Powerful combination: How to mix music and philanthropy

You can make a positive impact on the world through your events. We were lucky enough at SXSW to ask three music industry insiders how emerging musicians can create change. Their insights apply not only to bands and solo artists growing their careers, but to all of us that hold or organize events. You have a stage. Here’s how to use it for good:

Size doesn’t matter.

Of your audience, that is. As long as you have one fan, you have one person you can impact. Mike Martinovich, manager for My Morning Jacket and Flight of the Concords had this to say, “It doesn’t matter if you’re playing pubs, or an arena, you can make a difference. Collect emails. Collect a donation at the door. Tweet. The earlier musicians do it, the sooner it becomes institutionalized within themselves and their fans.”

Erin Potts, Executive Director at Air Traffic Control Education Fund agreed. “Musicians have historically been important allies in social justice… music helps people feel personally connected to issues. Musicians have incredible reach. Even small, beginning artists have email or social media lists larger than most non-profits.”

Respect your authority!

As an entertainer, you hold the great ability to reach and influence others on a very personal level. Andy Bernstein of HeadCount (which promotes such established groups as Pearl Jam, Phish, Death Cab for Cutie, and Dave Matthew’s Band) explains, “Social currency is everything. Musicians have the power to bring issues to the forefront with their social currency.”

Tip: You can watch Andy tell exactly how he helps artists make an impact in this video.


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