HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > FCC OKs Tornado Relief Fundraising; NRB Again Presses for Rule Change

FCC OKs Tornado Relief Fundraising; NRB Again Presses for Rule Change

fcc-logo_white-on-dark-blue.jpgIn the wake of the recent devastation caused by the top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado to and around Moore, OK, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a call to facilitate relief.

The FCC Media Bureau released a statement Wednesday, May 22, informing noncommercial educational (NCE) stations that it is prepared to help them raise money for charities aiding tornado victims by temporarily waiving rules prohibiting such third-party fundraising.

Generally, the FCC prohibits NCE stations from engaging in on-air fundraising activities on behalf of any entity other than the station itself unless they are provided a waiver by the Commission. Waivers, however, are rarely granted except in dire emergencies involving massive natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and Hurricane Sandy.

While NRB is encouraged by the FCC’s openness to allow NCE stations to make on-air fundraising appeals in support of Oklahoma relief efforts, Wednesday's announcement prompted the association to once again press the Commission to enable NCE stations to aid charitable causes at times other than disasters of historic proportions or magnitude.

For the past few years, NRB has spearheaded the push for a regulatory change that would allow non-commercial radio and TV stations to use up to 1% of their air-time to conduct fundraisers for third-party non-profit groups recognized under IRS code §501(c)(3).

Last year, the FCC presented a formal rule change proposal, which is now being considered for adoption. NRB has urged the Commission to quickly move the proposal into a permanent broadcasting rule.

“Noncom broadcasters should have a standing opportunity to raise funds on-air for worthy charities without having to overcome the high hurdle of obtaining FCC permission first,” noted NRB Senior Vice President & General Counsel Craig Parshall, whose memo to the FCC in October 2008 has been cited as the catalyst for the proposed rule change. “We are hopeful that the Commission will agree.”

Until the rule change is adopted, NCE stations seeking to solicit contributions from viewers or listeners for relief efforts related to the May 20 tornado will have to file an informal request for a waiver by submitting an e-mail request to Barbara Kreisman (barbara.kreisman@fcc.gov), if the request involves a television station, or to Peter Doyle (peter.doyle@fcc.gov) and Michael Wagner (michael.wagner@fcc.gov), if the request involves a radio station.

According to the FCC, the request should provide basic details of the fundraising activity, including the nature of the fundraising effort; the proposed duration of the fundraising effort; the organization(s) to which funds will be donated; and whether the fundraiser will be part of the station’s regularly scheduled pledge drive or fundraising effort.

Additional information can be requested by contacting the television or radio contacts provided above as well.

Published: May 25, 2013

Latest News

Senate Democrats Try to Torpedo Hobby Lobby Ruling

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, had some choice words for Planned Parenthood and others working to radically undermine religious liberty in the Senate this week.

Congressman Calls Out FCC on Broadcast Indecency Enforcement

Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) put the FCC on notice that he was displeased with the Commission’s enforcement against indecency on the broadcast airwaves.

House Committee Leaders Criticize FCC Chairman’s Process

Top leaders on the House panel with oversight of the FCC issued a sharp rebuke of the FCC Chairman’s leadership. House Communications and Technology Subcommittee...

International Religious Freedom Bill Clears Senate

A bill NRB has supported for several years has been approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act (S.653), introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Carl Levin (D-MI),

iNRB Student Members Study Abroad in Oxford, England

A select group of iNRB student members recently concluded a two-week study abroad trip to Oxford, England, where they engaged in “one on one” tutorials with a distinguished scholar at Jesus College in the heart of Oxford University.

NRB Members Invited to Join the NRB President’s Council

From among its membership, NRB is building up a select group of strategic partners who wish to bolster the work of the association through additional commitments of time, support, and financial resources.

Job Opening: Social Media Coordinator (Part-Time)

The National Religious Broadcasters, the world’s preeminent association of Christian communicators, is looking for an individual to assist the Director of Communications in implementing NRB’s social media strategy and in communicating NRB’s work to the association’s constituents and to the public.

Radio Stations Invited to ‘Reach Beyond’ with Help from Grants

Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) is distributing grants to help fund the local and/or global “reach beyond” initiatives of several radio stations throughout the U.S.

Time to Submit Nominations for the 2015 NRB Media Awards!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 4, 2014. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of our most valued traditions.

NRB Lauds SCOTUS Ruling on Religious Freedom Cases of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga

NRB and many of its members were among those who lauded the United States Supreme Court’s ruling last week that upheld religious freedom for Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties in their “David-and-Goliath” struggle for freedom against the Executive Branch.

More News