2020 Report

Year-End Report 2020
501(c)3 – FEIN 46-4000828

Our Vision:

Grassroots and nation-wide support of instrument-based music education available for all children in the United States, beginning at the earliest age possible, offered in schools or as after-school programs for a significant length of time (minimum two years and four hours per week), so all children experience the measurable social, biological, economic, and academic benefits of music education.

COVID – A Year Like No Other:

On the positive side, the Foundation has been able to adapt and adjust to the new reality and continue the work of Music Education Advocacy without interruption. The Foundation has been able to maintain full operations without financial turmoil or stress during this time of financial uncertainty.

However, on the negative side, music education has been profoundly affected by school closures, the inability of children to perform and practice together, widespread financial insecurity, and a set of new priorities in school districts around the country. Also, the Foundation canceled or postponed four major fundraisers, as well as the outreach at information tables during a national concert tour.

Accomplishments – ADMINISTRATIVE:

Board of Directors.

  • Per the Bylaws, election was held for half of the Board members in January and half of the Board members in June.
  • Zoom Board meeting in May.
  • Board Resolution on SBA Emergency loan
  • Established a policy statement regarding the Foundation publicizing Todd’s non-Foundation work.
  • Frequent telephone and email Board interactions throughout the year

Business Practices.

  • All reports and official forms filed on time.
  • All donations accurately logged and acknowledged.
  • Year-end tax letters for donors will be sent to all donors by January 31, 2021.
  • Ongoing efficient responsiveness to general and specific inquiries and opportunities via email, telephone, and social media.
  • Where required by law, SOHF maintains state-by-state non-profit registrations and filings by Michael Baird.
  • The Foundation has earned a PLATINUM Seal of Transparency from Guidestar (highest rating) and a TOP NON-PROFIT designation from Great NonProfits (highest rating).

Fundraising:

  • Due to the financial uncertainty created by the pandemic, the Board decided to take a gentle approach to fundraising, assuring donors that SOHF is fine, and if they prefer to donate to a struggling program in their own community, it is perfectly OK.
  • Individual donations: Ongoing donations, with fundraising solicitation in November/December. Ongoing nurturing of individual donors.
  • Received an SBA Emergency Loan
  • Increase in “In honor of” and “In memory of” gifts.
  • Established a brokerage account for the Foundation to accept gifts of stock; one gift of stock received in December.
  • One online auction completed with all items promptly packed and shipped using appropriate safety protocols.
  • Corporate/Foundation grants:
    • Cultivation of major funding sources, potential and actual
    • Sought out opportunities for matching grants, challenge grants, donor-designated funds, and cause-related marketing.
  • Merchandise: Hello It’s Tea mugs, The Magistris Project, Toddstock Re-Issue, imprinted items (Zazzle).

Accomplishments – PROGRAM:

COVID Resource Page: Music programs (school based and community programs) have had to re-invent themselves for remote learning. The Spirit of Harmony helped by learning as much as possible about rapidly evolving platforms, options, resources, and protocols, and sharing them on a new page on the SOHF website. This led to dozens of one-on-one consultations with music educators, music-related businesses, parents, and partners.

COVID Opportunity: Since Music Education, as we had known it, is completely changed, there exists an interesting opportunity for advocacy. Two main impediments for music education in schools have been after-hours transportation of students and the need for a physical space for a music program. With remote learning, schools have learned that they can effectively teach music without transportation issues and without space allocation issues. When normalcy begins to return to schools, there is a unique opportunity to point out that a streamlined and remote music program is very efficient and effective, particularly in low-budget situations. For many students, remote learning has increased the level of focus on their music and has had a positive impact on their overall Music Education!

Community Building: Information tables at Todd’s major concert tours give the Spirit of Harmony an opportunity to engage supporters around the country and also shine a light on local music programs. In lieu of concerts during 2020, the Foundation took every opportunity to engage supporters on social media and through some interactive “Zoom” events. A grassroots music education advocacy organization needs to keep the grassroots healthy and happy, and it has been a very high priority to keep a high profile for all to see.  

Partnerships. Functioning as an advocate for music programs around the country, the Foundation worked one-on-one with programs nationwide, helping connect the programs with the resources they need to be the best they can be. To accomplish this mission, partnerships are established and nurtured.  Current active partnerships include: music manufacturers, instrument repair, businesses and corporations, school systems, academic institutions, service clubs, a wide variety of nonprofits, community leaders, music groups and artist fan bases, etc.

Advocacy. Our Advocacy Toolkit is website-based and continually updated information to assist individuals and organizations for grassroots efforts to support music education.  Also, the Foundation is involved with advocacy among elected officials, professional associations, and organizations, as appropriate.

Ongoing Musical Instrument Collections and Placements. The primary and most universal need of music programs is musical instruments, and one of the best methods of engaging supporters is getting them involved in donating instruments, whether a one-off donation of something they own or participating in a larger-scale instrument drive. We strive to make as many matches as possible with instrument donors and instrument recipients. Since instrument drives require pick-up/drop off sites, evaluation, repair/reconditioning, and redistribution, we have developed a continually updated database of organizations in every state. The database will be methodically examined and updated in 2021 because so many programs have closed or had tremendous changes in personnel.

Public Information/Engagement:

  • Emails: emails sent out through Constant Contact as needed.
  • Inquiries from the general public, on a vast range of topics.
  • Social Media: Through daily posts on Facebook and Twitter, the Foundation continually spreads awareness about the importance of Music Education in particular and music in general. The Foundation’s goal with social media is to provide high quality academic, inspirational, and fun content that will be liked and shared by our networks. The “hook” of all posts is always music education advocacy. Full social media report follows.

Social Media Report

 

December 31, 2020

Year End 2019

Facebook Group Members

4902

3922

Facebook Page “Likes”

9834

9388

Twitter followers

1188

1128

YouTube Channel subscribers

686

538

Email List (Constant Contact)

11,282

10,030

Instagram Followers

563

331

For additional information:

Please don’t hesitate to email the foundation at info@spiritofharmony.org to request any additional information.