What are Donor Acknowledgments?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates what non-commercial radio stations can say about commercial businesses in their announcements and there are several rules we must abide by. Any Donor Acknowledgment is known by the FCC as an underwriting announcement. The following is a brief description of what can and cannot be used:

Legal or trade name must be stated to identify the underwriter.

Any or all of the following may be used in Acknowledgment copy:

  • Telephone number, Email address, website and location of business or the area served.
  • Days of operation
  • Listing of up three (3) products or services
  • Product origin, (Belgium Waffles or French Bread)
  • Intended use of product, (Men's Suits or Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
  • Product content, (Silk Blouses or Leather Shoes)
  • Form of delivery or method of preparation, (cooked with herbs)

None of the following may be used in acknowledgment copy:

  • Qualitative language, (handcrafted; homemade; great; wonderful)
  • Comparative language, (better; most)
  • "Calls to Action" (call today, come by)
  • Location of business using another business as a reference
  • Number of years in business (serving the community for over 20 years)
  • First person statements, (I urge you…)
  • Second person statements, (you can stop by…)

In addition, corporate non-promotional slogans may be used in underwriting acknowledgments if they are in well-established use by the business and the wording stays within the spirit of these guidelines and FCC regulations. But all underwriting copy, including corporate slogans are subject to approval of the General Manager of WOW® 90.9. (WOW® 90.9 reserves the right to refuse business support agreements to any organization or business that does not meet the same standards to which we hold ourselves accountable.) Also, a Donor Acknowledgment is in support of the station, however, support will in no way imply that donors may influence program content or programming decisions.

Some examples of Donor Acknowledgments that could air on WOW® 90.9 are:

Absolute Physical Therapy, a provider of physical therapy incorporating progressive exercise for strengthening and conditioning provides home visits in the Brewton area. Absolute physical therapy is located at 316 State Street in Brewton. Phone: 251-XXX-XXXX.

WOW 90.9's programming is brought to you in part by DBJ McGuire Motorsports, Route one in Milton with outdoor equipment sales and service, also clothing and accessories, 850-XXX-XXXX or toll free at 1-800-XXX-XXXX.

Programming is brought to you by Coles Construction of Pensacola. Coles Construction specializes in garages, additions and siding. On site estimates available. Their phone number is 850-XXX-XXXX.

Tax-exempt, 501 (c) (3), non-profit organizations (churches, most ministries, etc.) have a different opportunity as it relates to supporting WOW® 90.9. Announcements for non-profit organizations sound very much like what would be heard on a commercial radio station.