CDP launches the Public Media Giving Index, the first and only comprehensive indicator of public media philanthropy

BOSTON, August 30, 2019 – The Contributor Development Partnership (CDP), a Boston-based collaborative fundraising service for public media stations, announced today the release of the Public Media Giving Index, a comprehensive benchmark of public media philanthropy that helps to represent the financial health of the system over the past 12 months. Made up of a cohort of more than 150 public television and radio stations across the country, the Index is the largest and most diverse measure of public media fundraising.

The Public Media Giving Index, based on contributions from donors to each station, will be released quarterly as a free resource for stations to use as a comparative gauge against their own fundraising results and provide visibility into the direction of public media fundraising.

“CDP has a stated mission of helping public media organizations improve the effectiveness of their fundraising programs and the Public Media Giving Index is another example of how we are serving the system,” said Ben Godley, CEO of CDP.  “The rapidly changing landscape of public media fundraising makes it imperative that all stations, large and small, have better insight into the direction of fundraising outside of their own results.”

For stations who contribute to CDP’s National Reference File,a centralized database of giving data from 230 participating TV and radio stations, the Index is a starting point for analysis and comparison between individual station results and the national trend. Using these benchmarks and analytics, CDP works closely with stations to develop fundraising strategies and services that improve their net revenue.

YOY revenue growth using a 3-month rolling median

“Looking at the Index trendline over a 2-year period provides an illustration of how public media fundraising struggled in 2018 to match the post-election increases of 2017 while providing some initial indications for calendar year 2019 where relatively flat growth during the first quarter has given way to some indications of an upward trend in the second quarter,” said Jim O’Shaughnessy, Director of Data & Analytics at CDP. “This snapshot of where public media fundraising is trending, at a national level, is intended to provide stations with guidance and insight that will be useful as they budget and forecast future donor revenue growth.”

CDP, a Boston-based public benefit corporation, uses the collaborative fundraising model to improve the operational efficiency and revenue generation capacity of the public media system. CDP currently provides more than 230 NPR and PBS stations with outsourced marketing, data analytics, fundraising and technology services. These services help stations raise more net income, grow their donor files faster, lower their fundraising costs, and free up development talent allowing stations to better focus on local engagement. Since its inception, CDP has driven $150 million in incremental net value back to stations and has become the most widely adopted station service in the history of public broadcasting.