Donor Information Policy

PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is for Houston Public Media (“HPM”) to comply Section 396(k)(12) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (the “Act”) that set forth the requirements for control of donor lists and donor information that are applicable to public broadcasting stations, and codified at 47 U.S.C. Section 396(k)(12).

BACKGROUND

Section 396(k)(12) prohibits the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”) from distributing its federally appropriated funds to public broadcasting entities that rent contributor or donor names (or other personally identifiable information) to or from, or exchange such names or information with, any Federal, State, or local candidate, political party, or political committee. For purposes of Section 396(k)(12) and this policy, public broadcasting entities are defined by the Act to include public broadcasting station licensees.  In the case of KUHT-TV, KUHA-FM, and KUHF-FM, the stations operated by HPM, the stations’ licensee is the University of Houston System.  As such, the University of Houston System, and all of its subdivisions and departments, is not a third party. Public broadcasting entities receiving CPB funds are also prohibited from disclosing contributor or donor names, or other personally identifiable information, to any nonaffiliated third party unless three specific requirements are met:

  • The public broadcaster clearly and conspicuously discloses to the contributor or donor that personally identifiable information may be disclosed to nonaffiliated third parties;
  • The contributor or donor is given the opportunity to direct that such information not be disclosed to nonaffiliated third parties before the time that any information is initially disclosed; and
  •  The contributor or donor is given an explanation of how the contributor or donor may exercise that nondisclosure option.

Section 396(k)(12) requires that CPB grantees maintain active control over their membership and donor lists, and take all appropriate measures to prevent unauthorized use of these lists. As the licensee of KUHT-TV, KUHA-FM, and KUHF-FM, the University of Houston System received community service grants (“CSGs”) for the operation of KUHT-TV, KUHA-FM, and KUHF-FM.  All CSG grantees, including the University of Houston System, must annually certify at the beginning of CPB’s fiscal year that they are compliant with the Communications Act and CPB’s General Provisions and Eligibility Criteria in order to receive a CSG. This policy will improve the reliability of the University of Houston System’s certification that KUHT-TV, KUHA-FM, and KUHF-FM comply with the provisions of 47 U.S.C. Section 396(k)(12).

POLICY & PROCEDURES

HPM will comply with the provisions of 47 U.S.C. Section 396(k)(12).  It will be the responsibility of the General Manager of the stations to ensure that this policy is complied with and enforced.  Station compliance with this policy will be included in the General Manager’s annual job performance review. HPM will comply with the laws and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service, and with all other applicable Federal law or regulations governing political activity and lobbying. HPM will not sell, rent, lease, loan, trade, give, donate, transfer or exchange its membership or donor names to, with or from any candidate for Federal, State or local office, political committees, or political parties for any purpose whatsoever, except as otherwise required by law or judicial process. HPM will maintain the confidentiality of the information contained in its donor lists in compliance with all State and Federal laws, and comply with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations regarding donor privacy and data security, as required by the CPB General Eligibility Requirements, and will not release any information contained therein unless it is released in accordance with this policy or as required by law or judicial process. HPM will maintain active control of their contributor and donor lists, and take all appropriate measures to ensure against unauthorized use of such lists including requiring any third party, including but not limited to list brokers, mail-list management organizations, friends organizations, fundraising organizations, or advertising or public relations agencies, to abide by this policy, except as otherwise required by law or judicial process. HPM will not disclose contributor or donor names or other personally identifiable information to any nonaffiliated third party unless, before the time that such information is initially disclosed, it clearly and conspicuously discloses to contributors and donors that such personal information may be disclosed to a nonaffiliated third party.  If such disclosure is not required by law or judicial process, HPM shall give the contributor or donor the opportunity to direct that such information not be disclosed to a nonaffiliated third party, and give the contributor or donor an explanation of how to exercise that nondisclosure option.  HPM will maintain information on its webpage that explains how contributors or donors may exercise the nondisclosure option. For purposes of this policy, HPM considers all third parties to be “non-affiliated” with the following exceptions: third parties acting on behalf of and at the request of HPM or the University of Houston System for the purposes of the HPM’s or the University of Houston’s fundraising development; attorneys acting behalf of HPM and/or the University of Houston System; and accountants acting on behalf of HPM and/or the University of Houston System. If HPM discloses contributor or donor names or other personally identifiable information to any nonaffiliated third party, HPM will periodically remind contributors or donors of any potential for sale, rental, lease, loan, trade, gift, donation, transfer, or exchange of their names and personally identifiable information, and offer a means by which the names and other personally identifiable information may be suppressed upon request; and suppress the names as requested, except as required by law or judicial process. HPM will maintain complete records of all uses of membership and donor lists for fundraising purposes, and donor notifications regarding donor information use, for ten years after the spending period for the CSG requiring compliance with Section 396(k)(12) concludes.