Question: Do you donate to PBS?

#1
PBS is always telling viewers that it 'relies' on our donations to continue to make and broadcast TV programming of high quality and cultural value. Plus a large chunk of the schedule is taken up by appeals for contributions from PBS presenters with rewards (of varying value and quality!) as incentives to donate.

As viewers, do you donate to PBS? Do you feel obliged to contribute if you are a regular viewer? How do you justify watching the station if you don't donate?
 

Funafuti

DTVUSA Member
#2
I have not been a regular contributor to PBS, but we did just donate our old car to Connecticut Public Broadcasting. It was drivable, but in rough enough shape that I dreaded selling it for a fraction of what we paid for it. It seemed a lot simpler to give it away to a cause I believe in and take the tax deduction as payment.

When we lived in the D.C. area we had set up a recurring donation to the NPR station there (WAMU) of $10 per month. Both my wife and I listened to the station any time we were in the car, so it seemed only right to chip in.
 

bunny22

DTVUSA Member
#3
I have not donated to PBS. I simply don't have the money. If I was super-rich, then perhaps I would donate some, but frankly even though I enjoy PBS there are other charitable causes that are higher on my list. (and if I were going to donate, I would specify which programs the money would be used for, I would not give ANY organization money to spend wantonly.)

And I do not feel a need to "justify" watching it. It's a free broadcast channel that is provided as a public service. I feel the same about any TV channel or program, for that matter.
 
#4
Whenever I'm watching PBS and hear this message for some reason I never pay attention to it. Now that you have brought it to the forefront I feel a moral obligation to look into ways of donating. PBS for years has provided children and adults alike educational television that is worth watching. I understand that the bulk of the funding comes from viewers and I would hate to see this channel go away. I think its awesome that they offer incentives to donate.
 
#5
I didn't mean to suggest that any of you have a moral obligation to donate, I was just wondering how you felt about the PBS donations and appeals. As has been said, it is a free broadcast channel and all donations are voluntary although it's wonderful to hear what people have contributed to public broadcasting over the years. It is an issue of disposal income, and I think that may be why PBS appeals to high culture so much, and it is part of a competitive market of public charities, hence the free gifts.
 

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
#6
We don't donate to PBS directly but we help sponsor one of our local PBS stations, KBTC, by supporting their special events. By buying tickets through the station rather than using Ticket Master or Brown Paper Tickets, the station gets a 'piece of the action'.

Three years ago we went to the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas Spectacular and we also attended the
"Red Green Wit and Wisdom Tour” and a link to my review of his show is below.

Jim

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/content/139-red-green-wit-wisdom-tour-live-show-tour-review.html
 

MMkaho

DTVUSA Member
#7
I did donate once when i started working at 16 got myself a little PBS mug, Dont really donate anywhere on Tv anymore since i learned alot about where the money actually goes.... ya know those little commercials with the kids and whatnot, they dont actually go there ;)
 
#8
We used to pledge when my boys were toddlers and watched PBS. Then we got cable and they discovered Nick Jr, Sprout and Disney Jr......I cannot tell you the last time we even turned PBS on.
 
#9
The 'voluntary' part is what interests me because in most countries - or at least the ones where public service television is the norm - you donate to public television via a tax which is met by government investment (the kind that Mitt Romney wants to pull!). In Britain, we call it 'the licence fee'. Britain has commercial TV but you have to pay a licence fee if you want to watch TV at all because every commercial package contains the BBC. Conservatives and uber-capitalists resent it because they think TV stations should justify themselves as businesses, but most people think it's what keeps TV from becoming pure commerce. It's much harder to encourage PBS donations in the US because anyone with TV has already paid through the nose for it!
 
#10
I just find it interesting at least from the children's programming side. When my children were younger we donated to our local PBS station as Fringe Reception said above, we would buy tickets to family days at the local Amusement park or tickets to Sesame Street Live Etc...When we got cable on of the premium channels was Sprout, Sprout is all PBS kids programming but it comes with the higher paying packages. I often wondered if that was PBS's was of sticking it to the non donating man LOL......
 
#11
PBS is always telling viewers that it 'relies' on our donations to continue to make and broadcast TV programming of high quality and cultural value. Plus a large chunk of the schedule is taken up by appeals for contributions from PBS presenters with rewards (of varying value and quality!) as incentives to donate.

As viewers, do you donate to PBS? Do you feel obliged to contribute if you are a regular viewer? How do you justify watching the station if you don't donate?
We do in years that we find ourselves watching PBS a lot. I'm a coffee cup addict, so in years that they give you the free "cup" with a donation, I've made sure we donate. Haven't done it in a few years though.
 

Cadus

DTVUSA Member
#12
I've never donated, only because I always feel tight on money. If I eventually start making enough to buy a not-crap car, then I'll likely donate. Maybe a larger amount to make up for all of those years that I didn't donate. Or maybe not, I'm pretty selfish.
 

Funafuti

DTVUSA Member
#13
I've never donated, only because I always feel tight on money. If I eventually start making enough to buy a not-crap car, then I'll likely donate. Maybe a larger amount to make up for all of those years that I didn't donate. Or maybe not, I'm pretty selfish.
I don't think anyone should feel like they're being selfish by not donating to PBS. It's not a pay-per-view service, it's a free broadcast network. No-one is obligated to do anything, and everyone should feel free to watch without guilt. As I mentioned earlier, I've donated money and even an old car to public broadcasting and feel good about having done it. But that doesn't mean I think everyone has to do it. Do what you feel compelled to do within your means and enjoy the cool shows.
 
#14
I agree. No need to feel selfish. It works both ways. PBS have to justify their remit of producing quality, worthwhile programming that cares about the world before it can elicit donations. I'm not sure 20-year old British sitcoms necessarily fit that bracket!
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#15
I have 3 PBS stations from 2 states, a total of 10 channels - add to that 2 KUEN channels (Utah Educational Network, which is not PBS but plays some PBS content) and it becomes very difficult to decide who should get my money.

I have to break it down like this:

  1. KUEN is state funded, so I pay with my taxes. It's not a PBS station, no fund drive, 2 SD channels and an audio feed of an NPR station. I give them no money.
  2. KBYU is funded by Brigham Young University and LDS oriented - one channel is 720p PBS, one is 720p BYU and the other 480i BYU international. BYU and LDS have an agenda and lots of money. No Money for them.
  3. KUED is Utah's PBS, with one channel PBS at an amazing 1080i, World Channel @ 480i, and vMe (Spanish) @ 480i. I would give to them, but there's that useless (to me) vMe channel and the fact that I get Idaho Public TV -
  4. KISU is the Idaho PBS channel. with 4 subchannels, 10.1 is PBS HD @720p, 10.2 is Idaho PTV+ @480i, 10.3 is Create / Learn @480i, and 10.4 is World @480i. I have chosen this channel in the past to support because it gives me the best value and content.

Now, this year presents a dilemma. I was prepared to donate this year, then my wife and I were laid off - looks like we'll be selling the house and moving out of state. That means no money for anyone for some time. :Cry:
 
#16
Isn't PBS supported with tax dollars? A compulsory donation? I would be concerned about voluntarily donating, with shows like "In The Life" and "Democracy Now, DemocracyNow.org The War and Peace Report with Amy Goodman." Maybe I watch not for pleasure or education or information but rather to keep tabs on what the wackos and enemies are up to. Our local PBS news here in the bay area is just queers pushing their own high taxes more welfare socialist agenda. No, I am not planning on sending in a check anytime soon; thanks for the suggestion though.
 
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Funafuti

DTVUSA Member
#17
Isn't PBS supported with tax dollars? A compulsory donation? I would be concerned about voluntarily donating, with shows like "In The Life" and "Democracy Now, DemocracyNow.org The War and Peace Report with Amy Goodman." Maybe I watch not for pleasure or education or information but rather to keep tabs on what the wackos and enemies are up to. Our local PBS news here in the bay area is just queers pushing their own high taxes more welfare socialist agenda. No, I am not planning on sending in a check anytime soon; thanks for the suggestion though.
So I'm going to go ahead and put you down as "maybe."
 

James

DTVUSA Member
#18
I like to support what I like or use. Trouble is I give away about 8% of my actual cash and a lot more in services to the community. This is just how we choose to use time and money. I really do find myself looking to PBS for quality programing because it is easy and just a few clicks away. I don't like everything on PBS but that is true with everything. There are only so many things you can give resources to. I much rather feed someone, help them get a job, learn English and so on than give it away to PBS...when it comes down to one or the other.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#19
I like to support what I like or use. Trouble is I give away about 8% of my actual cash and a lot more in services to the community. This is just how we choose to use time and money. I really do find myself looking to PBS for quality programing because it is easy and just a few clicks away. I don't like everything on PBS but that is true with everything. There are only so many things you can give resources to. I much rather feed someone, help them get a job, learn English and so on than give it away to PBS...when it comes down to one or the other.
I rationalize that giving to PBS does feed someone AND give them a job. I don't see it as a charity either, it is a service that I do use daily.

Since I stopped paying for TV, I've had a few extra bucks each year to give. I also gave only what and when I could - even if its five bucks. There is no way I could ever afford any of the "suggested" levels, and this year they'll get nothing.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#20
Isn't PBS supported with tax dollars? A compulsory donation? I would be concerned about voluntarily donating, with shows like "In The Life" and "Democracy Now, DemocracyNow.org The War and Peace Report with Amy Goodman." Maybe I watch not for pleasure or education or information but rather to keep tabs on what the wackos and enemies are up to. Our local PBS news here in the bay area is just queers pushing their own high taxes more welfare socialist agenda. No, I am not planning on sending in a check anytime soon; thanks for the suggestion though.
It's not the way you think, for the most part donations from viewers are matched with some tax dollars, in this example taxes account for about 26% of total funds to Illinois PBS.
(Chart provided for the edumacation of ill informed wackos)

Nobody says you have to donate. But you have no right to complain if you aren't a member.
*Note the "UI Funding" stands for "University of Illinois"
 
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