The Impact of Public Support

25 Mar 2024 in

The Impact of Public Support – And A Heartfelt Thank You to Our Donors
Patrick Pearce, Director of Membership, Arkansas PBS Foundation  

The Arkansas PBS Foundation receives financial support from over 25,000 households across Arkansas and neighboring states. While commercial stations are beholden to advertisers and make decisions based on ratings, Arkansas PBS makes decisions with the viewers’ and our community’s interests in mind. That independence makes Arkansas PBS unique.  

But not everyone understands the critical role viewer support plays in Arkansas PBS’s funding.  

Yes, Arkansas PBS receives funding from both the federal and state government. This provides the facilities, equipment and staff necessary to run the station. The generous state funding also provides educational services, including ArkansasIDEAS, Arkansas’ most utilized K-12 teacher professional development resource.  

But the programs you love – even though much of it is educational – depend upon voluntary support received from the public. Without viewer contributions, favorites such as “Masterpiece,” “Finding Your Roots,” “American Experience,” “Nature,” “NOVA,” “America’s Test Kitchen” and more would not be available on Arkansas PBS.  

Voluntary support also plays a role in locally-produced programming such as “Arkansas Treasures,” “Celebrating Arkansas,” “Homegrown,” “Arkansas Week,” special programs like candidate debates and more.  

And voluntary support has also played a key role in helping Arkansas PBS provide live broadcasts of the state high school championships for basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball and football, and Quiz Bowl. Families and communities can now cheer on their high school stars on one of the most important days of each player’s life, and families who are unable to attend the games in person can see their young star in action on broadcast or livestream.  


As a viewer, you can see the results of your financial support every time you turn on the television. But what you don’t always see is the impact your donation has beyond the television screen.  

The educational programs on Arkansas PBS are the only pre-school education for half of Arkansas’ 3- and 4-year-olds who are not enrolled in pre-school.  

Arkansas PBS programs serve as a window to the world for thousands of elderly viewers, allowing them to attend concerts, travel the world and take a trip down memory lane.  

For many, Arkansas PBS is the only way they will ever travel across the Serengeti, explore the arctic or attend a concert at the Kennedy Center or the Metropolitan Opera.  

For everyone in our state, Arkansas PBS serves as the backbone of the emergency alert system that keeps us informed and safe during disasters and times of crisis.  

And every Arkansan can depend on Arkansas PBS for news and public affairs that avoids argument, disparagement, spin and influence and instead provides trustworthy, fact-checked information to form your own opinions.  

A contribution to Arkansas PBS does so much more than simply secure the programs you love – it contributes to the quality of life for everyone in our broadcast reach.  


Arkansas PBS will be providing a live broadcast and livestream of the total eclipse on April 8. “Antiques Roadshow” is coming to Bentonville on May 14. And the annual National Memorial Day Concert will be live at our nation’s Capitol on May 26.  

Arkansas PBS is an indispensable contributor to our communities with impact that is worthy of as much support and investment as any other community organization or nonprofit.  

If you’re not financially supporting Arkansas PBS, now is a great time to get started. Members of the Ambassadors Circle, our major donor group, have put together a challenge grant of $45,000 to be given to the Arkansas PBS Foundation if we can add 2,500 donors by June 30th. We are just about 1/3 of the way there and we need YOU to reach our goal!  

If you’re already a donor, thank you so much for stepping up and taking an active role in supporting your public television station. Want to help more? Share the news of the great (and important) work being done at Arkansas PBS. We need more cheerleaders spreading the word about Arkansas PBS!  

Great things are ahead for Arkansas PBS, both in terms of growth and benefit to our state. The only question is how far can we go? And that answer will be determined by the funding available to the network. With your help, there’s no doubt Arkansas PBS can reach new heights.  

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