Huntley Community Radio organizers are seeking to raise roughly $45,000 to purchase and build the equipment necessary to broadcast on local FM radio.
The Federal Communications Commission has granted the radio station a construction permit, which is the first step toward obtaining a license to operate a low-powered station on FM radio, according to the station's GoFundMe fundraising website.
HCR currently broadcasts on the Internet. A low-powered radio station would likely reach listeners within 10 miles of Huntley, officials have said.
The volunteer-run station has 18 months to raise the funds to complete engineering studies, purchase and install an antenna and radio transmitter atop a tower in Huntley.
Thus far, the group has raised $300 through online donations.
"We are approaching other funding sources in addition to GoFundMe, planning special events, starting a 'Friends' drive, and preparing other fundraising opportunities," according to a message from Dorothy Litwin, HCR's director of programming and development, posted on the station's GoFundMe site.
The nonprofit radio station, founded in 2004, serves Huntley and surrounding communities. It has been live streaming shows 24 hours a day and seven days a week since September 2013. Programs include talk, music, nostalgia and children's shows.
The station is staffed by more than 50 volunteers and operates out of a building at Huntley Park District's Deicke Park. It has a professional broadcasting studio thanks to a $25,000 grant from a community member.
Programs are produced and hosted by community residents from 14 years old to 88 years old.
The station does not accept funding from tax-supported agencies nor sell advertising. It exists on individual donations, sponsorships and grants, according to its website.
The concept has been six years in the making. HCR accepts tax-deductible donations at huntleyradio.com.