Empowering Peak Performance

Building Deeper Donor Relationships

Public Broadcasting System

PBS is a private, nonprofit corporation representing America’s more than 350 public television stations.  Reaching more than 124 million people through television and more than 20 million people online each month, PBS stations are driven by a mission to produce quality programming that educates, informs, and inspires under the most trusted and admired brand in the U.S.


Operating in a more diverse media environment and in an increasingly difficult economic climate, PBS faces new and growing challenges in competing for donor support.  Realizing that such support depends on cultivating strong relationships, PBS sought new and innovative ways to foster deeper and lasting donor loyalty.


PBS enlisted Kevin Corcoran to assist them in meeting this relationship-building challenge.  Using the unique bonding power of extraordinary travel experiences, Kevin and his team developed the PTV at Sea initiative. This innovative initiative brought public television celebrities together with viewers on entertaining and very exclusive cruises enabling public television stations to deepen their relationships with donors and corporate sponsors.

In addition to introducing donors to leading PBS personalities, the cruises enabled donors to connect with numerous leaders and experts from the worlds of politics, art, history, politics and entertainment.

For example, PTV at Sea-Iceland offered donors the chance to take a memorable voyage to the land of fire and ice.  It featured an impressive cast of special guests including filmmaker Michael Kantor who examined his acclaimed PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh and Broadway: The American Musical. It also featured three-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O’Hara (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, The Pajama Game). Additionally nine-time Emmy Award winner David Lee discussed his legendary television sitcom, Frasier, and best-selling author William Mann explored the lives of Hollywood icons Elizabeth Taylor and Katharine Hepburn.

Since its inception, PTV at Sea has included cruises to many other diverse parts of the world including Europe, the Mediterranean, Latin America, and the Caribbean,


PTV at Sea has enabled public television stations to build a robust and enriching “community at sea” of major donors and key prospects.  That sense of community has fostered deeper, longer-lasting donor relationships leading to stronger financial commitments.

In this respect, PTV at Sea has served as an effective vehicle for PBS to expand both its donor base and the size of donor contributions.  PTV at Sea has not only enabled stations to forge stronger bonds with donors, but enabled donors to forge bonds of friendship with PBS personalities.  The result is that many donors have become more loyal members of the PBS community and more importantly, the PBS family.