Tuesday, February 01, 2005

High Standards

A few years ago, the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance published Standards for Charity Accountability. It’s a good resource for public radio stations. There are three points worth mentioning here.

First, the BBB suggests, “An organization should regularly assess its effectiveness in achieving its mission [and that]… an organization has defined, measurable goals and objectives in place and a defined process in place to evaluate the success and impact of its program(s) in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the organization." While there are many measurements available to public radio stations to accomplish this, John Sutton and Associates recommends starting with Annual Listener-Hours, which demonstrates how much of your mission/programming was consumed during the year. Increase overall listening and you''ve increased your public service.

Second, the BBB suggests, “An organization spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.” This is simple to check. Just look at your programming budget relative to your total budget. Add in your web expenses if you provide public service content on the web.

Third, the BBB suggests, “An organization spend no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising.” That’s 35 cents to raise a dollar. The most recent revenue report from the Station Resource Group showed that public radio spent 36 cents to raise a dollar in fiscal year 2003. So as an industry we have some work to do, especially since we have on-air pledge drives to help keep our out-of-pocket fundraising costs low.


Post a Comment

<< Home