47 CFR § 73.503 - Licensing requirements and service.
The operation of, and the service furnished by noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations shall be governed by the following:
(a) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station will be licensed only to a nonprofit educational organization and upon showing that the station will be used for the advancement of an educational program.
(1) In determining the eligibility of publicly supported educational organizations, the accreditation of their respective state departments of education shall be taken into consideration.
(2) In determining the eligibility of privately controlled educational organizations, the accreditation of state departments of education and/or recognized regional and national educational accrediting organizations shall be taken into consideration.
(b) Each station may transmit programs directed to specific schools in a system or systems for use in connection with the regular courses as well as routine and administrative material pertaining thereto and may transmit educational, cultural, and entertainment programs to the public.
(c) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may broadcast programs produced by, or at the expense of, or furnished by persons other than the licensee, if no other consideration than the furnishing of the program and the costs incidental to its production and broadcast are received by the licensee. The payment of line charges by another station network, or someone other than the licensee of a noncommercial educational FM broadcast station, or general contributions to the operating costs of a station, shall not be considered as being prohibited by this paragraph.
(d) Each station shall furnish a nonprofit and noncommercial broadcast service. Noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations are subject to the provisions of § 73.1212 to the extent they are applicable to the broadcast of programs produced by, or at the expense of, or furnished by others. No promotional announcement on behalf of for profit entities shall be broadcast at any time in exchange for the receipt, in whole or in part, of consideration to the licensee, its principals, or employees. However, acknowledgements of contributions can be made. The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements may not interrupt regular programming, except as permitted under paragraph (e) of this section.
(e) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may interrupt regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization, provided that all such fundraising activities conducted during any given year do not exceed one percent of the station's total annual airtime. A station may use the prior year's total airtime for purposes of determining how many hours constitute one percent of its total annual airtime. With respect to stations that multicast programming on two or more separate channels, the one-percent annual limit will apply separately to each individual programming stream. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is an entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
(1) Audience disclosure. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization must air a disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity for which it is fundraising. The station must air the audience disclosure at the beginning and the end of each fundraising program and at least once during each hour in which the program is on the air.
(2) Reimbursement. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization may accept reimbursement of expenses incurred in conducting third-party fundraising activities or airing third-party fundraising programs.
(3) Exemption. No noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that receives funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shall have the authority to interrupt regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit organization.
(f) Mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational radio stations operating on reserved channels will be resolved pursuant to the point system in subpart K.
(g) Application limit. An applicant may file no more than a total of 10 applications in the 2021 NCE FM filing window. A party to an application filed in the 2021 NCE FM filing window may hold attributable interests, as defined in § 73.7000, in no more than a total of 10 applications filed in the window. If it is determined that any party to an application has an attributable interest in more than 10 applications, the Media Bureau will retain the 10 applications that were filed first - based on the date of application receipt - and dismiss all other applications.
Commission interpretation on this rule, including the acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in the Second Report and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations), 86 FCC 2d 141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No. 21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket 21136, 97 FCC 2d 255 (1984); and the Report and Order in Docket No. 12-106 (Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations), FCC 17-41, April 20, 2017. See also Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations, Public Notice, 7 FCC Rcd 827 (1992), which can be retrieved through the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd/nature.html.