Where Your Money Goes when you Donate to NPR and PBS

Look, I listen to NPR every morning when my alarm goes off. Of all news sources, this one is least likely to annoy me. They’re always doing some sort of fundraiser and what not, which I know mostly goes to the local stations, but at least some of it gets kicked up to the big man upstairs. So, what happens to this money? Well, NPR and PBS sponsor lame conferences.

For instance, this past weekend the ONA11 Conference and Online Journalism Award was held in Boston. PBS and NPR were both Diamond Sponsors. (1) What does it take to be a Diamond Sponsor? Well, they need both paid 30,000$ to be diamond sponsors. For 30,000$ of your donated money, they received this: (2)

Opportunity to put your name front and center during high-level, well-attended reception.

  • Introduction and remarks — opportunity to address the audience of more than 700. For keynote, logo/signage acknowledging sponsorship placed on live streaming of event.
  • Three full conference passes
  • Six ONA memberships — three with the full conference passes and an additional three to attend conference at member rate
  • One full-page color ad in conference program guide — premium placement
  • Logo/name listed as Diamond Sponsor on signs at conference
  • Exhibit Table (Sept. 23-24) and Job Fair table (Sept. 22)
  • Insert and promotional item in the attendee gift bag (provided by the sponsor)
  • Logo placed in conference e-mail newsletters (audience ~3,500)
  • Logo and link prominently placed on conference Web site
  • Logo (linked) and 60-word description on Sponsors page on conference website and in program
  • Sponsorship acknowledgment during live streaming of presentation
  • Other considerations negotiable

I don’t know, for some reason this really annoyed me. I wonder how much 30,000$ would have helped support one of their stations. I also wonder how much money total they’ve spent sponsoring events like this one.

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One Comment

  1. Lew

    I’m no expert on large financial decisions, (unless you count buying a pizza a large financial decision) but I think it could be possible that these events help build relationships with wealthy people that may help provide even more funding for NPR and PBS.So they could possibly be getting much larger returns on the 30K.


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