A pledge drive
is an extended period of fundraising
activities, generally used by public broadcasting
stations to increase contributions. The term "pledge
" originates from the promise a contributor makes to send in funding at regular intervals for a certain amount of time. During a pledge drive, regular programming is interrupted by an appeal for pledges by station employees, who ask the audience to make their contributions, usually by phone or the Internet, during this break.
While public broadcasters are partially government-funded in some nations, such as the United Kingdom
, most funding comes from the television license
fee, there are many countries where some funds must come from donations from the public. Stations in these parts of the world commonly hold pledge drives about three times each year, usually lasting one to two weeks each time.
Pledge drives are especially common among United States
stations. Although the Federal government of the United States, primarily through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
(CPB), and corporate underwriting
provide some money for public broadcasting organizations like National Public Radio
(NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service
(PBS), they are largely dependent on program fees paid by their member stations. These stations require funding in turn from listeners and viewers (as well as local corporate sponsors)
for not only these fees, but also other daily operating costs
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