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CCTV Chosen for 2005 Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy

CCTV Chosen for 2005 Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy

  • Posted on: 1 December 2005
  • By: Susan

Cambridge Community Television has been selected as a Massachusetts 2005 Catalogue for Philanthropy charity. This year’s edition of the Catalogue profiles 72 of Massachusetts' outstanding environmental, cultural, and human service agencies as "examples of excellence" in Massachusetts philanthropy. Cambridge Community Television was chosen from a total applicant pool of over 250 organizations.

CCTV’s entry in the Catalogue states: “Many people do not associate public radio (Catalogue ’04) and television broadcasting, or community cable TV, with “philanthropy.” We need to correct that: 1) they are “private initiatives for public good, focusing on quality of life;” 2) they reach more people than any other charities; and 3) they showcase excellence in philanthropy. CCTV annually transmits 15,500 hours of 24/7 cable programming, and 1,300 hours of radio. Five times in its history, CCTV has been recognized for overall excellence by the National Alliance for Community Media. Programming features alternative news coverage, local entertainment and community-focused coverage of events such as the 2004 Democratic Convention, plus special programs for seniors, linguistic minorities, and youth. Its production facilities — studios, editing suites, computer lab and media equipment — are used by local businesspeople, charities, artists and ordinary folks. Workshops are offered in media production and digital storytelling. A recent initiative connects producers seeking free original music with musicians seeking free exposure. To reduce dependence on cable franchise fees, it is diversifying funding sources. One hour of original programming costs only $122. You can do it.”

The Catalogue, which was the first of its kind anywhere, was created by a group of leading foundations here in 1997 to help close the gap between Massachusetts’ ranks in income and in charitable giving — then the largest such disparity in the nation. To do this, in addition to the annual Catalogue itself, the project developed the nationally-known "Generosity Index"™, a website (, "Giving Massachusetts Day" proclaimed since 2001 as the day after Thanksgiving by Governors Swift and Romney, and many other "donor-friendly" tools. Since 1997, charitable giving here has doubled, from $2 billion to $4 billion, and though the Catalogue makes no claim for this growth, the Catalogue Project is widely recognized as a national leader in donor education. There are now similar Catalogues in Washington, DC, and St. Louis, MO, and others are being planned in several other philanthropic markets.

According to George McCully, President of the Catalogue, "The Catalogue is designed as a showcase for Massachusetts philanthropy, and a one-stop shop for a family's charitable giving. A single check, electronic transaction over the web or stock transfer can be allocated to as many charities as the donor pleases, and because the Catalogue is sponsored and paid-for by its philanthropic sponsors, 100% of every donation goes to the designated charities."

Cambridge Community Television was chosen in rigorous competition by professional grantmakers, private donors, fundraisers and executive directors of charities. "Charities are selected for general excellence, cost-effectiveness, and teaching value about philanthropy," McCully said.