Celebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!

You’ve got heart, kids! Thanks to your help, we now have over 100,000 artists supporting Music For Good. An idea that started 10 months ago has turned into a movement, and one that has built some amazing relationships between charities and independent artists. We could tell you all about it, or you could watch for yourself in this video below:

100,000 artists joining in 10 months to help 13 charities. Pretty great, right? We think so, and we are excited to see how Music For Good will continue to grow.

Special thanks to all of the charities who are a part of Music For Good!

World Vision, Sweet Relief, Oxfam America, Love Hope Strength, Keep a Child Alive, Heifer International, Half the Sky Movement, Fender Music Foundation, Every Mother Counts, charity: water, CARE, Camp Southern Ground, Beat Making Lab

We want you to celebrate with us! If you watched the video above, you probably have a good idea of how we’re sharing the good news with our friends, family and fans: Through a campaign we’re calling “100,000 Hearts.” Since you’ve put so much heart into Music For Good, we want you to show us your heart! And, no, we don’t mean like this:

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We were thinking something more like this!

ReverbPictureMFG

Take a picture of you “showing your heart” in any way that you choose. Then, post your photo to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or our Facebook timeline using the hashtag #100kHearts. We’ll retweet your tweets to our 200,000+ followers and you’ll join thousands of other artists in celebrating this fantastic accomplishment. Be on the lookout for a brand new Pinterest board with a collection of all the 100,000 Hearts submissions!

While we could talk all day about how great the program is and how great all of you are, we’ll let our artists and charity partners speak for themselves! Take a look at the quotes below to see how this program has made a difference in the lives of those involved. And if you aren’t on Music For Good, check it out and consider becoming a part of the program today!

Bob Ferguson, Creative Alliances & Music Outreach Project Manager, Oxfam AmericaBob Ferguson, Creative Alliances & Music Outreach Project Manager, Oxfam America“Oxfam America is incredibly excited at the growth of ReverbNation’s Music For Good initiative. Through MFG, Oxfam has over 8000 artists pledging their support and music to us, and that’s the kind of loud noise we love!”

Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts

Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts“Through ReverbNation’s Music for Good, 2000 musicians and bands are now spreading the word about Every Mother Counts, which allows us to reach wider audiences with our mission. By sharing these universal stories, we bring more global awareness to maternal health challenges and solutions. Together, we can make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.”

Scott Harrison, CEO and founder, charity: waterScott Harrison, CEO and founder, charity: water“The Music for Good program through ReverbNation allows us to connect with different types of artists. Being a charity partner has allowed us to tap into a unique, new demographic we have not previously been able to reach, creating a relationship where artists can use their gift for good and bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”

Mike Peters, Co-Founder, Love Hope Strength & international touring musician with The Alarm and Big CountryMike Peters, Co-Founder, Love Hope Strength & international touring musician with The Alarm and Big Country: “Through ReverbNation’s life affirming Music For Good campaign we have not only raised much needed dollars, but we have also engaged thousands of artists in our mission to ‘save lives one concert at a time’ by registering marrow donors at artists’ concerts.”

Toby Lightman, ReverbNation artist and supporter of Half the Sky MovementToby Lightman, ReverbNation artist and supporter of Half the Sky Movement“Being a part of Music For Good has been an amazing experience, and has allowed me to learn about and support a charity I knew nothing about previously. It’s an indescribable feeling knowing that your music not only entertains people from around the world, but goes towards a greater good and is a part of something bigger.”

Jed Carlson, President and Co-Founder, ReverbNationJed Carlson, President and Co-Founder, ReverbNation“It’s obvious that well-known musicians, like Bono and Willie Nelson, can influence fans to connect with great causes. What’s so gratifying about Music For Good is the confirmation that independent artists in the aggregate can affect the same behavior. In fact, Music For Good really surpassed our expectations in terms of both artist participation and global significance. What started as an idea — downloads that donate — has evolved into a movement, one that establishes and nurtures philanthropic mindsets. It’s reinforced the premise that independent musicians have influence that can lead to real impact.”

To read more about artist and charity partnerships, check out our other Music For Good blog posts.

SamCelebrate With Us: Music For Good Hits 100,000 Artist Milestone!
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Charity Tuesday: Interview with Heifer International and Stillwood Sages

We got to speak with charity Heifer International and Curtis Hildebrand (lower right), of the rock band Stillwood Sages, who is supporting them through Music For Good.

We got to speak with charity Heifer International and Curtis Hildebrand (lower right), of the rock band Stillwood Sages, who is supporting them through Music For Good.


This blog post is part of a series highlighting the 13 Music For Good charities and their spotlight artists (read others here). Subscribe to our blog (enter your email on the right) to stay up-to-date on future posts!

SEE ALSO: What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?


When American rancher Dan West was serving in Spain after the Spanish Civil War in 1944, he became frustrated at being forced to decide how to allocate the very limited rations of milk to refugees. So then the idea hit him: “They don’t need a cup of milk; they need a cow.” West’s “Give not a cup, but a cow” set the example for what would become Heifer’s sustainability model, which includes Passing on the Gift. Today, Heifer International gives out gifts of livestock, seeds and trees and extensive training to those in need.

We talked to Rich Cason, the organization’s New Media Director about West’s vision and how the charity is helping end poverty and hunger in a sustainable fashion:

“The way Passing on the Gift works is folks that do receive gifts of livestock are required to pass on gifts, such as the first female offspring, to another family in the community,” said Rich. “By passing on the gift, not only are we lifting families, but we’re also helping communities get out of poverty through sustainable livelihoods.”

Heifer International has now helped more than 15.5 million families (79 million people) in more than 125 countries, including various African countries, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, and Nepal. They’re currently working to scale their projects to East Africa, where Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given Heifer a grant of over $51 million total to help at least 179,000 smallholder East African dairy farmers.

SUPPORT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL: Click here to sell or buy music

We had the opportunity to talk on the phone with both Rich Cason and Curtis Hildebrand, the organization’s Spotlight Artist and lead singer of California-based rock band Stillwood Sages. Well, truthfully, they interviewed each other and we just took notes on the side :) They discussed Heifer’s involvement with Music For Good, their goals and what they have to say to their supporters.

Rich: Curtis, how did you first learn of Heifer?

Curtis: I’ve been working with ReverbNation for a long time. I knew another band that was also supporting you guys through Reverb’s Music For Good program, I thought it was cool so I went ahead and signed up to you guys. And KM, Stillwood Sages’ bass player, encouraged me to support you as well. We have quite a few artists under my label Sunny Dragon Records that are going to start sponsoring your organization too.

Rich: I hope some of the bands under your label play similar music to you guys. I think you’re a well-kept secret!

Curtis: We’re trying not to be! [laugh]

Rich: My daughter banned me from playing “Tower at the Crossroads” in my house! She said “Dad, you’ve listened to that 20 times already!” [laugh]

Curtis: Yeah man, I’m really happy to hear that. I was looking at my ReverbNation dashboard the other day and I was like “Wow, we’re actually getting some donations out to you guys right now!”

I think what Heifer is doing is amazing. That’s where my heart is at, you know. I spend a lot of time in the music world and there are times that I just wanna pack my bags and go to Africa to build wells and farms to people. It’s just a complicated world out there… it’s hard to find an organization that’s going to really take that money from donations and apply to something positive. But what you’re doing is exceptional. I really like it.

“It’s hard to find an organization that’s going to really take that money from donations and apply to something positive. But what you’re doing is exceptional. I really like it.”

Rich: Thank you for bringing that to the conversation. I think one of the changing moments for me was when I had the privilege of visiting one of Heifer’s projects in Zambia. What was so eye-opening and life-changing for me is I did two visits in counter-chronological order… I first visited a family in a village that was six years in where the children had clothes and medicine. It was thriving environment. This individual was able to hire others to work on the farm.

5-year old Lilian Chali holds a goat in the Willie Mulenga village, Zambia.

5-year old Lilian Chali holds a goat in the Willie Mulenga village, Zambia.

And then I saw a project that was only a year and a half old where they were just starting to have calves, just starting to make progress, really, and they were so hopeful. I realized that making the resources available is just so critical.

I just saw the hope in the eyes of people who had nothing except for the hope of the Heifer program coming. The difference in five years from having a sustainable livelihood in the future was just so incredible. When you see this and you’re able to shake hands with the children and the farmers, it becomes your passion and your life-calling.

“And then I saw a project that was only a year and a half old where they were just starting to have calves, just starting to make progress, really, and they were so hopeful. I realized that making the resources available is just so critical.”

Curtis: I get a little choked up about stuff like this. To be honest, I’m not really big on being a rockstar — I wanna be a well-known artist but what really matters to me is to be able to positively affect other people’s lives.

Rich: I was thinking about everything that goes into fundraising… For me, you know, I have a passion for doing that but at the end of the day, what matters is seeing the results from the projects and seeing that people’s lives have been changed forever. That’s the reason that an organization like Heifer exists and it’s incredible to work with a bunch of passionate folks. When I have the opportunity to speak with someone like yourself who definitely gets the sustainability piece, I think I can speak for all of us that we’re very appreciative of that.

“At the end of the day, what matters is seeing the results from the projects and seeing that people’s lives have been changed forever.”

ReverbNation: That’s very inspiring. Rich, why did Heifer decide to participate in the Music For Good program?

Rich: Music is universal. Music is inherently good and used for good purposes. When we were approached with the concept, it just seemed like a great idea. Here’s up-and-coming artists who music lovers can support and a percentage of that goes to one or several great causes. To us just seemed like a natural fit to share the joy of music while helping someone else  in the world.

One of the things that has been very helpful is when we do the Spotlight Artist (Note: each charity picks one artist or band every month to be highlighted on ReverbNation.com and on social media). We see an increase dialogue between our followers and the artist, I like that connection because it allows us to in turn follow the artist because we’re very appreciative of their support.

Curtis: That’s cool, I’m going to follow you guys and start tweeting too! Here’s the thing, Rich. You’re talking to a guy who built his first house when he was 15 and has been on his own pretty much since then. I put myself through college and graduated from AirForce with honors. I changed my life through the love of others and God. I believe in changing people’s lives. So I’m here for Heifer, man!

Rich: I appreciate that! That’s what Heifer is all about. There are young women and men who have all of the potential in the world that would go untapped. With our collective efforts, we can get people to come together and make this transformation become a reality using technology and music. It’s a beautiful thing.

Again, it’s all about having access to resources. Once folks are given the training and exposure to Heifer’s cornerstone values, they become self-sustaining leaders in their communities.

You hear stories of how a young woman in India, who was told to stay home and work while she watched her brother go to school everyday, learned to read on her own until she became part of a Heifer project at the age of 25. She went to being illiterate to a leader in her community. It just brings you to tears!

That’s what it’s all about: it’s having that love, compassion and the willingness to get others where they need to be.

Through Heifer, young women in India have been able to go to school.

Through Heifer, young women in India have been able to go to school.

“You hear stories of how a young woman in India, who was told to stay home and work while she watched her brother go to school everyday, learned to read on her own until she became part of a Heifer project at the age of 25. She went to being illiterate to a leader in her community. It just brings you to tears!”

ReverbNation: To wrap it up, would you like to say anything to your supporters?

Curtis: We support the cause and encourage others to do the same. I’m really happy I was able to run into this program.

Rich: We’re all very excited to be participating on the platform and we’re thankful for ReverbNation for coming up with the idea. Although in a small way, buying music through Music For Good leads to big changes. That’s one way we can collectively work to change the world.

Curtis: Yeah! What ReverbNation is doing makes me feel good working with them.

ReverbNation: We’re trying! Thank you both for your time. And keep up the great work!

SUPPORT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL: Click here to get involved!

To learn more about Heifer International, please visit their website

To buy music from Stillwood Sages and help support Heifer International, please visit their ReverbNation profile.

SamCharity Tuesday: Interview with Heifer International and Stillwood Sages
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Charity Tuesday: Interview with Love Hope Strength

This blog post is part of the bi-weekly series highlighting the Music For Good charities and their spotlight artists (read others here). Subscribe to our blog (enter your email on the right) to get a new blog post every other week!

SEE ALSO: What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

Love Hope Strength Foundation co-founders and leukemia survivors James Chippendale and Mike Peters talked to us about their cancer charity.

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When James Chippendale, a wealthy and otherwise very healthy 31-year-old Dallas entrepreneur, got diagnosed with leukemia in 2000, he was dumbfounded. Like most people, he had little to no information about it. “I knew it was cancer and that’s about it,” James told us in a phone interview. “I didn’t know what the treatments were nor did I know my chances of survival.”

Once he knew more about it, James focused solely on finding the best doctors and a bone marrow donor who could save his life. “That was the only chance I had of survival. No drugs, no medicines, nothing else besides a donor could save me,” he said. And a donor he found — but it wasn’t easy. There was nothing for him in the United States so he had to go on the international registry, where they found that a man’s marrow 5,000 miles away in Germany was a perfect match (read the whole story in this moving article on New York Times). As of today, James is cancer free.

This experience prompted James to unite forces with fellow leukemia survivor, Mike Peters (of popular Welsh alternative rock band of the 1980s, The Alarm), to start the Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHS). LHS is a music-based charity whose goals are to reveal the ongoing success of cancer survivors, build a support network for cancer patients worldwide, fight for great research, fund and develop innovative music related outreach and awareness programs.

Over the last five years, they’ve added over 30.000 donors to the bone marrow donor registry that have resulted on over 575 matches for people around the globe.

James and Mike have a heart-to-heart just before climbing to the top pof Kala Pattar for the world record highest concert on earth. Photo: Jake Norton/MountainWorld

We talked on the phone with James and Mike (who was in the middle of a sound check in Manchester, UK) about Love Hope Strength’s future, funding sources (like putting on crazy concerts in unexpected elevations worldwide), the power of music and more.

You just celebrated Love Hope Strength’s 5th anniversary this year. Where do you see the charity five years from now?

Mike: I suspect we’ll still be here, fighting the fight. Cancer is a very dangerous weapon to humanity. If James and I are still around in five years [laughter], we’ll just keep encouraging people to stay alive.

“The goal of LHS is not just about raising money, but it’s to tell stories, show others that people the likes of James and me can come back from cancer and do wonderful things.”

– Mike Peters, of The Alarm

James: In a less poetic way [laughter], the charity continues to grow every year by adding new countries. Just two weeks ago we launched Mexico, where we’re going to do bone marrow donor drives across the country. We get offers every day from different countries in the world. I hope we can add hundreds of thousands of donors so that people don’t have to wait months and worry that you’re not going to find a donor. It’s a big, big world and a big mission, you know, and we’re just trying to do one country at a time.

Many musicians today use the power of their music and fame to promote a cause. Some examples would be Jack Johnson, Zac Brown, Dave Matthews, Bono, and you Mike. Do you think this is trend, a fad that’s going away, or do you think the relationship between musicians and charities is here to stay?

Mike: I don’t think it’s a trend. I think musicians will always be involved in humanitarian causes. Music is such a natural expression of your feelings and of who you are as human being. Having something to say is the most important ingredient you need to become a successful artist.

“If you’ve got something to say, and it’s relevant and powerful, then you’re doing something right as a musician.”

– Mike Peters

James: I think it’s important to know the balance between supporting the cause and promoting the cause, and not hitting their fans over the head with it. Artists now are able to do it in a way that engages the fans instead of alienate them. I think we do that really well, Mike, in the sense that we stand back and stay true to who we are and what we do.

Mike: Yeah, when I started with my band The Alarm in 1981, we had high ideals to power people and change the world. As I got older, I realized that it’s okay to say those things but people want more specific examples, they want to know how they can engage in the circle. So then when we started LHS, we gave musicians a reason to talk about the charity on stage in a meaningful, positive way, without distracting fans from the music.

One of the cool things you guys do is you host first-ever concerts with big time musicians at some pretty unusual places, such as Mount Everest (twice), Mount Fuji, Empire State building and Machu Picchu in Peru. Tell us about it.

Slim Jim Phantom of The Stray Cats and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze sing at 18,526ft during the Everest Rocks concert. Photo: Jake Norton/MountainWorld

James: Back in 2007, Mike and I came up with this crazy idea that were going to climb Mount Everest, you know, just to celebrate our recovery from leukemia, kind of like “climbing back from cancer.” It was just going to be him and me celebrating life. But then we used our entrepreneur minds and decided that Mike was going to invite some of his buddies like Billy Duffy from The Cults, Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats, Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze, and have all of this power in the music world join us in the celebration. I invited cancer survivors and we all climbed the mountain to announce what we’re doing to the world. It really evolved from there. The experience of climbing back, being so far down, and leading a charge back up the mountains to help others be able to climb back became the theme of the charity.

We kicked off, actually, with a climb of the Empire State Building steps, 1,576 to be exact, in a concert at the observational deck. It worked as an announcement of the launch of LHS and our plans to climb Everest.

What’s the main goal of performing these amazing feats?

James: The goal is twofold. One goal is to create awareness about our charity. The other is to raise funds. On these hikes, people pay a pretty significant amount of money to come and join these adventures, meet and get to know these musicians. We’ve raised millions of dollars over the years through these events. Another cool outcome we get from these events is that the musicians themselves get an experience of a lifetime.  

Some of the biggest musicians in the world come to us and say “I’ve played to millions and millions of people but this is probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done.”

Why did LHS decide to participate in the Music For Good program?

James: It’s such a natural fit for us being a music-based charity and all. Another thing we learned throughout this process is that the power of music is just incredible!

“Music doesn’t know any border. It doesn’t know color, it doesn’t know race, it doesn’t know religion, it doesn’t know economic status. Whether you’re rich or poor, it’s music.”

– James Chippendale, Co-Founder of Love Hope Strength

That’s the message we’re trying to spread. I mean, we also don’t have any borders. We’re now in four countries around the world and we’re finding matches for people from dozens of countries. It’s not about a US-based cancer charity; it’s about a global community. I think music resonates across a global community. To be able to interact with thousands of people who are part of ReverbNation is amazing. These artists can align with us and be part of our family for years and years to come.

When musicians support us, they’re going to be able to see the results. They’ll see cancers centers that are being built, the donors that we have, the lives we save. That right there is the differentiating factor from anything else out there.

Mike: Yeah, and our events are not about giving money so much. They’re about encouraging people to get tested to be on the list to be a bone marrow donor with a simple cotton swab of the cheek; they’re about getting them excited to join the cause. So we’re very thankful to those who do participate!

James: We realized musicians and fans are giving us a tremendous gift in supporting us, so we wanted to give them that gift back by showing them how they are helping us.

WANT TO SUPPORT LOVE HOPE STRENGTH FOUNDATION? Click here to get involved!

To learn more about Love Hope Strength Foundation, please visit their website

To buy music from The Alarm and help support Love Hope Strength, please visit their ReverbNation profile.

SamCharity Tuesday: Interview with Love Hope Strength
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VIDEO: Jed Carlson discusses promoting upcoming shows and more on Renman Live!

Haven’t seen Renman MB Live? Then you’re missing out on one of the music industry’s best kept secrets. Steve Rennie — AKA Renman — is the longtime manager of Incubus and a driving force behind the band’s multi-platinum commercial success.

Last year he launched a weekly live web show, Renman MB Live, to provide “insider access” to the music industry. His no-holds-barred feedback on what musicians are doing right – and wrong – is fueled by 30+ years of music industry contacts turned guests; producers, promoters, marketing execs, breaking and signed bands.

This week, our own Jed Carlson, President and Co-Founder of ReverbNation, joined in right after Seth Hurwitz, owner of the legendary 930 Club, and shared some true pearls of wisdom (and some colorful language!)

In the video below, Jed gives insights on promoting shows. He includes a quick demo of how artists can “poster the web” with the details on their upcoming show, targeting likely fan on the very day they’re set to play using Promote a Show (after all, 81% music venues say same-day concert marketing is critical to drive awareness).

Jed concludes with a quick tour of Music For Good — our innovative music download platform that connects artists, fans and 13 amazing charities. Check out this video and discover just how much good downloading music can do!

ShellyVIDEO: Jed Carlson discusses promoting upcoming shows and more on Renman Live!
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Charity Tuesday: Interview with Zac Brown’s Camp Southern Ground and Blackberry Smoke

This is the second blog post from the bi-weekly series highlighting the Music For Good charities and their spotlight artists (read blog about Fender Music Foundation here). Subscribe to our blog (enter your email on the right) to get a new blog post every other week!

SEE ALSO: What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

We got to speak with Rob Parker (upper right), CEO of Zac Brown’s Camp Southern Ground, and Blackberry Smoke (bottom), a Southern rock band that supports them through Music For Good.

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When Zac Brown was a teenager, he worked as a counselor in a camp that mixed kids with special needs with typically developed children in a way that helped both. He had a vision that eventually he would be able to open his own camp where children with special needs could play, learn and grow alongside children with typical needs.

Fast forward to today, three Grammy awards later and multiple shows under his belt, Zac is about to realize his lifetime dream. He recently invested on 500 acres of land in Fayetteville, just 40 minutes south of Atlanta, for the establishment of his charity Camp Southern Ground, now in development phase.

SUPPORT CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND: Click here to sell or buy music.

Zac Brown with Camp Southern Ground’s children

We talked to Rob Parker, the camp’s President and CEO, about Zac’s vision and how the charity will help children with behavioral disabilities and also those with typical needs.

Rob told us the camp has many of the traditional things that kids experience at camp — there’s swimming, horseback riding, ropes courses, and more. But there are also some things unique to Zac’s vision. “Music will be a big part of what we do,” Rob said. “There will be big focus on dramatic and creative arts. Technology will also be significant. We want to create an environment where research can be done on autism and the wide spectrum of behaviors related to autism like Asperger’s and ADD/ADHD.” This is an especially personal topic for Rob who has a grandson with autism.

“Raising awareness about autism is one of my passions. I think there’s been huge progress in the past couple of years but there is still a long way to go.”

– Rob Parker, President and CEO of Camp Southern Ground

Camp Southern Ground partners with groups such as Autism Speaks to help them design experiences that stretch and grow autistic children.

Because of their proximity to Atlanta’s airport, Rob believes Camp Southern Ground will be able to convene experts wanting to use the first class research facility they will build as part of the camp. “We hope that these experts will have the opportunity to see how the camp can positively affect these children.” One of the positive effects he mentioned is that, for many of these kids, it’s their first time in an overnight setting away from their parents where they can gain a sense of independence and self-confidence in a safe environment.

“The cool thing is that they get the chance to be a kid; meanwhile, there’s a whole research team behind the scenes working hard to make progress to discover new insights of autism and behavioral disabilities all along the spectrum.”

Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke

We later talked to Charlie Starr, lead singer of the southern rock band Blackberry Smoke and friends with Zac Brown. Blackberry Smoke, along with six other bands under Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Artists label, fully supports Camp Southern Ground through the Music For Good program.

“Zac has been so passionate about this from the beginning,” Charlie told us. “His belief and enthusiasm have rubbed off on everyone involved. I’m no doctor, of course, but it seems to make sense that children with special needs could benefit from the environment at Camp Southern Ground.”

Rob agrees and says that Zac is in this for real. He told us that Zac often talks about his dream for the camp and where he hopes it can go.

“Driving up to the camp’s entrance, hearing all of the kids laughing, and seeing all of the kids running through the grounds is what he’s looking forward to most. He loves the energy associated with camp and wants to bring this opportunity to children of all abilities.”

WANT TO SUPPORT CAMP SOUTHERN GROUND? Click here to get involved!

To learn more about Camp Southern Ground, please visit their website

To buy music from artists from Zac Brown’s label, Southern Ground Artists, and help support Camp Southern Ground, please visit their ReverbNation profile.

SamCharity Tuesday: Interview with Zac Brown’s Camp Southern Ground and Blackberry Smoke
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Charity Tuesday: Interview with Fender Music Foundation and Hellogoodbye

This is the first blog post from the bi-weekly series highlighting the Music For Good charities and their spotlight artists. Subscribe to our blog (enter your email on the right) to get a new blog post every other week!

SEE ALSO: What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

We got to speak with Moriah Scoble (upper left), Executive Director of Fender Music Foundation, and Forrest Kline (lower right), of the pop band Hellogoodbye who is supporting them through Music For Good

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Founded by the former Guitar Center CEO Larry Thomas in 2005, Fender Music Foundation‘s (previously named Guitar Center Music Foundation) is a public non-profit organization with the mission to assist music programs in schools, prisons, community centers, and retirement homes by providing instruments to their aspiring musicians. Since then, they estimate they have reached over 187,000 people through the foundation’s music grants.

SUPPORT FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION: Click here to sell or buy music

We had the opportunity to catch up with Executive Director Moriah Scoble and Forrest Kline, the organization’s Spotlight Artist and the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist of the power pop band Hellogoodbye. We talked  to both of them about their involvement with Music For Good, their goals and what they have to say to their supporters.

Moriah, why did Fender Music Foundation (FMF) decide to participate in the Music For Good program?

Teacher helps students with instruments donated by FMF

Moriah Scoble: Music For Good sounded like a fantastic program. I mean, this could be how we achieve a really lofty goal of getting more instruments to the music education programs. Because we’re  a public non-profit foundation, we’re always looking for ways to fund our work so I was really excited about Music For Good. I think it’s a great idea to connect music sales with a platform for artists. We work with a lot of emerging artists as it is, and any way that we can all work together to enhance the industry, the better.

How about you, Forrest? What was it about FMF that attracted Hellogoodbye’s support?

Forrest Kline: Picking a charity is tough because there are so many great causes to support, but music is particularly close to my heart.

“I think music is so important because it’s not just entertainment, it’s educational. It pushes you to use your brain in different and interesting ways and gives you a different way of thinking about all sorts of problems. That isn’t to downplay the entertainment side, it enriches and fulfills peoples lives and gives them lasting connections all over the world.”

Have you guys done any charitable work with your music in the past? Can you tell us a little about it?

FK: We’ve played many a benefit concert, when schedule allows and the cause demands. A month ago, we played in Pomona to raise money for a family in need, we raised money to build schools in Panama and when the earthquakes hit Japan, we sold wristbands on our webstore donating twice the proceeds to the Red Cross. Music is a wonderful way to do these things because you can occasionally do something of value for little more than some elbow grease, like put on a show or write a song, and are able to give more directly to a cause.

Moriah, through Fender Music Foundation, over 187,000 people have received grants of instruments to music education programs. Tell us why that’s important.

Kids enjoy the guitars donated by FMF

MS:  It’s important because it satisfies the needs of many different types of people: music can help children form connections to their brains. It helps them with language, math and science. It can be a way for them to escape a difficult home life. It can just give someone peace and help give them social skills so that they can interact with their peers. I mean, there are just countless benefits to music and it kind of depends on the type of organization in which the benefits are gonna be most seen.

“Music therapy can be a lot of times a escape for people who are dealing with pain, to just kind of distract them from all that and let them focus on something else.”

Tell us about what you’ve noticed since joining the program.

MS: It’s been great! I’m shocked that we’ve has over 10,000 artists choose to donate to us. That’s very exciting! We’ve also seen a huge boost in traffic. We see a lot more interest in our website and social media, and people are definitely reaching out to us. Music For Good is, though, the best way for emerging artist to get involved with us.

“Emerging musicians have reached out about working with us in another ways but Music For Good makes the most sense. The biggest way they can help us is by selling more music.”

What would you both have to say to the artists and fans who have chosen to support Fender Music Foundation through Music For Good?

FK: It means a lot for anyone to go out of their way to support anything, so I’d like to thank them for taking notice and helping. They obviously also know how important music is to the world and its youth.

MS: We are so grateful for your support! I think it says a lot that all of these artists see the power of music and want to give more people that opportunity. I think it speaks to how important we all know music is.

SUPPORT FENDER MUSIC FOUNDATION: Click here to get involved!

To learn more about Fender Music Foundation, please visit their website

To buy music from Hellogoodbye and help support Fender Music Foundation, please visit their ReverbNation profile.

SamCharity Tuesday: Interview with Fender Music Foundation and Hellogoodbye
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VIDEO: More Than 50,000 Bands Join ‘Music For Good’ Downloads For Charities Program

What is Music For Good and how do I get involved?

This video will answer that and other questions:

Music For Good is the world’s first ecommerce platform that allows musicians to sell songs directly to their fans and designate half the proceeds to a charity of their choosing. Since the program’s beta release just eight weeks ago, over 50,000 artists around the world have signed up for Music For Good — making it one of the fastest growing philanthropic initiatives in music history.

www.musicforgood.com

Where the idea came from

Do you remember Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and their celebrity friends singing to “We Are The World” to create awareness about poverty in Africa? Who doesn’t, right? Twenty eight years later, that song still has the power to move us to do good in this world.

But we believe philanthropy is not only for the rich and famous — independent and emerging artists can do it too.

With more than 2.7 million artists on our site and with advanced technology in our hands, we realized we had the power to facilitate things for philanthropic artists, especially the independent ones. That’s when Music For Good (#MusicForGood) was born.

We created a platform where musicians, fans and charities can come together, every day, every hour to hear music and support the causes they love. Charity concerts are great, but Music For Good is what artists do the other 364 days of the year.

Music For Good is for musicians

Whether it’s a country band from Tennessee or a hip hop act from Canada, Music For Good offers something for every artist that wants to get involved.

Zac Brown


Southern Ground Artists, the label founded by GRAMMY award-winning country star Zac Brown, already supports the initiative. Zac elected to have his charity, Camp Southern Ground, sign on as a launch partner.

Toby Lightman

Toby Lightman, who has been featured in countless movies and network TV shows, is selling her new single “Holding a Heart” through Music For Good, splitting the proceeds with Half The Sky Movement.

Who’s next? If you’re a musician, it could be you! Sign up takes just a few seconds.

Just go to www.MusicForGood.com and click on “Artists Sign Up”

Music For Good is for charities

Charities involved are Beat Making Lab, Camp Southern Ground, CARE, charity: water, Every Mother Counts, Fender Music Foundation, Half The Sky Movement, Heifer International, Keep a Child Alive, Love Hope Strength, Oxfam America, Sweet Relief, and World Vision.

Oxfam“We’re frequently asked by musicians for advice on how they can use their songs to help us make positive change, and Music For Good is something we can point them to.” – Oxfam America

Keep a Child Alive“With Alicia Keys as our Global Ambassador, music is part of Keep a Child Alive’s DNA. KCA is excited to be working with emerging artists at Reverbnation who understand the healing powers of music.” – Keep a Child Alive

Beat Making Lab“Music For Good is really the future of how so many of us want to interact with buying music — we get songs we love, get to discover new artists, and at the same time, we can contribute to a much bigger story.” – Beat Making Lab

Love Hope Strength“We have been blown away by the response from artists!” – Love Hope Strength Foundation

 

Music For Good is for fans

It’s even easier for fans to get involved! Just follow the heart whenever you see one on our page www.reverbnation.com.

If you’re a music-lover, just look for the heart on the site to buy the music you support!

 

 We guarantee at the end of the Music For Good experience, you will have music that is good.

SamVIDEO: More Than 50,000 Bands Join ‘Music For Good’ Downloads For Charities Program
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Top 3 things musicians need in 2013

Hey musicians, what are your resolutions for 2013? Want to release a new album? Find new fans? Help others? Make it big or just pay the bills? If you’re like a lot of Reverb artists, it’s probably all of the above.

Well, listening to you (and a couple of million other musicians around the world) we’ve boiled it down to three things:

  1. Get more fans
  2. Sell more music
  3. Save money

Am I right? In that case, ReverbNation’s got you covered. Follow our advice below to start the new year off right:

1. GET MORE FANS

Think about it. You already spend money on instruments, on food and gas when you’re touring, on beer when you’re gigging. You should be thinking of promotion as just as important as putting gas in the van, just as rewarding as a cold one after a show.

I have a friend who spent almost $10,000 on his new album, but then he didn’t do anything to promote it. Does it sound familiar?

Maybe it’s not the investment that’s holding you back. A lot of bands just don’t know where to begin. That’s precisely why we developed Promote It. We’ve made it drop dead simple to create custom ads to promote your music on all the sites music fans flock to:  Pandora, YouTube, Facebook, Billboard, MTV and hundreds of others. Trust me when I say, you WANT to be where they are. Plus, it’s completely affordable — campaigns start at just $5/day. And if you’ve never tried Promote It, we’ll even let you run your first campaign absolutely FREE.

“With Promote It, I can get the same type of promotion as a major label and still be on an indie budget. Promote It is such an easy and effective way to get new fans for my music.” 

Whatever you’ve got going on — a new album release, a new song or a new video (coming soon) — we know that Promote It is the best and easiest way to get the word out there, get heard and gather in new fans. If you can think of any better way, let us know in the comments!

Try Promote It now. Free trial available for first time Promote It customers >>

2. SELL MORE MUSIC… WHILE HELPING OTHERS

Have you heard? We’ve just launched a new program called Music for Good and we couldn’t be more excited! For the first time ever, you can now choose to sell your songs directly from your Reverb profile.

Artists choosing to participate select a charity they’d like to support and for every $1.29 song they sell, half the proceeds go to their new non-profit partner.

Music For Good is the new way to sell music.

We’ve never done anything like this before, but it’s really a natural. We know that musicians like to support good causes — whether it’s an indie band playing a local fundraiser or a major celebrity effort for disaster relief. Musicians have influence, they have power. Can you imagine what 2.5 million ReverbNation musicians can do?? Together we know you can have a huge impact fighting disease, hunger, poverty and more — all while spreading beautiful music.

PLUS — and this is very important — we believe this partnership will help every artist sell more music. It gives people a reason to pull out the credit card on music again. It kicks piracy in the butt!

The way we see it (and we think you’ll see it too), the Music For Good program accomplishes two things: it supports charities AND it gets fans to spend money on music again. It’s good for charities and it’s good for your wallet. As a bonus, it’s good for your soul.

Are you an artist, but not on Reverb?

Already on Reverb?

Music fans: Want to buy some music and help a charity?

3. SAVE MONEY

This one’s a no brainer. If you already use one of ReverbNation’s premium services (press kits, digital distributions, newsletters, etc), or even paid services from another site, the smart thing is to switch to the Pro Bundle.

For less than $20 a month, you get ALL of the core marketing services you need to manage your career and more. Yes — digital press kit, email templates, a mobile app, widgets, plus digital distribution that expands every year — while the price stays the same. Holy smokes. That’s less than topping off your gas tank, buying Starbucks lattes for your friends, or getting a large 3-topping pizza in New York!

The Pro Bundle costs less per month than a large 3-topping pizza from Domino’s in NYC.

You’ll save mega bucks AND because it’s all in one spot, you’ll save time. I mean, if you prefer, you could go to Sonicbids for your press kit, Tunecore for your digital distribution, and FanBridge for your newsletter, Mobile Roadie for your mobile app, etc etc… but why go through the trouble of logging in at eight sites different sites when you can use just one? Plus you’ll get the added bonus of having just one super great support team to answer any questions. Like I said, it’s a no brainer.

Start marketing your music now >>

That’s it, folks. We truly believe the tools mentioned above will help you achieve your marketing goals in 2013. Our mission is — and always has been — ARTISTS FIRST. Now go out and make some awesome music!

And let us know what your 2013 resolutions are in the comments below.

SamTop 3 things musicians need in 2013
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