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FCC Provides Guidelines for Japan Relief Fundraising over Non-Commercial Stations

As was the case after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the FCC is softening its stance on fundraising for outside organizations over non-commercial educational stations. In a statement (PDF) released today, they provide details on how a non-commercial station can obtain a waiver from the FCC in order to fundraise for the relief efforts in Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami. According to the statement:

“The Commission generally prohibits noncommercial educational stations from engaging in on-air fundraising activities on behalf of any entity other than the station itself…The Commission, however, 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. These waivers have been issued for a specific fundraising program or programs, or for sustained station appeals for periods which generally do not exceed several days.

Should a licensee wish to solicit contributions from viewers or listeners for relief efforts in light of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it may file an informal request for a Section 73.503(d) or 73.621(e) waiver, whichever is appropriate…”

Specifically, if a station is seeking a waiver in order to fundraise for Japan relief, they need to send a request by email. Contact information is available here (PDF). It’s also important that stations provide specific details about the nature and duration of the proposed on-air fundraiser, as well as the name of the organization that the money will be solicited for.

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