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Underwriting & Sponsorships

This station does not discriminate on the underwriting of it's programs and air time, and will not accept underwriting which is placed with an intent to discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin. The underwriter agrees that it is not underwriting under this agreement with the intention of discriminating against any group of people based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.

Public Service Announcements

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are short, "noncommercial" announcements aired on radio or television to provide information to the public. A noncommercial announcement contains information that benefits its intended audience, rather than the company that created it. For example, a PSA that provides health information differs from an ad that promotes the sale of a health product. Consequently, most PSAs are produced by nonprofit associations, but commercial, for-profit organizations may also use them to promote their community-building activities and events.


Free PSA air time (usually 10- to 60-second spots) on radio is available to groups such as community associations, community foundations, advocate groups, nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations that are promoting their community or nonprofit events. Radio stations donate this air time to meet the Federal Communications Commission’s public service requirements.


PSAs are used by organizations to:

  • Familiarize the public with their organization

  • Publicize community events

  • Provide health and safety tips

  • Assist in fund raising efforts

  • Inform and influence public opinion

PSA messages:

  • Must contain information that is beneficial to the community

  • Should not include controversial or self-serving material

Should you wish to run a PSA at WHIW Radio, please contact us ASAP.  We can usually guarantee you a spot under events on the home page of our site, but we cannot guarantee you air time if we get your information too close to the time of the event.  3 to 4 weeks is best.

Download our underwriting agreement here.

What is Community Radio

Community radio is when local people produce and broadcast their own programs and participate in operating the station. It is community space for people to meet and collaborate. It is extraordinarily fun and often life-changing. It typically leads to individual creativity and self-empowerment. Participants find it extraordinarily satisfying, not just to make radio in this unique fashion, but to also help transform community life.

Community radio is a world-wide phenomenon. Its roots date back to the late 1940s when it was introduced as a way to offer media access to union members and their families during a labor strike in Bolivia. In 1949, Pacifica Foundation established the first community radio station in the United States. Since then, this vibrant media movement continues to spread throughout the world—from Western countries to remote third-world communities. The urge to do community radio fulfills the basic desire for communication and self-expression and is on the forefront of today’s democracy movements. Typically, two principal aims are achieved: 

  1. Cultural, political and artistic voices excluded elsewhere get heard.

  2.  Individuals and communities are enriched. 


Community volunteers are trained and given a central role in radio production, operation and program development. Youths also get a chance to participate. Stations remain responsive to community needs and consistently seek input from listeners.

Understanding Underwriting

The significant difference in public radio and commercial radio is underwriting. A commercial radio station broadcasts advertising paid for by the advertisers. For public radio, program underwriters in the form of businesses, foundations, other organizations and even individuals and families, make contributions in support of programming. These underwriters are recognized for their contribution on the air in a format uncluttered with commercial announcements.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates that underwriting announcements may not include qualitative, comparative, or promotional language. A call to action, pricing information, and inducements to buy or sell are not allowed. Final approval of copy is at the discretion of WHIW. These regulations serve to protect the non-commercial ambiance that public radio listeners value so highly. The special integrity of the relationship between the stations and their listeners extends to the underwriter. The public radio listener positively identifies the underwriter with the high quality programming found on WHIW. 

Advantages of Underwriting On Harvard Community Radio

When your organization underwrites on WHIW, you help support an important local programming asset and public service, and provide your business or organization with a significant marketing advantage at the same time.

As an investment in underwriting, WHIW offers your business:

  • An effective complement to ongoing advertising, public relations and marketing campaigns.

  • An association with WHIW, which strengthens public perception of your company’s commitment to the community and the quality of its products and services.

  • Seventy percent of public radio’s listeners say that a company’s support of public radio has a positive influence on their decision to purchase that company’s products and services.

Difference Between WHIW's Underwriting and Sponsorships

Sponsorship and underwriting is really the same thing, only here at WHIW, we've broken it apart to allow the community to support the station much more easily.

Underwriting is supporting the station as a whole.  Your business, organization or the individual/family is not connected with any particular show, but supports the mission of Harvard Broadcasting, Inc. overall. 

Sponsorships support the station too, but your business, organization or individual/family is connected to a program that is being aired.


WHIW continually looks to it's community for ways to help the community help us evolve and grow while helping the community evolve and grow as well.  It's a big circle!

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