Skip to main content

Starfish Television Network II

So What’s the Catch?

Last Wednesday I posted on the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity and a television network devoted to airing TV programming that supports the missions of other nonprofits.

I also used the word ‘free.’ As in, “Starfish will air your broadcast-quality nonprofit television programming for free.”

Nothing worthwhile is free, I hear the skeptics say.

The skeptics are half right.

First of all, the Starfish Television Network certainly has expenses. For the time being, those expenses are being covered by a generous philanthropist. So, while airing the programming has a cost, for now the cost is covered.

However, in time that money will be spent. And Starfish will have to have in place new sources of revenue or it will fail. The Starfish Television Network’s funding model is patterned after that of PBS. Which is to say there will be fundraising, corporate sponsorships, underwriting, perhaps memberships, and the like.

In time there may be a fee associated with airing programs on Starfish in accordance with FCC rules. But for now…while Starfish proves its concept, gets its signal on the bird, and shakes out its operational dust… airing your nonprofit’s TV programming is free.

And, the fact is, if Starfish doesn’t provide real value to nonprofits then the market won’t bear any fee. That is, if nonprofits find no value in broadcasting on Starfish then Starfish ought to fail.

OK, you say, but surely Starfish won’t be airing to a very large audience, right?

That depends on how you define ‘very large.’ Beginning March 28, Starfish will be broadcast as part of the Dish 1000 high-definition package. Dish 1000 is what most new subscribers receive. Dish 1000 has approximately 1.5 to 2 million subscribers.

A few weeks after the March 28 launch date, Starfish will also begin simulcasting its signal from its website.

So, it’s nothing like the number of people who get The Disney Channel or ESPN. But in my view it’s 1.5 to 2 million more than most nonprofits can send TV programming to now.

The Starfish Television Network is a television network with a mission. And that mission is to give your nonprofit a platform to tell its stories.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am presently doing work for the Starfish Television Network.


Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.

Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…