We have been talking a lot about listener support and bills here at Refuge this month. I wanted to take a moment and go a little deeper into this subject through our blog, rather than spend too much time on the radio telling you all the details.
To start with, we are grateful for several gifts this last week that are helping us to catch up. This July alone however, Refuge Radio is almost six thousand dollars short of making its monthly obligations. Since the beginning of the year we have been operating two to three thousand dollars behind each month.
This month, the need is greater and the donation levels have dropped off. We have some extra areas of need, that don’t come up often. We have a new license and upgraded signal for the Mankato Area, but need an extra five thousand to complete that project. As soon as we have the funds we will be back on the air in Mankato at 89.1 with a stronger signal than ever before. We also have a similar upgrade in the works for Willmar, but that may take up to six months if we get the funding needed. Our towers in Spirit Lake Iowa and Estherville Iowa both have storm related damage. Spirit Lake sends the signal to Worthington, Estherville, and Spencer. We don’t know the exact cost of repairs yet, but my guess is that it will run six thousand dollars to get this whole area back on the air.
Many of the Refuge Radio transmitter sites have older outdated equipment and some are just limping along. We have been striving to improve reliability, but ultimately many of these sites will need a five to ten thousand dollar make over. Refuge Radio has been able to operate at a fourth of the cost or less than most other radio ministries, and we cover a much wider area than most.
One advantage Refuge Radio has is we are a small company that is able to operate very lean; the downside is we don’t have a big parent to fall back on during the tighter months. With an annual operating budget of less than 300 thousand dollars, we serve more than a million people. Compared to similar radio ministries in a place like Duluth, we reach listeners at just 10 percent of the average cost per person when our budgets are compared. I often wonder how much better Refuge Radio could be if we were just funded a little more. In the next week or two I will be publishing our budget spread sheet, because I want people to know how efficiently their gifts are being used.
Today however, at this moment, I am just hoping and praying that God would help us to meet the day to day expenses. This month we need to make up a six thousand dollar deficit. I hope in the near future that God provides abundantly, we’re excited to see what He does.
Would you please pray with us and for us as we look to God to meet our needs each day?