2016 PBS Development Award Recipients Announced

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BOSTON, MA; August 10, 2016 – PBS today announced category winners for the 2016 PBS Development Awards, which recognizes member stations for outstanding corporate support, membership, philanthropy and special achievement efforts in local communities. KPBS, OETA, Twin Cities PBS and WFSU garnered top awards, with Iowa Public Television earning an honorable mention. The PBS Development Awards were presented during the PBS Showcase at the annual Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC).

WFSU, which serves northern Florida and southern Georgia, was honored with the Corporate Support Award. The Membership Award was presented to Twin Cities PBS, which serves the greater Twin Cities area and parts of Iowa and Wisconsin. KPBS, serving the San Diego area, was named the Philanthropy Award winner, with Iowa Public Television earning an honorable mention in the category. Oklahoma’s OETA won the Special Achievement Award. The winner of the final 2016 PBS Development Award, the C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year, will be announced at PMDMC on Friday, August 12.

“On behalf of the entire PBS system, I congratulate the recipients of this year’s PBS Development Awards,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “Our development community is the backbone of the public media system, enabling our work in service of the American people. This year’s honorees are leading the way in forging new relationships and new ways to connect with audiences and supporters to ensure that public media can continue to deliver on our mission to educate, engage and inspire the American people.”

“Strengthening the financial health of member stations across the country is a key focus for PBS, and one important part of this work is helping stations learn from one another,” added Betsy Gerdeman, Senior Vice President, PBS Development Services. “Each of these award winners offers an outstanding example of building relationships and increasing support in a community. I am proud to recognize these stations’ achievements, which I hope will guide and inspire other innovative and effective local initiatives.”

2016 PBS Development Award Category Winners

The Corporate Support Award recognizes leaders in public media for their success in securing new sources of corporate revenue, incorporating new techniques, or developing innovative strategies and targeted marketing efforts. WFSU won the award for its project, Sustaining Community Partnerships, a strategic corporate support plan with current and future underwriters to develop and customize packages for television, radio, digital, educational outreach activities, special events and concerts. Since the program’s inception in 2014, WFSU has surpassed its annual goal, helping to ensure sustained and stable growth for the future.

The Membership Award recognizes successful membership strategies which lead to increases of net revenue, donor files or prospect pipeline, or the incorporation of new engagement activities resulting in increased giving. Twin Cities PBS (TPT) won the award for its project, Innovate and Share: Running a Diverse, Dynamic and Data Driven Membership Program, which focuses on how the station acquires, converts and retains sustainers. Through these efforts, TPT has increased retention rates while significantly increasing the acquisition of long-term members.

The Philanthropy Award recognizes successful fundraising efforts that directly strengthen a station’s financial sustainability. KPBS won the award for the KPBS Producers Club, a diverse group of philanthropic individuals and families committed to sustaining the station’s ability to reach beyond the status quo on television, on radio and online. Annual revenue from membership in this club of KPBS’ most generous annual contributors has nearly doubled in the past six years.

Iowa Public Television won a Philanthropy Award honorable mention. The station was recognized for its Super Heroes! program, which focused on increasing the number of charitable will bequests to the station through a coordinated mailing as a part of National Estate Planning Awareness Month.

The Special Achievement Award recognizes successful projects that have a broader organizational or community reach, or outside a single discipline. OETA won the award for its work around “What’s the Deal?,” taking this original digital series from hidden gem to required curriculum. Designed to explain the science behind everyday things in a fun, fast-paced format, “What’s the Deal?” targets children in grades 4-8. The series’ seven-part special on broadcast towers, “Tales of the Tower,” breathed new life into the series, which is now accredited by the Oklahoma Department of Education.

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Jan McNamara, PBS, jmcnamara@pbs.org, 703-739-5028