‘Restricted unrestricted’: a productive new flavor of grants at KPBS

“Blessed Be the Ties that Bind” may be music to churchgoers, but many station leaders find it discordant. No matter how much CEOs welcome the blessings of major gifts, they tend to start doubting if they find strings attached. Increasingly, big donors do attach conditions. Not all want to see their name on a building or a room, but they do want to see their gifts used for purposes that matter to them, even when giving to the operating fund. Donors give for their own reasons; the fact that a station needs “to pay the power bill,” as one CEO put it, tends to be less compelling than content about topics that matter to them.