Welcome to Together
Thanks to the support of our community of members, our board, the media industry and our charity impact partners, we are now Together, a new 'do more' channel available on Freeview, Sky, Virgin and freesat. Please read the update for more info, and this has been in the works since we set out our vision for the channel back in 2016.
Together. We Do More.
With best wishes,
Alex Kann, Chief Executive, Together
We did it!
We successfully raised over £390,000 through Crowdfunder – securing an additional £90,000 of revenue for the channel’s future plans versus the original target.
We will now become the UK’s first community-owned TV, online and mobile brand dedicated to social impact. You have made this a reality!
Over 300 of you backed our campaign, both individuals and organisations, with major support coming from backers such as Sky, Big Lottery Fund and Barrow Cadbury Trust.
We are the only channel that exists to turn viewing into doing, and now we can get down to delivering our goals for the channel as set out in the business plan, with you as our new CBS community of owners involved each step of the way.
A huge thanks from me and channel team, and here are some words of thanks from our founder Caroline and other fantastic supporters:
Caroline Diehl, CEO and Founder of Media Trust 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.”
Lord (Michael) Grade, former BBC Chairman and Chief Executive of Channel Four, said: “Britain would be a poorer place without Community Channel so I am delighted that its immediate future has been secured. It is unique in the world as a means of galvanizing support for so many communities and causes. I urge people to continue to get behind the community shares scheme and continue to back the Channel as it looks to secure its long term future.”
Phil Geraghty, Crowdfunder MD said: "In a world of change where the media is evolving at such a phenomenal rate the Community Channel and their incredible raft of supporters have shown true innovation in becoming community owned on Crowdfunder. Having raised over £390,000, the team have crafted a new future for charities and community groups looking to share their positive stories across the UK. Congratulations to everyone involved, for successfully becoming owned by the crowd."
Lenny Henry, comedian, writer and supporter of the Channel tweeted his support, saying: “Please get behind this people! They’re doing good work and need your support”
Below is the campaign information for posterity, and thanks again to everyone who invested or donated!
This is your chance to own Community Channel
What's The Story?
In order to continue broadcasting we need to raise £300,000.
It's time for a transformation! We're handing ownership of the channel over to you - the community - to help us raise funds so we can become the first people-owned national TV channel.
Pledge as little as £50 to own a share in Community Channel.
You can also from pledge £10 upwards!
Lenny Henry, Doc Brown, Benjamin Zephaniah and rugby legend Keith Senior are amongst the people who have turned to Twitter to show their support for the campaign.
Sky has pledged £150,000 to match fund other donations supporting the channel to stay on air. John Ryley, Head of Sky News, commented “The Community Channel initially launched on Sky and we have enjoyed and benefited from the partnership for more than fifteen years. I hope this pledge will encourage other broadcasters to help.”
Lord (Michael) Grade, former BBC Chairman and Chief Executive of Channel Four, said “Britain would be a poorer place without Community Channel. It is unique in the world as a means of galvanizing support for so many communities and causes. I urge people to get behind the community shares scheme and continue to hope that, even at this late stage, a funding solution can be secured to keep it going now and for the long-term.”
MD of Crowdfunder, Phil Geraghty said, "Communities are uniting across the UK for their own benefit - and here at Crowdfunder we are seeing a strong voice emerging through a variety of Community Shares from a broad sector, ranging from pubs, energy projects, sports clubs and heritage projects - and clearly, also, in the media industry itself."
Why does Community Channel matter?
We're the UK’s only TV channel dedicated to telling the stories of everyday people who make our lives more colourful; stories of the charities that bind us together as a community.
Community Channel’s viewers are the backbone of the UK - a diverse mix of people of all backgrounds from all over the United Kingdom.
And thanks to Community Channel, we can access these stories for free, 24/7 across all the major TV platforms in 26 million UK homes, streamed and available on-demand. In 2015 ten million people like you tuned in. (BARB 3min+ viewing, for more information visit www.barb.co.uk).
There is no other channel in the UK that exists solely to showcase social good and inspire the public to generate positive social impact. We have shown that media can be a powerful force for change and the common good.
We believe our future is exciting and bold
And we want you to be part of it
What our viewers say
It’s not just us saying it…here are just a few of the things our viewers have told us:
- “It is a hidden gem! More promotion of this channel is a must!”
- “It makes me want to help.”
- “I love the channel, it inspires and enriches, programmes remind that we are all ultimately the same no matter race or creed…it's inspired and helped me engage with people and the community after a period of isolation and illness.”
- “To be inspired, to get involved and make it happen, I want to make a difference to my community and country.”
- “I see the world differently now. I have made many new friends in the last year of volunteering, and seeing them makes the world a brighter place. I have encouraged others to do more by watching Community Channel and getting involved in local projects, and they have had a positive on their lives and others.”
- “Keep up the good work. TV is an excellent medium for allowing people to make a difference.”
- “I simply love the Community Channel!”
There are lots more quotations and case studies, from charities, communities, filmmakers and viewers, in the Business Plan below.
But why become a Community Benefit Society?
Communications charity Media Trust founded and has run the channel for sixteen years as a wholly-owned subsidiary. But now the channel needs to fly the nest and become independent. With your support, it can.
We want to be a channel of the community, by the community and for the community – independent, creatively renewed, and committed to being not-for-profit.
By becoming a Community Benefit Society (designated as an organisation that conducts business for the benefit of the community) and issuing community shares, we aim to raise at least £300,000 to secure and grow Community Channel for future generations.
We have given much-needed profile and coverage to thousands of communities and charities during the past sixteen years.
But now it is time to hand the channel over to the people that benefit from it and watch it!
We want you to be closer to the channel and we want the channel to be closer to the people it serves, more accountable to the community and dedicated to fulfilling its goal of mobilising people across the UK to do more in the community for themselves and for others.
Over the next five years the channel will become self-financing as it grows advertising, sponsorship and grant income and launches new revenue streams.
Your support and investment will help enable the channel to do this.
We will to continue to grow the TV audience and, alongside this, launch digital and social media services that connect more closely to our supporters and viewers, creating meaningful engagement.
Join us and be a part of our success
What do I get as an investor?
By investing you will become a co-owner of a channel that inspires good, and the first social investor and owner of a TV channel in the UK ever.
As an investor, big or small, you will have the right to elect board directors who will oversee Community Channel. Your ownership will guarantee that the channel will always be focused on it's mission to drive social impact.
And, depending on the reward level you choose when you invest, you can get your hands on some amazing extras, from a limited edition t-shirt and access to events to on-air thank you, programme consultations, voicing a season and helping develop new shows for the channel.
Rewards (see full list on the right) are limited, so make sure to get in quick!
How will the money be used?
The money raised will help cover costs while a team is built, develop new digital platforms and grow the audiences, income and impact across TV, digital and social platforms. It will enable the channel to boost existing income and launch new income streams to sustain us in the long-term.
Financial and strategic plans have been developed that builds a sustainable income from advertising, partnerships and grant funding over the next five years, set out in our business plan.
Can anyone buy shares?
Yes! That's the amazing thing about our community share offer: it's for everyone! You can buy shares from anywhere in the world, as long as you're over 16. For every £50 you invest, you get 1 share, with a minimum investment of just £50. We’re going to apply for Social Enterprise Tax Relief, which, if we’re successful, will mean that for every £100 you invest, you can claim £30 of tax relief (for the first £270,000 of investors).
If the campaign is successful, the precise amount of investment that we can offer this is capped according to a formula determined by the EU. At the start of the offer, this is around £260,000 but if it is available, tax relief will be on a first-come first-serve basis up to a total of the equivalent of 344,000 Euros on the day the shares are issued.
However, this is not guaranteed as if this is not granted by HMRC then you will not be able to claim this tax relief on their investment.
Each investor can invest anywhere from £50 to £100,000
We are offering investor rewards (on the right hand side) at various levels between £50 and £50,000
- The Business Plan answers questions such as How much investment is being raised? What happens if we overfund? How do I buy shares? Can I make any money? Can I sell my shares?
- For these and more please see the business plan section 2 - Community Shares – how it works.
- Business Plan
- Community Channel Constitution
We will be trailblazers -
the first people-owned TV channel for social impact
- Risk Warning: Funding pitches through Crowdfunder.co.uk carries some risk. There is no guarantee for members making donations that any reward offered will be delivered. Equally, when members invest in community shares the capital they invest is at risk and they may not get back what they put in. Rewards based crowdfunding and the sale of community shares are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, nor covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Click here to read more about the risks.