According to the rules, noncommercial broadcast stations are not supposed to raise money for any reason other than self-funding. However, the FCC has mechanisms in place to allow the stations to hold charitable fund-raisers in response to special emergencies. Such is the case with the disaster in Japan.
The FCC said that it “…has granted rule waivers for fundraising appeals to support relief efforts following disasters of particular uniqueness or magnitude, such as Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, the January 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the January 2010 Haiti earthquake.”
Here’s what a noncom station needs to do to hold such a fundraiser:
1) The licensee may submit an electronic mail request to Barbara Kreisman ([email protected]), if the request involves a television station, or to Peter Doyle ([email protected]) and Michael Wagner ([email protected]), if the request involves a radio station.
2) The request should provide basic details of the fundraising activity:
* a. the nature of the fundraising effort;
* b. the proposed duration of the fundraising effort;
* c. the organization(s) to which funds will be donated; and
* d. whether the fundraiser will be part of the licensee’s regularly scheduled pledge drive or fundraising effort.