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FCC Proposes Revision of NPR Fundraising


The commission is proposing to allow noncommercial stations to spend a modest amount of their total annual broadcast time—up to one percent—conducting fundraising activities on behalf of non-profit organizations. Under the current rules, public stations can only conduct fundraising activities for the benefit of the station.

Fundraising activities for third-parties is prohibited if fundraising activities conducted on-air would substantially alter or suspend regular programming. The policy reflects concerns that public stations are licensed to meet their mission of public service to local audiences through noncommercial and educational programming, not through fundraising activities for other organizations. This policy has been effect for over 40 years and the FCC is proposing a relaxation of the rule.

The policy would allow up to 88 hours per year – to conduct on-air fundraising activities for charities and other nonprofits. This proposal is a recommendation of The Information Needs of Communities report, which was released in June 2011. The proposal gives viewers of public broadcasting the opportunity to raise
funds for non-profit organizations in their communities and around the world. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is another step in the Commission’s effort to review existing regulations and reduce unnecessary burdens.

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