Cash reserves: financial stability and sustainability


Community broadcasters can improve their financial stability and sustainability by working to create financial reserves.

Having reserves is in line with good governance and proper risk management, and creates a safety net if one stream of a station's funding were to cease or alter severely.

WEBINAR: Creating cash reserves - an action plan for financial independence

How would your station cope if sponsorship dropped off, you didn’t get the grant you needed this year, or suddenly your station needed a new transmitter? Having cash reserves can make these situations less stressful for your station’s board and management and give your station a better chance of coping under financial strain.

Presented by:

Jon Bisset – CBAA Chief Executive Officer 

Jon is currently the CEO of the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), which champions community broadcasting by building stations’ capability and by creating a healthy environment for the sector to thrive. A Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Jon has over 20 years experience as a Chief Executive and non-executive Director with some of Australia’s finest non-profit organisations. He has previously served in key leadership roles with the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, Public Relations Institute of Australia, Council on the Ageing (NSW), Fundraising Institute Australia, Netball Australia and Australian Canoeing.

Larry James – President, Golden Days Radio

Golden Days Radio won the 2016 Tony Staley Award for Excellence in Community Radio. One aspect of the station’s strength is its cash reserves. The station operates with at least one year’s budget in reserve, without overdrafts, and making use of term deposits.

Larry has always been interested in music, particularly the music that can be heard on GDR. He joined as a member in June 2003 following a recommendation from a friend and once he did, he was hooked. He was impressed with the professionalism of the station’s presentation. He then became a volunteer and has been the Friday morning breakfast presenter since 1st of June 2007. He is currently President of the station - a position he has held for the past 7 years.

Before GDR, Larry spent 25 years in banking with ANZ covering all aspects from administration to lending and branch banking. A further 10 years was spent in the tourism industry, working at the popular “Puffing Billy” Railway in the Dandenong’s east of Melbourne as a Food and Beverage Manager and wedding coordinator. He still volunteers his time there to help keep the historic railway in operation.

Charity reserves: financial stability and sustainability fact sheet

This fact sheet explores what reserves are, why it is important to have reserves, the appropriate levels of reserves and who has responsibility for reserves. It has been developed by both the ACNC and Justice Connect.