How to Donate to PBS. The Public Broadcasting Service is a non-profit public broadcasting television service that is owned collectively by its 354 member TV stations in the United States. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, its operations are largely funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a separate entity funded by the U.S. federal government. PBS also receives funds from its member stations, which pay purchase fees for the PBS programming it broadcasts. Read on to learn more.
Identify Your Local PBS Station and How it Fits Into PBS
Go local to support PBS. If you want to support PBS, support your local station. That's the word straight from the PBS website, since your donation to your local PBS station will enable it to purchase the shows you love.
Check out the PBS website to research the programming that is available to PBS stations (see Resources below). You'll find educational programing, documentaries and shows for children. You'll also find programs that provide pure entertainment value, as well as news.
Study the PBS "Frequently Asked Questions" web page for an understanding of how local stations and PBS work together.
Visit the PBS "How You Can Support Public Television" web page and enter your zip code there to connect with your local PBS station.
Become a Member, Donate and Keep a Record of Your Giving
Learn the options for donating to your local PBS station by clicking through to your local station from the PBS "How You Can Support Public Television" web page. Become a member and make a donation online immediately, or use the local station contact information to ask when the next fund raiser will be. Viewers often enjoy making their donations during station fund raisers or auctions.
Check with your local station to find out about membership benefits, membership discount programs and gifts for donors. It may be worth your while to donate a slightly larger sum, so that you receive event tickets or other benefits in return.
Maintain a file with records of your donations for tax purposes and to assist you in setting the amount for future donations.
If you donate to your PBS station during an on-air fund raiser and receive a "gift" for your donation, make sure you subtract its value from the amount of your charitable donation for tax deduction purposes. For instance, when you make a $25 donation and receive a $3 mug, you would count the donation as a $22 donation on Schedule A. Often the station will note the adjusted value on your thank-you letter.