CJSR is listener-supported, volunteer-powered radio in Edmonton. We couldn’t exist without either.
Running a radio station, even one staffed predominantly by volunteers, costs money.
Like any other station, we have maintenance costs, rent, office supplies, licensing, insurance and other things to pay for. CJSR also spends a fair amount of its budget helping to raise more money—things like the swag we give out to donators at Fundrive aren’t free, and neither is the infrastructure we’ve had to build to accept donations.
Still, we run CJSR on a shoestring budget, and we do it with our principles intact: CJSR might be swimming in money if we took corporate ads, for instance, but we don’t because we believe that being the voice of the under-represented in this city means doing it with every second of airtime, and corporate advertising doesn’t really fit into that.
We do receive some grants, we do a casino, and a large portion of our yearly budget comes from a levy on University of Alberta students. In order to make up the difference, we ask our listeners to support us by putting their money where their ears are, and donating to CJSR.
Here’s where CJSR’s money comes from:
As you can see, we made $310 338 last year. That’s not even that much, if you think about it: commercial stations operate on tens of millions of dollars per year, while our budget is less than the price of an average home in Edmonton.
Donations make up a huge percentage of our budget: about a third. We literally couldn’t run the station without the generous support we receive from our listeners.
So where does everyone’s money go? Have a look:
The vast majority of the budget goes to salaries and benefits: this past year CJSR had four full-time employees, and three part-time employees. Then it’s everyday costs associated with running a radio station: we pay rent to the Student’s Union for space in SUB, we need to repair and maintain all of our studio equipment, we pay licensing and professional fees to organizations like the CRTC and the National Community Radio Association, we need to pay the phone bill and buy office supplies and stamps. Then there are things like travel, training, special shows that went over their grant-funded budgets and had to come out of the operating budget, and things like bad debts which happen when someone books advertising, then doesn’t pay for it.
Altogether, CJSR’s money goes to the most staid, normal operating expenses you can think of.
But they’re costs we have to pay and that’s why we reach out and ask our listeners for their support: offering a voice to communities that aren’t represented by the mainstream media in Edmonton is important to us and, we hope, important to our listeners.We manage to do it for next to nothing, which is why every bit helps: your donation, whatever the size, goes a long way toward keeping an alternative perspective on Edmonton’s airwaves.
Please donate to CJSR to help us create radio that pushes the status quo.