Charitable giving and how artists can give back
As an artist, it’s pretty amazing to have a unique advantage to use your voice and platforms to reach a large number of people and help to support those in need. It’s something we’ve loved discussing with our artists these past months since the start of both Covid-19, and the social justice protests and movement.
The musical community and the industry have been phenomenal, whether it be through supportive posts on social media in the form of words, images, and videos, or giving monetarily; so many are giving back, and we can feel it’s making a huge difference.
What you do as an artist allows you to have a voice and reach more people than others would – and that’s solely because you have the audience, and you have the online platforms which you can utilize to amplify the support – your website, social profiles, Spotify, Bandcamp, etc.!
Part of our job (and our goal) as an artist development and music promotion company is to be your partner, and one of your guides along your journey – we talk to artists every single day and as you would imagine, charitable giving and showing your support and raising awareness is a big part of our conversation right now! Artists want to know what they can do and how they can help, they’re asking us what others are doing, what we recommend they do to show support, and how best to do this, especially in combination with upcoming releases. So while there’s never one right answer or exact formula for how to do things best, we can share what we’re hearing, what others are doing, and we’ve found some resources that may help you accomplish your desire to give back and support those who need a voice right now.
LINKS AND EXAMPLES
New Spotify fundraising link – This actually started back in April, prior to the recent support of #BLM movement, and it allows artists to add a donate button to their profile for any organization through their new program called Artist Fundraising Pick . You can fundraise for yourself, your band/crew, or a charity partner. As long as it fits within Spotify’s safety policy, you can display this button as a way for fans to support you or your organization of choice. This link will guide you through that process –
Adding a ‘Donate Now’ button to your Facebook page –
Facebook also offers a way for your fans to help in your support of an organization with the ability to add a ‘donate now’ button to your page, as well as posts. The links below detail out how to do this –
Bandcamp started a Free Fridays campaign back in March and they have continued it on the first Friday of every month (up through Friday, July 3rd, check this site to see if they do this again in August or beyond). On Free Fridays, Bandcamp waived their revenue share of artists’ releases as a way to support them during Covid-19 – some artists chose to keep all revenue, and some are donating it to organizations related to the Black Lives Matter movement, and Covid-19 relief funds.
One excellent example of an artist taking advantage of Bandcamp’s offer is Michelle Chamuel/The Reverb Junkie.Throughout the month of June Michelle donated all money received from tracks purchased on Bandcamp to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. She also put together a mini mix of songs by black artists as her way of paying tribute to them, and recognizing and honoring their voice and accomplishments –
Another band who did a really cool project on Bandcamp, actively involving their fans, is a band called Owel Band. Check out this link on Bandcamp to their live recording of their song called ‘No Parachutes’ where fans sent in a vocal recording of the ending chorus, and the band mixed all submissions together with their live performance for a truly collaborative, meaningful and memorable track! 100% of the sales of this download through Bandcamp will be donated to NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Check out this list of all the artists and labels who participated by releasing on July 3rd on Bandcamp, and offered discounts, special merch deals, and donated proceeds to organizations from those like Black Lives Matters Chicago, or the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Artist Direct To Fans Examples
This next example is the largest artist named here, but very admirable in the amount of money he’s donating to a cause very necessary right now! The Weeknd is donating a total of one million dollars to Covid-19 relief efforts, through sales of his personalized face masks. $500,000 went to MusiCares, and the other half to front-line healthcare workers of the Scarborough Health Network in his hometown.
Another example of an artist giving back includes Sarah Dooley, an indie artist who has been incredibly vocal during this time and is an amazing example of how she is turning her time and talent into consistently supporting organizations she believes in. Check out her Instagram account at @iamsarahdooley – one of her most consistent campaigns yet is her Bedroom Concert series where she plays live (on IG), and all tips offered to her for her live performances are donated to organizations including Black Voters Matter, Color of Change, and The Okra Project, Black Women’s Health, and more!
Also, Pledge 46 With Lissie is a really cool campaign that this artist developed to raise money for Vote 46. Making a donation by following the link below gets you entered into a chance to win a virtual concert for you and your friends!
The creativity some artists have put into this has been so cool to see!
Livestreaming tip jars
This allows you to collect tips for your live performances, and donate to organizations that matter to you. What a great way to donate your time, your art, and your voice to in turn accept further donations from your fans to support organizations!
Check with your distributor to see if they are participating in charitable giving. DistroKid has a great process set up for artists to donate a portion of the proceeds of their streams and sales to Color of Change or NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
While the world continues to change, evolve and face adversity and situations that many feel they cannot remain silent about, we understand and have seen first hand how your voice as an Artist can have a larger reach than others might have. There will always be ways in which your voice can make a difference, and it’s amazing to be a part of the musical community that so strongly supports this. We encourage and support your own particular way you choose to make your own difference.
Information on artists, platforms, labels, etc. who are giving back during this time ~
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