Bright Futures inspiration

Our Bright Futures project will invest $1.3 million in projects that improve the sustainability of community media organisations in the long-term. Here are ideas to get your creative juices flowing! Applications for these grants open in January 2020, so you have lots of time to consider suitable projects and gather the evidence needed for your application. Invest the time now so your application captures the hearts and minds of our Grant Assessors and Committee members!

Contact Ally, Dean or Jon from our Grants Support Team to share your idea and for help as you apply.

Action your energy assessment

An energy assessment identifies ways your organisation can improve productivity and innovate by saving energy. The assessment includes an evaluation of your energy bills, lighting design, potential for solar panels and provides a report on practical ways you can save energy and money.

Energy assessments are available through the Australian Energy Foundation or directly with a local provider. Book your energy assessment now so you have a plan ready for when our Bright Futures funding is made available through Development & Operation grants in January 2020.

More information about energy assessments:

Protect your equipment from nature and the elements

Protect the equipment that helps keep your station operational! Are resident birds attacking your antenna and installing deterrents might avoid future damage (similar to how we have previously helped 5RRR)? Is your transmission site often impacted by storms and simple measures could protect your equipment and reduce the chance of irreparable damage?

Take proactive measures to protect your equipment, save on regular costly repairs and reduce the risk of going off-air.

Install solar panels

Consider installing solar panels to reduce your electricity bills. The Climate Council suggests energy bills are 80% higher than a decade ago, so join almost half of Australia’s large businesses who have transitioned to solar (with many moving off the grid to battery storage).

In 2018, Richmond Valley Radio received a CBF grant ($37,000), plus a NSW Community Building Partnership grant ($8,000) towards solar panel infrastructure at their transmission site. The station is saving an estimated $7,000 per year in electricity costs, freeing up resources to invest in content and other station priorities.

More information about solar:

Energy & water efficiency

Following your energy assessment, save thousands of dollars on utility costs each year by insulating rooms, purchasing energy and water-efficient appliances, reducing standby power usage, switching to LED lighting, optimising natural light and installing sensors and timers.

For more about energy & water efficiency:

Extend the life of equipment

Equipment can last much longer with love, care, regular cleaning and maintenance. Establish a program to collaborate with other stations to share equipment, facilities and resources.

We understand it can be difficult cleaning and maintaining equipment if it’s used around the clock. That’s why we recommend having a redundancy – so you can routinely swap over equipment to clean out the dust and grime and fix problems before they threaten to take you off air. Regular breaks from service for heavy-load equipment can also prolong its life e.g. for a transmitter .

We can’t afford to fund every station to have a full redundancy. That’s why we love it when stations arrange to share equipment, like SACBA’s Equipment Bank. SACBA received a Development & Operations grant in 2017 to upgrade its equipment bank for member stations to borrow from when breakdowns occur, to clean and repair equipment, to try out new equipment or experiment with different set-ups (for a small fee to help with freight, repair and replacement costs). SACBA has also helped stations build similar broadcast chains to improve compatibility between station equipment and the equipment bank.

Purchase your studio or transmission site

Few stations are lucky enough to own their studio and/or transmission sites. With a little help from the CBF, could your organisation purchase your current or a new studio/transmission site? Could you purchase the facilities together with other community media or like-minded organisations? Could you share and lease the facilities to other organisations? How much could your organisation save owning and/or subleasing the facilities each year?

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