Pledge Drive FAQs

Another Pledge Drive? Isn't there a better way to raise money?

Pledge drives are unbeatable when it comes to encouraging new members to join Detroit Public TV in the least costly way. When viewers just finish watching a program that they feel is worthy of support, they are strongly motivated to make a contribution. Pledge drives make it easy for current members to renew and for other viewers to join. During our approximately 75 days per year of televised fundraising, we're able to generate nearly half of our contributions from individuals.

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I pledged during the last pledge drive. Why have I been charged already on my credit card, when I haven't received the item I bought?

The charge on your credit card is a donation to Detroit Public Television. The "thank you" gift that you requested is a "thank you" for your financial support of DPTV. We always try to send your thank you gift as soon as possible, but generally expect your gift within 3-6 weeks.

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I'm from Canada, and I'd like to give the station a gift. Will I be charged in US or Canadian funds?

Because our bank is in the United States, all charge card pledges are automatically charged in US funds. We cannot take charges in Canadian funds. We appreciate all donations, but we do buy all of our programming and sevices with US dollars. Therefore, on checks from Canada, you can either specify US funds, or we will accempt them at par if you would like to pay that way.

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Why am I getting renewal and reminder notices after I paid my pledge?

The most likely answer to that is our notices and your payments are just crossing in the mail. If you believe your account is in error, please contact Member Services at (248)-305-3900 or Contact Us!

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I pledged during the last pledge drive. How long will it be before I receive my bonus item?

On average, it takes about three to six (3-6) weeks for you to receive your bonus item (DVDs, CDs, tote bags, etc.) after making a donation. We try to pre-order a small quantity of most items before each drive to expediate delivery, but availabilty and demand sometimes result in delays. We do mail most items at the first class rate, and we usually ship "combo" items seperately. We'll try to let you know if there will be a delivery delay.

If you signed up for the installment plan, you will receive your bonus item after the majority of your pledge has been paid.

Gifts sent to Canada are shipped First Class via the Canadian postal service. By law, we must include a Customs Declaration, including a description of the gift and its fair market value. Please note you will be required to pay a duty upon arrival of the gift. (More information on gifts sent to Canada)

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I made a pledge to the station this year. How much of my donation is tax deductible?

DPTV is a US non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law if you itemize on your US 1040 form. You must deduct the fair market value of any bonus item received for deductions or creditors. Find the fair market value for your gift on your gift receipt sent to you through email or mail.  Please consult your tax advisor. Canadian residents may receive a tax break if they have a source of taxable income from the United States.

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Why are some of my favorite programs preempted during pledge periods?

We realize it can be frustrating when a program that you're fond of disappears for the several weeks of pledge specials. Very few shows produce fifty-two (52) weeks a year of new material and in many cases the shows are not timed or formatted for fundraising purposes by the producers. Programs are selected to air during pledge drives, not only for their ability to entertain or enlighten, but their potential to generate contributions. As more viewers join you as Detroit Public TV members, they support the programs that we enjoy all year round. We try to minimize the disruption of your favorites by limiting pledge days to approximately 75 days per year, so that you have almost 300 days a year pledge-free.

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Service to Canada FAQs

WTVS Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people per week in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people per week throughout Canada via cable and satellite.

In 1982, Detorit Public Television was selected as the first PBS station to be transmitted via satellite across Canada. Approximately 13% of the families that support DPTV each year are Canadian. We reach you through:

  1. The Canadian satellite company, Shaw Broadcast Services, as well as Rogers Communications, which relay the WTVS Channel 56 signal to many cable companies throughout the nation of Canada.
  2. Shaw Direct, which relays our signal direct to homes across Canada via
  3. Our own broadcasts and local Cogeco Cable carriage of our signal throughout Windsow, Chatham, Sarnia, and much of Southwestern Ontario. In all, nearly 20% of Canadian homes can watch Detroit Public Television.

Our biggest concentration of viewers are cable subscribers in: Vancouver, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sudbury, Halifax, St. Johns and, of course, Ontario. We are well watched in Québec, and have wonderful friends in communities of all sizes, from the Atlantic Provinces to the Yukon.

Detroit Public Television listens to what our Canadian viewers and supporters tell us about the programs they like. In response, we have added British comedies and dramas to the lineup and new how-to series. Furthermore, we work with Canadian producers to bring their programs to US television, and we are especially proud to work with cable companies to assist our shared viewers - it's the best in neighborly cooperation.

No matter where you are, we are proud that Detroit Public Television is your choice for quality programming and that you find our 24-hour service worthy of your time and your support.

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I'm from Canada, and I'd like to give the station a gift. Will I be charged in US or Canadian funds?

Because our bank is in the United States, all charge card pledges are automatically charged in US funds. We cannot take charges in Canadian funds. We appreciate all donations, but we do buy all our programming and services with US dollars. However, on checks from Canada you can either specify US funds or we will accept them at par if you would like to pay that way.

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I pledged during the last pledge drive. How long will it be before I receive my bonus items?

On average, it takes about six to eight (6-8) weeks for you to receive your bonus items (DVDs, CDs, tote bags, etc.) After making a donation. We try to pre-order a small quantity of most items before each drive to expidite delivery, but availability and demand sometimes result in delays. We do mail most items at the first class rate, and we usually ship "combo" items separately. We'll try to let you know if there will be a delivery delay.

If you signed up for the installment plan, you will receive your bonus item after the majority of your pledge has been paid.

Gifts sent to Canada are shipped First Class via the Canadian postal service. By law, we must include a Customs Declaration, including a description of the gift and its fair market value. Please note, you may be required to pay a duty upon arrival of the gift.

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I made a pledge to the station this year. How much of my donation is tax deductible?

Canadian residents may receive a tax break if they have a source of taxable income from the United States. DPTV is a US non-profit organization, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law if you itemize on a US 1040 form. You must deduct the fair market value of any bonus item received for deductions. Please consult your tax advisor.

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I live in Canada, why can't I view all your content on demand?

While over-the-air brodcasts reach beyond US borders into Canada and Mexico, online video is subject to geo-filtering, which restricts the areas that can view PBS content. PBS is legally obligated to ensure each program does not exceed its granted rights, which unfortunately eliminates international streaming ability for some PBS programs in Canada and elsewhere.

We regret not being able to offer all our content online to our supporters.

Watch DPTV videos on our Youtube channel.

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Miscellaneous FAQs

I've always wanted to volunteer my time at Detroit Public TV. How do I sign up?

Contact the Volunteer Department at (248)-305-3911 or sign-up online.

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Who owns Detroit Public Television?

WTVS Detroit Public Television, first brodcast in 1955, is a non-commercial, viewer-supported public television station licensed to the Detroit Education Television Foundation. As a community licensee, WTVS is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees made up of approximately 45 Detroit area citizens. The staff of Detroit Public Television is led by WTVS President and General Manage Rich Homberg.

As a partner with with the communities it serves, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) receives input from its Community Advisor Panel (CAP), comprised of volunteer representatives from metropolitan Detroit and Windsor. These panel members advise DPTV on the programming needs and interests of the public, provide targeted outreach to alert interested groups to the programming and resources of DPTV, and maintain a pro-active role with both DPTV and the community at large. The public is invited to attend these meetings and voice their interests as well. For more information on attending these meetings, call (248)-305-3788.

WTVS broadcasts 24 hours each day and is a Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) member station. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is an independent agency which partially funds some PBS programming with federal appropriations and works to ensure the success of public broadcasting in America. This support costs taxpayers about 75 cents a year.

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Where does Detroit Public Television get its operating funds?

Individual viewers, by responding to the pledge drives, online incentives, telemarketing and direct mail, provide Detroit Public Television with over half of the station's operating budget. Other funding sources include the Detroit Public Television Online Auction, corporate contributions and grants from the government and private foundations. Detroit Public TV receives no funding from the State of Michigan. Detroit Public TV also produces programs and related videos and audios taht are used by stations nationwide for fundraising in their markets. These activities also contribute to the funding of the station's activities.

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How many people watch Detroit Public TV?

Each week, over 1.6 million people in the Detroit-area watch WTVS. In addition, there are close to 2.4 million households throughout Canada that receive WTVS via satellite and cable. Because of this enormous reach, more people "visit" Detroit Public Television than any other cultural institution in Southeast Michigan.

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What has been the biggest financial challenge recently?

The federal government requirement for all television stations to convert to digital television meant new equipment purchases of about $10.5 million. Additionally, WTVS had to replace its aging facility at an estimated cost of $11.5 million. With the support of 5,000 donors to the station's Capital Campaign, Because Minds matter, the $22 million was raised between 2005 and 2009. The continued challenge is to raise nearly two-thirds that ammount each year in operating funds from largely voluntary sources.

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