Be An Advocate

What is grassroots advocacy?
Grassroots activism is very simple - people engaging their elected representatives to share perspectives about what's important to them and their communities.

NPR's representation role
In addition to NPR's role as a primary news source for millions of Americans, a digital innovator, and home of the Public Radio Satellite System, we are also responsible for advocacy and representation on behalf of public radio. We work cooperatively with our member stations and others in the public radio community to support continued federal funding for stations, and to encourage policies and regulatory actions that will further our shared mission. We engage stations, audiences and others who believe in and support the role of public radio in peoples' lives and our society as a whole.

NPR, Inc. has received no direct operating support from the federal government since 1983. Roughly two percent of our annual operating budget is comprised of competitive grants awarded to NPR from federally funded organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Federal government financial support for public radio is directed to public radio stations through annual appropriations to the CPB. In addition, CPB also funds activities that benefit the entire community of public radio stations, such as upgrades to public radio's broadcast distribution system (PRSS), public radio's digital conversion, and use of digital and mobile platforms to improve and expand audience service. Here's a graphic with more detail about the flow of federal funds to public broadcasting.

Why is advocacy important for NPR?
With the tremendous growth of digital services, public radio's mission now extends beyond radio to all digital platforms. As Congress moves to change policies impacting digital regulation, royalties, rights and privacy, NPR's role is to advise Congress and regulatory entities to preserve our public service mission and ensure that public radio content remains both free and universally available to the American public.

Public radio is periodically threatened with the loss of all or some federal funding. Such cuts would be particularly harmful to the hundreds of stations that serve rural and minority communities as these stations receive higher levels of funding from CPB. Fortunately, every time cuts have been on the horizon, the public has stepped forward and voiced support for the programming and services stations provide.

We need you to get involved!
Congress listens and responds to the simple, effective actions of citizens who take the time to communicate with them. When thousands of public radio supporters speak out, the message is clear: Support public radio. Your help on policy and funding issues throughout the year enables public radio stations across the country to strengthen their service to you and your community. Please continue to help us serve you by declaring "WE SUPPORT PUBLIC RADIO!"

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