?
You can request funding support for the full amount of an annual salary but keep in mind, funds are limited. If that’s a need within your station, be mindful that our Grants Advisory Committees will be balancing salary requests against other station needs such as equipment and the funding priorities in the Development & Operations grant guidelines. You are most likely to receive support if you are undertaking or planning activities that meet those objectives and if your submission demonstrates the potential to sustain an ongoing salary in the future. That said, if funding support to this level is a priority for your station, you can certainly explain that in your grant application.
What is the 800 MHz transfer?
The Australian Government has provided the CBF with specific funds to assist community broadcasting stations affected by the re-organisation of spectrum in the 849-852 MHz range, commonly used by community broadcasters for Studio to Transmitter (STL) linking.
The re-organisation of spectrum means that 55 stations that currently use spectrum in the 849-852 MHz range are required to vacate that spectrum and find alternative means of linking from their studio to their transmitter as soon as practicable. Affected stations have been contacted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
The specific funding to assist stations with this spectrum re-organisation is being made available through the CBF’s Development & Operations grants. Applicants should include a request for support for necessary infrastructure to enable alternative linking to a reasonably equivalent standard. Note that the specific funds available for stations for this purpose will not be available to improve or upgrade linking, and any applications for improvements or upgrades, if successful, will be funded from the transmission funds provided by the Department of Communications and the Arts specifically for this purpose.
Affected stations can apply for support for alternative linking in Rounds 1 & 2 in 2018/19 and are encouraged to speak to a Grants Administrator as you apply.
For further advice:
- Watch a recording of the CBAA’s webinar: What your station needs to know about the 849-862 MHz transfer
- If you plan to engage a frequency specialist to investigate options for alternative STL frequencies, view the ACMA accredited suppliers.
What should I include in a Position Description?
If you are applying for funding to support a new role, it’s important to demonstrate strategic thinking and planning. Attaching a Position Description helps our Grant Assessors better understand why the role is needed. Download our Guide to Writing a Position Description.
What is an organisational chart?
An organisational chart graphically represents the structure of your organisation including paid staff and volunteers. An example is below – click to enlarge.
What additional documentation should I provide to support my application?
Any evidence that supports the claims in your application, either regarding information or finances, will help verify your grant request. This includes:
- Scanned documents such as recent bills, invoices, lease agreements and quotes.
- Supporting documentation for partnership arrangements such as letters of support or short video files expressing community support for a project proposal.
- Do you quote research or support for your project using data? Attach a copy to your application.
- Are you applying for studio infrastructure? Provide a diagram of your set-up – how many studios, the purpose of each (on-air, training, production). If you are applying for transmission infrastructure, provide a block diagram of your primary and secondary (translator) sites and methods used to link them, including backup systems.
Attach documents in Microsoft Excel, Word and PDF format rather than msg or jpg. Please ensure you present multi-page documents as a single attachment, not separately loaded pages.
We encourage you to view our other Frequently Asked Questions and explore our website to learn more about successful grant recipients, managing your grant, reporting, how to acknowledge the CBF and other funding opportunities. Also, don’t forget our Top 10 Tips for Applications!