GTFM is a ‘not for profit’ local radio station and registered charity based in Pontypridd where the Rhondda and Taff Valleys meet. Echoing the area’s ‘larger-than-life’ personality, GTFM directly encourages its listeners to get involved in the community and take full advantage of services available to improve their lives.
Our charitable operation is run by a core staff of two, backed by an enthusiastic group of 40 or so regular (weekly) volunteers, plus others who are involved on a less frequent basis. The station now costs around £70,000 a year to sustain and has to raise these funds entirely itself through a combination of donations, charity fundraising events, the sale of advertising and sponsorship ‘air-time’, paid-for roadshows and volunteer subscriptions. Prior to the banking crisis, recession and subsequent Government austerity measures the station was largely supported by grants, so now, like many other UK charities and social enterprises, has had to rapidly cut costs and rise to the challenge of raising its own funding.
Donations: As a registered charity GTFM is always grateful for donations of any size to help it stay on-air. So, whether you listen on the other side of the world to keep in touch with ‘home’ or live just around the corner, if you enjoy what you hear and can afford to help, we’d love to hear from you! To make a secure on-line donation right now via Charity Checkout, just click on the word ‘Donate’ below, which also has a Gift Aid facility through which UK taxpayers can release money from HMRC without any further cost to themselves.
Funding background: Until the scheme changed at the end of 2012, GTFM had been part grant-funded by the Welsh Government’s Communities First scheme. This supported on-air promotion of local activities and services offered by the majority of former Communities First Partnerships in RCT. This funding alone paid about 40% of GTFM’s annual operating costs and its loss caused cash-flow difficulties. Meanwhile SEWCED Business Development grant funding paid for the establishment of GTFM’s Roadshow unit and was enormously helpful in marketing the station and it’s highly successful audience research results (April 2013).
In Autumn 2013 GTFM was also very grateful to receive temporary grant support from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust for two staff salaries as part of a project to upweight its efforts to bring in more advertising income. CRT also sponsored GTFM Weather for several months.
In the past the station has also benefited from three grants from the Ofcom Community Radio Fund. And while GTFM has never received direct grant funding from Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, it did buy £20,000 worth of advertising ‘airtime’ in advance in July 2012 and is still using up this ‘credit’ for occasional advertising campaigns and roadshow bookings. Receiving this cash in a lump sum was very helpful at the time, for which we thank the Council officials concerned and the elected representatives who inspired the move. Severe austerity cuts to Council budgets since then mean they are unlikely to be able to purchase fresh advertising in the foreseeable future, though it remains supportive – as is the Pontypridd Town Council.
GTFM is also very grateful for six years of grant support, which ended at the start of 2014, from the Welsh Government’s own Community Radio Fund. The Welsh Government now pledges to purchase more advertising air-time on GTFM for some of its initiatives which had previously only been broadcast on commercial radio in Wales.
Since the middle of 2014 therefore GTFM has received no grant support at all, which is why it now organises regular fundraising events and appeals to listeners and other friends for donation support, as well as doing its best to increase advertising, sponsorship and Roadshow income.
The station has also negotiated a Service Level Agreement with RCT’s replacement Pontypridd Communities First Cluster and hopes to do so eventually with other CF Clusters in places where it signal is strong, such as Porth and Mid Rhondda. Further ahead we hope to improve FM reception in Valleys locations currently receiving a patchy FM signal because of the shadow effect of local hills.
Click here to find out more about GTFM, including the story so far.
Click here to see examples of recent GTFM fundraising events