I'm looking for some advice on securing funding for two television series' that I am developing. I shot pilot episodes for each one and have secured a network to air the shows starting this fall. One will air on the local Fox station here in Portland, Oregon and the other will air on OPB Plus - a digital channel for our local PBS station. The PBS show is about "Green" related science and research, the Fox show is about heroes in the community.
The budget for each series is relatively low because I will be producing and shooting the PBS series, while the Fox show will be produced mainly by a class that I am teaching at a local college. The only staff I will hire is an editor for the PBS show and a host for the Fox show.
I will have 3.5 minutes of commercial time to sell for each episode of the Fox show (26 episodes). This wont pay for much but it will help. PBS does not allow funding to come from participants in the show, or anyone who can appear to have creative control.
I have zero experience in this area of fundraising and I am seeking your wisdom. Where do I start? How do I find and convince organizations to to pay for the production of these shows? Especially for the PBS show. I don't have time to find a fiscal sponsor, send out grant applications, and wait for the rejection letters. I am familiar with the idea of having a "Presenting Sponsor" or "Title Sponsor" but is that the direction I should go and how do I begin? Do I need to hire someone to do this for me? Also, I have no idea how to approach businesses to sell advertising.
Any advice, suggestions, constructive opinions would be greatly appreciated. Better yet, if you're a pro at this and could give me a few minutes on the phone send me a private message. Thanks all!