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Noncom Fundraising Rules Need Tweaking, NRB Says

Change would help stations partner with other groups to help communities

The NRB said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski directed the Media Bureau to “move forward” with a rule change it supports.

At issue are rules about how noncoms can raise funds. National Religious Broadcasters Senior Vice President and General Counsel Craig Parshall spoke about this at an FCC field hearing in Phoenix Monday.

“The current FCC rules regarding the inability of non-commercial stations to raise funds for other charity groups, absent a specific waiver, need to be changed,” he stated in a summary after the event.

“As worthy as these occasional grants of waivers are,” he said, the current process “ignores the worthy daily work of non-profit groups that provide huge amounts of time, services and money to meet the dire needs of local citizens. Noncommercial stations should be able to partner fully and effectively with non-profit organizations to meet the needs of communities.”

NRB backs a proposal under which a noncom station could spend up to 1% of its on-air time raising funds for third-party non-profit groups. “This would increase the synergy between non-commercial broadcasters and other non-profit groups and would meet public needs at the same time.”

In a followup statement, Parshall said Genachowski is pushing the change forward. “It remains to be seen exactly what the new rule will look like, and what proceedings if any will be necessary to implement these changes. Still, this is a tremendously positive development.”

He said non-profit, faith-based groups should be able to partner on the air with noncom Christian stations to raise funds without being burdened by outdated rules.