The bad news: Public radio is a small part of a rapidly expanding nonprofit sector. Competition with other nonprofits for mind-share and donor support will intensify. Moreover, public radio lacks the financial transparency that donors increasingly expect.
Fundraisers got an outsiders’ view of pubradio from a former insider at the Public Radio Development and Marketing Conference, July 10 , in Snowbird, Utah. This article is adapted from remarks by longtime public broadcaster Robert G. Ottenhoff, president of GuideStar, a leading source of information for monitoring the performance of nonprofits of all kinds. Ottenhoff founded Newark’s WBGO-FM, served as executive director of the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority and then became chief operating officer of PBS. I was asked to come here today and give you an outsider’s perspective on public radio. I’m an avid listener of public radio.