Some of the Sponsorship SETI currently receives: Sponsorship Institute projects have been sponsored by: NASA Ames Research Center NASA Headquarters National Science Foundation Department of Energy US Geological Survey Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) International Astronomical Union Argonne National Laboratory Alfred P. Sloan Foundation David & Lucile Packard Foundation Paul G. Allen Foundation Gordon and Betty Moore Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Pacific Science Center Foundation for Microbiology Sun Microsystems Hewlett Packard Company William and Rosemary Hewlett Bernard M. Oliver And many others https://www.teamseti.org/donate As mentioned the main benefits of SETI are more philosophical then practical at this time.......Are we alone??? Our place in the Universe?? As it is with other Astronomical programs, it is rather shallow to be looking at short term gains, or the favourite rally cry of the pessimist, about economics. While Kepler and other probes can find Earth like planets in comfy zones, their distances do not reveal if ETI does exist there...We need them to shout at us and those shouts are possibly then picked up by SETI. It is also quite obvious to most [not all sadly] that SETI has in many ways advanced computer power and such disciplines connected with computers and such. There are also procedures that astronomers would instigate to make known any potential ETI revelation. They would of course obtain confirmation of the signal from other astronomers, simarilly as was undertaken in the movie "CONTACT" I'm sure there would be nothing to gain for individual radio astronomers to even attempt to conspire to keep the find from the public.