Music is your heart. It’s your soul. It’s your blood. The air that you breathe. The thing that gets you up in the morning. And building your music career is your life’s purpose. It’s what you devote all your time, energy, and effort to.
But giving your all to your music doesn’t mean you can’t also give to your community. In fact, as a musician, you have an incredible opportunity not only for supporting your band’s success but also for making a difference in the world as you do it. You have a public voice, one that’s growing stronger every day.
Who better to use that voice for people who don’t have a voice? How better to build your band’s image while you draw fans to your cause? In this article, we will explore the amazing partnerships that can develop between musicians and advocacy groups, the incredible force for change that such an alliance can become.
The Tangible Benefits
Let’s face it, getting your band’s name out there, especially while you’re still a young group, isn’t easy. In the age of social media and on-demand streaming music, it’s not signing with a record label you have to worry most about. Instead, it’s about getting playtime. It’s about getting heard amid a sea of sound, an ocean of ambitious competitors.
Partnering with well-known nonprofits and advocacy groups can help you draw the attention of audiences who share your band’s interests and values. That’s a powerful marketing tool, a way to connect with precisely the listeners you’ve been searching for.
If you’re working on putting together an album, booking gigs, or even going on the road, having these partnerships in place can be a tremendous asset. Being able to connect your band’s name with those of your partner organization can help you get a foot in the door to coveted venues or with dream collaborators.
In addition, these partnerships can also lead to essential sponsorships. Securing sponsorships from the organizations you’re partnering with can provide you with the financial resources your band needs, in exchange for your band’s promotion of the organization, for a cut of your band’s profits on the sponsored project, or some combination of both.
As important as the marketing and fundraising benefits of such partnerships may be, it’s the intangible benefits that are by far the most important. Aligning your band with a worthy cause is not only going to help get your band’s name out there, but it’s also going to help your band build the kind of reputation you want. Plus, it just feels good!
Associating your band with a cause that you are passionate about is the perfect way to cultivate your band’s niche while doing a lot of good in the world. It’s also a great way to engage with your fans and inspire them to be a force for change in their own communities.
Consider, for example, the growing tide of social media activism. Today’s rising generation, born digital natives, are increasingly turning to social media not just for fun and socialization, but to voice their opinions on issues they care about and to discover resources and develop strategies to put those passions into action in the offline world.
This can be a potent tool for connecting with your own fans via social media. This is the perfect opportunity to use your band’s own social media platforms to raise awareness about and support for your band’s pet causes and the nonprofits and advocacy groups your band has partnered with.
Consider, for example, the recent surge in youth-led environmental activism. Young advocates like Greta Thunberg and youth coalitions like Zero Hour are combining online and offline activism to bring attention to the climate change crisis. Their passion, energy, and urgency have at last captured the attention of world leaders—and governments and legislatures are beginning to take heed.
This is the power of advocacy. This is the kind of power in the service of earth and humanity that you want your band, and your band’s name, to be associated with.
Though the rewards of humanitarian partnerships are virtually limitless, there are some risks, principally in being careless with your choice of partners. Before you align your band’s name and its efforts with any advocacy group or nonprofit, it’s essential to do your homework.
Vet prospective partners and sponsors carefully. Make sure the organization is actually doing what it claims to do. Make sure its actions correspond exactly with its missions. Monitor who is involved with the organization, from its leadership to its affiliates, sponsors, and partners. Check for financial and operational transparency.
And when there is doubt or uncertainty, stomp on the brakes. Few things will damage your band’s reputation more than being associated with an organization that isn’t what it claims to be. Above all, you don’t want to lend your voice, your support, your time, or your money to an organization whose values and actions are less than honorable.
It might seem that making music and making a difference in the community don’t have a lot in common. In fact, however, partnerships between musicians and advocacy groups can truly be a match made in heaven. Not only will your band grow its name, fanbase, and brand, but it’s also going to leave the world a better place than you found it!