How non-profit radio stations are fundraising more

Feb 16, 2024

In 2023, 149 radio stations ran raffles on Rafflebox. This includes everyone from your locally focused, volunteer-run radio stations to major non-profit who make a community impact beyond the airwaves.

If you’re involved in your local arts and culture scene, there’s a pretty good chance a non-profit radio station is doing work to keep it alive and thriving.

Look at JAZZFM.91 out of Toronto, Ontario who’s a national leader in developing the art form through jazz education, alumni services, and more.

Or CKUA out of Edmonton, Alberta, who prove their commitment to developing arts and culture in Alberta through their artist interviews, events, playlists, and other programming.

That kind of work is more important than ever, too, with social media apps like TikTok changing the music industry and how we discover new artists. Most non-profit radio stations are getting less government funding than they were a decade ago, which puts more pressure on their volunteers and staff to fundraise.

Check out how four radio stations added raffles to their fundraising mix and are seeing bigger annual fundraising results because of it.

CKUA Radio Foundation

According to public financial documents on their website,, around 1% of CKUA’s total funding comes from the provincial government. Then about half of a percent from government grants, another 8% comes from commercials, and 14% comes from renting spaces.

That means 67% of CKUA’s $6 million annual operating budget comes from listener support through fundraisers like raffles.

With strategic goals including "grow the community", "increase the community’s investment in the station", and "diversify funding sources", CKUA ran their first raffle in the summer of 2022.

They plugged the raffle on air, pushed it on social media, and sent out reminder emails. Then, they watched the jackpot surge to $243,370 by draw day.


While CKUA continues to generate funding through their existing sources like monthly pledges, building rentals, and applying for government grants, raffles add another revenue source (and with a little upfront planning, raffles are pretty low maintenance).

As of January 2024, CKUA has run five 50/50 raffles with an average jackpot of $311,888.


Streaming out of Toronto, Ontario, JAZZFM.91 is Canada’s only jazz 24/7 radio station. Plus, they do all kinds of work to develop jazz culture in Canada, with youth programming, alumni services, and other educational programs.

JAZZFM.91 launched their first ever month-long raffle in January 2024 — and within the first two weeks, their jackpot was over $20,000.

By sharing the jackpot daily to their 55,000 combined social media followers, as well as plugging the raffle online, their jackpot is over $60,000 with two days to go until their draw (and if you raffle, you know those two days are when the jackpot grows the most.)


Seaside FM

Then, there’s Seaside FM, a radio station out of Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia that boasts local pride and a commitment to playing the oldies. With over 22,000 Facebook followers, their community is tight-knit and engaged. In fact, the station is almost fully run by volunteers.

In December 2019, Seaside FM were one of the first groups to ever launch a raffle on Rafflebox, raising just under $130,000 with their first 50/50. Raffle fever hit them hard, and they’re now consistently running 50/50s and are coming up on their 20th raffle.


As of January 2024, Seaside FM is averaging about $151,000 per jackpot. 

VOCM Cares Foundation

And a bonus radio-related raffle: Radio foundations like VOCM Cares aren’t considered “community radio”, but still use their influence and wide reach to make a community impact.

VOCM Cares Foundation represents all of Stingray Digital’s radio stations across Newfoundland and Labrador, giving them a means to partner with other charities to grow their fundraisers and run their own fundraising programs like Coats for Kids and their famous Super Radio Bingo.

Launching their first raffle in September 2023, VOCM Cares grew their jackpot to $155,470. Having a loyal supporter base, engaged listeners, and a large social media audience certainly helped grow the jackpot, as well as their raffle advertisements on YouTube and Facebook, plus email reminders.


VOCM Cares plans to continue raffling and as of this post going live, they’re in the midst of their Spring raffle.

Is your station raising more with raffles?

So, does your community radio station fundraise with raffles? If so, go show them some love by grabbing some tickets.

If you’re involved with a non-profit radio station and you’re not running a raffle yet, get in touch. There’s a good news story waiting for you on draw day!