Last minute anonymous donations, a big lump sum from Sky and a 17 day extension to the fundraising deadline: The Community Channel has secured enough funding to keep the service on air.
Viewers and businesses were invited to pledge their support via the Crowdfunder website. In the end,£367,000 was raised by the deadline. An additional £22,000 was raised after the deadline, bringing the total to £390,000, £90,000 over the target. The money was sought in order to help the channel become independent as a Community Benefit Society (designated as an organisation that conducts business for the benefit of the community).
Since the beginning of June, the not-for-profit station had been appealing for donations from viewers, promising them a stake in the channel if they pledged £50 or more. It even threatened viewers with the closure of the channel. As the original end of June deadline loomed with the channel far short of the amount needed, an extra 17 days of fundraising was announced. One of the major donors was Sky, who donated half of the £300,000 needed.
Within hours of the 17th July deadline, anonymous donors came forward, with two unknown donors pledging £10,000 or more during the last two hours of fundraising. Other major donors included the Big Lottery Fund and the Barrow Cadbury Trust.
Responding to the end of the successful fundraising campaign, Caroline Diehl, CEO and Founder of the Media Trust charity that operates the Community Channel said:
“I’d like to personally thank all those who backed the Channel in its hour of need. These supporters – from large organisations who pledged thousands of pounds, to individuals who gave what they could - are united in the belief that the Community Channel is too important an asset to disappear. Hitting our original £300,000 target and then an extra £90,000 demonstrates the confidence people have in the Community Channel as a force for good for society.”