According to the 2005 financial statement, NPR makes just over half of its money from the fees and dues it charges member stations to receive programming. Public funding accounts for 16% of the average member station’s revenue, with 10% of this coming in the form of grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a federally funded organization. Some more of that money originates from local and state governments and government-funded universities subsidizing member stations’ fees and dues to NPR. Member stations that serve rural and “minority” communities receive significantly more funding from the CPB; in some cases up to 70%. About 2% of NPR’s non-membership created funding comes from bidding on government grants and programs, chiefly the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the remainder comes from member station dues, foundation grants, and corporate underwriting. Typically, NPR member stations raise funds through on-air pledge drives, corporate underwriting, and grants from state governments, universities, and the CPB itself.
Over the years, the portion of the total NPR budget that comes from government funding has decreased. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the majority of NPR funding came from the federal government. Steps were taken during the 1980s to completely wean NPR from government support, but the 1983 funding crisis forced the network to make immediate changes. More money to fund the NPR network was raised from listeners, charitable foundations and corporations, and less from the federal government.
It’ll cost us more for a flying car.