FCC Advances NRB Proposal for Non-Coms to Aid Charities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is formally considering NRB’s proposal that non-commercial broadcast stations be allowed to use a portion of their air-time to fundraise for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations.  Through public comments and private meetings at the FCC, NRB has advocated for this regulatory change that would allow non-commercial Christian radio and TV stations to provide such support for charitable ministries in local communities and abroad. 

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declared: "Noncommercial broadcasters have long served the American public by providing high quality and innovative educational, cultural, and news programming to their local communities…. Allowing noncommercial stations to partner with charities, churches and other religious organizations, schools, and other non-profits to raise money for worthy causes will enable these stations to help meet the needs of their local communities. On-air fundraising by noncommercial stations can also help raise awareness about important local and international topics, such as poverty, health care, and humanitarian issues."

Frank Wright, President and CEO of NRB, noted, “This commendable rule change would support America's charitable impulse, making a positive difference in the lives of people in need, here and around the world.”

Ron Harris, NRB Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, also highlighted the significance of this possible rule change, "As a former radio GM who struggled with wanting to meet needs, help other non-profits, and support the community where our station was serving, I am excited to see the FCC consider action that would help the local non-commercial station enhance its voice for good in the community they serve.”

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) inviting public comment on the subject for 30 days.

  • Read the FCC NPRM and related press release on this proposed rule change.
  • Read NRB’s press release.
  • Find NRB Senior VP & General Counsel Craig Parshall’s comments on this subject before a FCC panel in October 2011.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations