PBS Fundraising
(last worked on: January 1st, 2018)

* You can Google < fundraising + PBS + idiocy > and find a raft of dismay over the ill-conceived but long standing and seemingly perpetual practice --of interrupting and holding PBS' quality programming ransom, perhaps for two weeks on end, perhaps 3 times per year. (I've read that affiliate stations might have the latitude running their begathons for up to 60 days out of the year!)

* The worst part of it: you can send them any amount of money and it won't get your programs restored. Be my guess we could collectively send in a million and they'd still do fundraising, and they'd still take defense industry, Koch brothers and petroleum money.

* I suggest that you go to your public library during fund raising, check out old editions of Nova and other programs you've missed --making sure to donate something in support of the library's collection and staff.

* The fundraising portions we're supposed to endure might themselves be prerecorded (hell: station and network staff have better things to do with their time). The alternate programing which keeps getting interrupted is sometimes a marathon length infomercial --perhaps for self improvement books or a pricey seminar, frequently interrupted with ungodly unctuous pledge nagging. Talk about chutzpah and shameless begging: they want you to permit automatic deductions from your bank and credit card accounts, deed over your car, your boat, and then end up sitting with the family when your will is being read ---!

I stopped sending in donations. It seemed useless to do so. Once one initially helps Elmer Gantry put up his tent, the next time, he shows up with a much bigger tent.

* I am not urging an anti-donation campaign. It's just my choice.

Realistically, public broadcasting is addicted to empire building. If many of us withheld our support, they'd surely refuse to live with that and get ever more indebted to corporate sponsors and the Koch brothers.

From a blurb I heard (before I switched off the fundraising), about 2/3rds of PBS funding (at least here in Oregon) is from "private sources" (an ambiguous term which may well include oil billionaires). If small private donors were to increase their giving by 50% (ie: to become 3/3rds) --do you think for a minute that PBS and affiliates would stop taking any part of their corporate donations --or stop begathoning for yet more "private" support? Sending money to PBS/affiliates is like feeding stray cats. (I know about feeding stray cats. We've got 9 at this point.)

Despite the "public" in their name, when I was a member (decades ago), I was never been asked to vote on programming, nor had I been sent a breakdown of the public broadcasting budget: how our donations were spent and where all the money came from. Such matters seem to be none of my business.

This page is simply a bit of sympathy and hand-holding --for others who feel the same way. I don't know how to fix the situation.