More than halfway through their much-publicized and unusual crowd-funding campaign (launched on July 6), independent alt-rock radio station CD102.5 has raised more than $130,000 - an impressive number, but just 13 percent of their lofty goal of $1 million-plus.

More than halfway through their much-publicized and unusual crowd-funding campaign (launched on July 6), independent alt-rock radio station CD102.5 has raised more than $130,000 - an impressive number, but just 13 percent of their lofty goal of $1 million-plus.

Station owner Randy Malloy knows the campaign faces communication challenges in both conveying the reason for the need - their goal is to own their own broadcast license, which they currently lease - and the reason they think listeners should support a for-profit station.

"It's an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that we've thought about for the last couple years," explained Malloy in a telephone interview this week. "And the idea is to create a groundswell of support from the Columbus audience to help us acquire our broadcast license."

There's more to running a radio station than acquiring the equipment needed to broadcast. You also need to license a frequency to broadcast on, similar to a local liquor license for a bar - only on a much more expensive scale.

"The broadcast license is the thing that the [Federal Communications Commission) controls that, without [it], you become pirate radio," said Malloy. The station currently leases its license in a contract that expires at the end of 2017. Like a home renter, they deal with the uncertainty of rate increases … or the possibility of some other entity buying the license that no longer wants to lease it.

Malloy says the cost of buying is typically about $5 million. "We're a small company. We only have ten full-time employees," said Malloy. "The problem is we don't have a large corporation that's funding us … it's just us. So even to have the down payment for a lending institution, we need to raise a large amount of capital."

The station used an Indiegogo structure that means they'll receive the donated funds (minus fees) even if they don't reach their initial $1 million goal. That goal gives them enough funds to seek a loan for the full purchase.

"We would have enough money to find a financial institution that understands what a broadcast license is … to lend us money so we can buy the broadcasting license and take the uncertainty away that someone could buy and stop leasing to us, because that's the overall fear," said Malloy.

Malloy knows that some wonder why they need to seek listener help. "We pay our bills," he said. "We're paying $20,000 a month now for our broadcast license rental … we have health insurance for employees and all the things that go along with being good employers."

Armchair businesspeople have been quick with solutions that have already been explored. Streaming? The station faced streaming royalty fees that are actually higher per stream than Spotify, a potential additional cost of $229,000 annually. Partnerships? They could only be accredited investors (i.e. non-millionaires need not apply) and require FCC approval. More commercials? "A print publication can add more pages," said Malloy. "I can't add more minutes to the day."

The campaign will continue through early September, featuring more pop-up perks from local entities and national bands who support the station's alternative-rock mission - and their desire to "Keep Alternative Radio Independent."

"If it was a huge outpouring and every listener we have donated $25, it would raise millions and millions of dollars," said Malloy. "The whole point is trying to secure our destiny."