Year-End Report 2023
Celebrating Ten Years of Service
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. The Spirit of Harmony Foundation engages in Music Education advocacy by:
- Providing children’s music programs with information, ideas, and resources to help them address their needs.
- Providing music education advocates with referrals and connections within their own communities so they are able to support local music programs in meaningful and impactful ways.
2023 Recap: The Foundation is always looking for innovative ways to educate the public about the moral imperative of music education, and always looking for new ideas to help bring music education to all children. Schools and organizations are still recovering from pandemic-era disruptions to education, and the elimination of many instrument-based music programs is being experienced across the country. There is a great deal of personnel turnover in schools and organizations, with teacher shortages and budget cuts. All the while, children need and deserve a well-rounded education that includes Music and the Arts, and the Spirit of Harmony has continued to work on matching music programs with the local and national resources they need to be the best they can be, always mindful of the unique circumstances of each individual music program and every community.
Accomplishments – ADMINISTRATIVE:
Board of Directors.
- Per the Bylaws, elections were held for Officers and Board members. No changes have been made to the roster of Officers and Board members.
- Maintained password-protected Board Portal for 2023.
- Zoom, Telephone, Email, and even In-Person Board meetings and interactions throughout the year.
- All reports and official forms filed on time.
- All donations accurately logged and acknowledged.
- 2023 Year-end tax letters for donors sent to all donors in January 2024.
- 2023 Year-end reports submitted to pro-bono accountant Chris Detzer in February 2024.
- 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.
- Individual donations: Ongoing donations and relationship-building with individual donors.
- Increase in “In honor of” and “In memory of” and “recurring monthly” gifts.
- The family of Jesse Gress designated SOHF as one of the organizations to which people could make memorial gifts. Our Jesse Gress Memorial Fund raised over $5500 from individual donors throughout the year.
- Three online auctions completed with all items promptly packed and shipped.
- 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), and Someone/Anyone? CD.
- Todd donated nearly all of the AWATS costumes to the Foundation after the 2021 AWATS/Individualist tour. Also, John Siegler presented the Foundation with the historic 1959 Longhorn bass that has now been professionally restored. The costumes and bass are currently in secure storage and it is hoped that a live auction event can be organized in 2024 to maximize bidding potential for these treasures.
Accomplishments – PROGRAM:
Functioning as an advocate for music programs around the country, the Foundation works 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, introductions are made, and creative problem-solving is in the forefront of SOHF activities. 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.
Of particular note is the Spirit of Harmony’s strong relationship with Record Store Day, which resulted in cross-marketing opportunities and a monetary grant in April, a joint project with the Art of Music Experience in August, and the donation by Marshall of 150 high-end Headphones which SOHF distributed on visits to music programs in October and November.
The Foundation takes every opportunity to empower and motivate our wide network of supporters to engage in Music Education Advocacy in their own communities by attending local children’s performances and events, by becoming involved in supporting local school music programs, instrument drives, etc., and promoting the moral imperative of music education within their own social and professional networks. SOHF continues to actively assist programs with:
- Networking among organizations to help match resources with needs.
- In an effort to be as responsive as possible to ever-evolving music education advocacy situations as they arise, the Foundation is working with several organizations in Maui to offer our assistance in creating/restoring music programs after the Lahaina fire.
- Technological and logistic issues related to remote/social distance music education.
- Information on new opportunities, resources, and support, and introductions as needed.
- Continual updating our Instrument Network database to reflect many changes in staffing and programming in school districts and organizations. The purpose of the database is to facilitate placing instruments that are being donated all across the country.
- Social media posts share the latest music education related information from professional and academic organizations, governmental, and cultural organizations, including NAMM, NAfME, National Endowment for the Humanities, US. Department of Education, White House Partnerships Office, etc.
- Our Advocacy Toolkit is website-based and continually updated information to assist individuals and organizations for grassroots efforts to support music education. We strive to keep the Advocacy Toolkit and the foundation’s social media postings as supportive, current, and content-rich as possible.
- Worked with Bandwagon of Kauai to raise funds for a Todd and Michele Rundgren Scholarship for their students. This will be an ongoing scholarship, and the Toddstock effort raised nearly $5000 to date. Also, at Toddstock, SOHF distributed promotional materials about SOHF and discussed music education issues with many attendees, encouraging them to become involved in music education advocacy in their own communities. Among the international attendees, it became clear that the Spirit of Harmony’s Advocacy Toolkit can be effectively utilized to promote music education advocacy outside the US. While focused on domestic advocacy, most of the resources we offer are highly applicable around the world.
- SOHF is involved with advocacy among elected officials, professional associations, and organizations, as appropriate.
- Awards and Recognition:
- Awarded Great Nonprofits’ “Top Nonprofits Award” 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Candid (formerly GuideStar) Bronze Seal in 2018, Silver Seal in 2019, Gold Seal in 2020, and Platinum Seal 2021, 2022, and 2023
- Music for All/Advocacy In Action partnership award, 2021, 2022, 2023
- Beautiful Cities Project Award for uplifting communities, 2023
- SOHF Executive Director serves as a program evaluator/judge for two music education award and recognition programs: Music For All Advocacy in Action, and the City of Chicago’s Creative Schools Fund program.
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 and gear, whether a one-off donation of something they own, assisting with an instrument pick-up or delivery, 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 continually develop relationships with organizations, and update our contact information on organizations in every state. Also, the Foundation maintains a close working relationship with national and regional instrument donation and repair organizations, and with Music Will (formerly Little Kids Rock) and their extensive network connections.
Introduction of Two New Nontraditional Music Education Advocacy Programs:
- 3D Instrument Printing Project. Recognizing that the expense of musical instruments is often an impediment to music education, SOHF is testing the concept with several children’s music programs and schools/universities with 3D Printing/engineering programs.
- SoundArts Electronic Music Education. SoundArts is a viable and valuable method of promoting music education, particularly among youth who are not particularly interested in learning how to play an instrument and/or schools that do not have the resources for a traditional music program.
- Emails: emails sent out through Constant Contact as needed.
- Inquiries from the general public, on a vast range of topics.
- Creation of the “Get Smart” video promoting the benefits of Music Education.
- Social Media: Through daily posts on Facebook and other social media, 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, and to build a strong sense of community and enthusiasm around our Mission. The “hook” of all posts is always music education advocacy. Social media totals follow:
Social Media Report
|December 31, 2023
|December 31, 2022
|Facebook Group Members
|Facebook Page Followers
|X (Twitter) followers
|YouTube Channel subscribers
|Email List (Constant Contact)
For additional information:
Please don’t hesitate to email the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org to request any additional information.