I'm not sure it's really a charitable contribution if you feel like the organization is on a mission to save your brain and your soul, but fortunately the IRS doesn't get that granular about it. This week saw two pledge drives on my radio on Thursday--my local public radio station and a plea from Ira Glass to support the podcast of This American Life.
I admit, I missed the local NPR pledge day. I would feel guilty if I weren't already supporting two other public radio stations (I make monthly contributions to stations in two cities where I used to live, including to WNYC, which produces a lot of the programming that I listen to on my local station). I listen to WNYC whenever I can, and I really almost never listen to the local station--now that I have the squeezebox I'll probably listen to the local station even less.
I did, however, remember to contribute to support This American Life. I really love the show, and I rarely miss it. Now that I have the internet radio, I suppose I could get it without the podcast, but I love the flexibility of listening to it on my own schedule, especially at the gym. If I can stay on gym equipment for the entire hour of a TAL podcast, I'm doing pretty well. And I'm a sucker for Ira's pledge drive spots. So this year I made that my third monthly contribution to public radio--I'll try to get the local radio station the next time they have a drive.
The other contribution I made (a one-time contribution from which I hope to benefit enormously) is a contribution to the Moth in New York, which produces shows composed entirely of people getting on stage in front of a mike to tell true stories without notes. Again, I listen to the Moth's podcast faithfully, and I really love it--it's a great way to learn about the real world that people live in, and to remind me of how complicated and special people are, which I really need right now. And members allegedly get the opportunity to buy tickets early, which is the only way I can get into any of their events--even if I get out of work 45 minutes early to get myself to the city, the odds are good that I would still have to stand in line for over and hour and find out that no more tickets were available. I hope it works out so I can attend a few shows.
If not, both contributions are tax deductible, and that's always nice come April.
If you haven't listened to either podcast, I encourage you to try them:
This American Life Podcast
The Moth Podcast