Expanded budget buoys plans for PBS’s revamped development division

Betsy Gerdeman, who took over as senior vice president of PBS Development in February, is busy rebuilding that staff while focusing on three priorities for stations: planned giving, local corporate support and on-air fundraising. “I still have my station hat firmly on my head, and I hope I always will,” said Gerdeman, who has worked at KLRU and KLRN in San Antonio and WETA in Arlington, Va. “The success in this department comes from walking in the shoes of the stations we serve.”

PBS trimmed its fundraising staff in June 2010, eliminating four staffers who specialized in station fundraising. Director of Station Development Services Valerie Pletcher joined in November 2010 to focus on informational and training needs and best practices; she left in April 2014. But development is now on an upswing.