Over the last fifteen months, a lot of discussion and debate has made the rounds in public media around equity. Like every organization, Greater Public has taken the opportunity to examine not just the inequalities in our system, but also the disparities we ourselves have reinforced in our dues structure.

Over the last 25 years, Greater Public has set its sights on improving fundraising across public media through education around best practices, detailed analysis of on-the-ground efforts by organizations, along with expert- and peer-led discussions that help all fundraisers in their work. We’ve been supported by the stations we support – you are our stakeholders – and for that help, we have asked for a modest percentage of your community funding each year.

Tying your dues to the amount your station is able to raise has always seemed like a fair arrangement: you raise more money because of our support, and we can continue to develop and distribute cutting edge resources and data for your benefit. But our approach has worked better for some than for others and our current system is inequitable. For example, smaller organizations are paying up to 2% of their annual budget, whereas the largest organizations are only paying 0.010% of their non-federal income in member dues.

This has led us to the conclusion that we must reform our dues structure in 2022.

What does this mean for members?

You will have more predictable dues

It will be easier to make projections in your budget since your membership dues will be exactly the same for two years in a row. Increases will be announced every two years, well in advance of budgeting season.

You will be paying into a fairer system.

Greater Public only works when all members contribute according to their ability to pay. Our mission is to help all of public media succeed. We cannot accomplish that by excluding or putting a greater burden on the smallest organizations, which already face substantial obstacles in resources, funding, and often geography. You already know that the service public media provides to the country is much much greater than just your organization. It’s the same for us. By creating a more equitable system, we are reducing the obstacles for success across all of public media.

We expect to add more members, so members will have more peers.

A transparent and affordable dues structure will enable us to attract more organizations, meaning you’ll get more ideas and people flowing into the system; a greater network to benefit us all. Stability also enables us to offer a certain number of pricing adjustments to members who experience especially difficult circumstances in a particular year, such as a natural disaster. Members in crisis who need to apply for a reduction in dues for a given year can do so without services to other members being affected.

The change in dues will be gradual.

For each tier of membership, there is a limit on how much dues will increase or decrease from year to year.

Member Organization NFFS Tier Annual Dues through 2024 Limit in Annual Dues Change
$0-$499,999 1 $800 +/- $250
$500,000-$1,499,999 2 $2,200 +/- $250
$1,500,000-$3,999,999 3 $4,000 +/- $250
$4,000,000-$7,999,999 4 $8,000 +/- $500
$8,000,000-$14,999,999 5 $10,000 +/- $500
$15,000,000+ 6 $13,500 +/- $1,000

We wanted to share the thinking that has led us to these changes because members are not just our clients, they’re our colleagues, and we have a deep respect for you and for the mission of your organizations. We know that together we can work to make public media successful for many decades to come!

If you have any questions about our new dues structure, please contact Leah Manners.

Need a temporary reduction in dues?

Organizations are eligible to apply for a temporary reduction in membership dues up to three months before their renewal date. Reductions last one renewal cycle and may be up to 30% off the dues amount, at the discretion of Greater Public staff. If your organization has suffered a large financial setback due to natural disaster, unexpected infrastructure expense, or dramatic cuts in state or federal funding and needs temporary relief from the full cost of dues, please use this form to apply:

Dues Reduction Application

Leah Manners

Member Outreach Manager

(612) 548-3374 (Central Time Zone)