Frequently Asked Questions
About the PBS Foundation
What is the PBS Foundation?
The PBS Foundation is both a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a 509(a)(3) supporting organization to PBS. Its purpose is to seek, cultivate, and receive philanthropic gifts and grants at the national level for PBS. The Foundation administers these gifts on behalf of PBS.
What is the difference between PBS and the PBS Foundation?
PBS is a membership organization. There are approximately 350 membership stations like WGBH or WETA. The PBS Foundation was created in 2004 to provide the entire PBS system with significant financial support. The Foundation is a 501c3 and our only mission is to provide lasting financial support to PBS. Many grants, donations, and planned gifts come to us and we pass them on to PBS to support content and other initiatives.
How to Make a Gift
What kinds of gifts/contributions does the PBS Foundation accept?
The PBS Foundation accepts cash, securities, bequests, and most kinds of property. We seek major gifts and grants to support high-priority activities of PBS and donations to increase our endowment. We accept unsolicited gifts of any size. We do not have a used car donation program, but your local station might. Look up your local station’s contact information and contact them directly to find out if they have a program of this type.
What is the difference between donating to the PBS Foundation and my local station?
When making a donation to a local station, the difference is that you are supporting public media on a local level — i.e. that station's operations and local programming. Alternatively, a gift to the PBS Foundation will support PBS and affect all member stations across the U.S.
I want to make a gift to (WGBH/WNET/my local station).
Gifts intended for local stations should be directed to that station’s development department. Look up your local station’s contact information. Donations made directly to stations are also the only way to receive member benefits such as Passport or fundraising drive gifts.
How do I turn off/update my monthly donation?
The PBS Foundation doesn’t accept monthly donations. It is likely that you are donating monthly to your local PBS Station rather than the PBS Foundation. Please look up your local station’s contact information and contact them to cancel your recurring donation.
Is my gift to the PBS Foundation tax-deductible?
Yes. All contributions to the PBS Foundation are 100 percent tax-deductible. When you make a gift to the PBS Foundation, it will be officially acknowledged by email or letter. This correspondence is your tax receipt and provides proof to the IRS of your gift. Certain restrictions apply to gifts made from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). Learn more about planned gifts to PBS.
I'm having technical issues with Passport/streaming/watching PBS content.
Technical support is available on PBS's main support page.