Why Underwrite

Underwriting messages are a great, low-cost way to get the word out about your local business or nonprofit. Show potential customers and clients that you support independent media and a strong, local community—all while helping your volunteer-powered, community station thrive.

Your support will be acknowledged in broadcast messages on WRFI informing our listeners about your products or services. Because we only accept underwriting from local businesses, your announcement will never have to compete with national, international, or corporate sponsors. Plus, underwriting is a great investment–all payments are tax-deductible!

Since community radio is a kind of public radio, we can't air advertisements. But underwriting can do just as much (or more) to help your business grow.  Underwriting WRFI educates your potential customers without all the hype of advertising. See below for what the FCC allows (and doesn't allow) in underwriting announcements.


About WRFI

WRFI is your locally owned, independent, community radio station. We broadcast at 88.1 FM in Ithaca, 91.9 FM in Watkins Glen, at wrfi.org, and now at 89.7 FM across the southern Finger Lakes! WRFI is to the community’s ears what the farmers market is to our bellies: we offer trusted, local and independent news, public affairs and cultural programming made by your friends and neighbors. Since 2012, WRFI have been broadcasting 24/7 to thousands of dedicated listeners in Tompkins, Schuyler and Cortland Counties. In November of 2022, we added a new transmitter which means our reach now extends MUCH further. We've had reports of listeners from as far north as Skaneateles, south to Towanda, PA, and west to Hornell, NY!

With our expanded broadcast area we reach approximately 300,000 potential listeners in Tompkins County, Cortland, Watkins, Glen, Elmira, and across the Southern  Finger Lakes. 

We showcase a wide range of authentic, local voices, sharing news, public affairs, music, and culture. Our scores of volunteers produce more than 70 hours a week of original community programming in our Clinton House studios in downtown Ithaca. We air a variety of syndicated programs that are not heard on other area stations, providing valuable information,
commentary, and inspiration.

Underwriting at WRFI is a cost-effective way to get the word out about your business or organization.

Your support aligns your local business or 
nonprofit with WRFI’s listeners, sharing our dedication to making room for independent news, views and voices that are too often excluded from mainstream media. Your underwriting spot will stand out, since we will air, at most, a couple of messages per hour. Your messages will not compete with those of national or international sponsors; all WRFI’s underwriters are from within the communities we serve.

Underwriting at WRFI is low-cost and tax-deductible. Non-profits, co-ops and B-corporations are eligible for even further discounted rates.

Announcement Template:

WRFI is on the air thanks to support from listeners, and from [NAME OF BUSINESS]. [NAME OF BUSINESS], located at [PLACE OF BUSINESS], [DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS]. [HOURS][CONTACT].

Announcement Example:

WRFI is on the air thanks to support 
from listeners, like you, who become members, and from Joe Bob’s Vegan Paradise. Located at 123 Fantasy Street in Ithaca, serving organic, vegan cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More at joebobsparadise.com.

Announcements are limited to 26 words (as spoken) following “WRFI is on the air thanks to support from listeners, and from...”

Creating your underwriting announcement:

WRFI’s staff will work with you to help you construct your message to best reach our listeners and to make sure it follows FCC rules, public radio regulations and our station’s policy. Your announcement will be read by the real voices of WRFI staff, and will have a friendly, accessible, grassroots sound. We will provide you with a placard that lets your customers know that your business or organization supports local, independent, commercial-free, community radio.

Announcements MAY include:

  • Descriptions of product or services;
  • Brands or trade names of products or services offered;
  • Historical information about your business;
  • Non-promotional slogan language;
  • Name and contact information such as 
address, telephone number, or web address.

Announcements MAY NOT include:

  • Comparative or qualitative language (“friendly,” “largest,” “oldest,” etc.);
  • Price information (any specific price, “on sale,” “affordable,” “free,” etc.);
  • Calls to action (“give us a call,” “save big,” “stop by,” etc.);
  • Inducements to buy, sell, or lease;
  • Excessive repetition of information or business name.


WRFI is committed to remaining an
independent, community resource. To maintain this independence, the station has instituted a firewall between underwriting considerations and programming decisions. When you support WRFI, you support the station as a whole. Your spots will evenly cycle throughout the daily programming schedule to reach the widest possible cross-section of our audience. When you underwrite WRFI, you support our mission of providing a community platform that is driven by the diverse needs of our local communities of which your organization and the station are both vital parts.