A Letter to the Editor

Fri, 01/09/2009 - 9:00am
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WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein

In a January 5th article in the Democrat and Chronicle, WXXI's fundraising efforts were inaccurately portrayed. Although the newspaper did print a small correction several days later, below is WXXI President & CEO Norm Silverstein's Letter to the Editor that they chose not to print:


Dear Editor:

Your article about private fund raising consultants, “Fundraisers getting paid well,” did not accurately reflect the cost of fund raising at WXXI. In the last fiscal year WXXI raised $3,328,000 from individuals. We utilized various techniques, including on air fund drives (the most efficient and cost effective way to raise funds), direct mail and telemarketing campaigns. While the cost of raising funds in each of these areas varies, the overall cost of fund raising at WXXI compares very favorably with other public broadcasting stations. You chose to highlight a very small telemarketing effort to former members of the station (a campaign that represented less than 1/2 of one percent of fund raising from individuals). If your reporter had called for comment, you would have been informed that when the report was filed, not all pledges to the campaign had been fulfilled, making it appear WXXI had lost money. In fact, the total amount of pledges paid was greater than the cost of the campaign. We agree that private fund raising consultants should be held to high standards and expectations. In this case, we decided that the results did not justify continuing with this firm, but we did not lose money on the campaign, as your article stated.


Norm Silverstein
President  & CEO
WXXI Public Broadcasting Council