GOLD2023

Save The Music Foundation

Music saves.

aka VH1 Save The Music Foundation   |   NEW YORK, NY   |  savethemusic.org

Mission

Save The Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) music education nonprofit that helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music. For 25 years, Save The Music (STM) has addressed systemic inequities in music education by investing in culturally rich communities across the US. Since its inception, STM has donated nearly $70M worth of instruments and technology to over 2,500 schools – impacting millions of students' lives. And we’re just getting started! Learn more at savethemusic.org

Ruling year info

1955

Executive Director

Mr. Henry Donahue

Main address

P.O. Box 2096

NEW YORK, NY 10108-2096 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-6089816

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The national landscape shows us that almost all affluent and suburban school districts provide music as a core part of their children’s education. The approximately 5 million public school students who don’t have access to music education attend public schools that largely serve low-income, of color, and immigrant students. At the same time, the popular music that is our country’s #1 cultural export and drives a billion-dollar global business – hip hop, rock, blues, jazz, gospel – comes from these same communities. By investing in school music education, we are connecting these students to a very rich musical and cultural legacy that is rightfully theirs. Furthermore, for young people and people from communities outside the traditional power structure, music has long been the means to get their stories out to the world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Save The Music Foundation

STM believes every child in every public school should have the opportunity to make music as part of their education and that this is an achievable goal in our lifetime. To get there, we are investing in community-centered projects that create systems-level change to increase access to in-school music programs for public school students – aligned with standards-based education and taught by qualified teachers.

Specifically, when a partner school district commits to providing teachers to teach music during the regular school day, STM:
• Provides schools with the capital investment of instruments, technology, and other resources.
• Supports music teachers with professional development, research, and classroom content.
• Advocates for music as a necessary component of every student’s education.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

For broadcast and cable excellence 1999

George Foster Peabody Award

From the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 2000

Governors Award (the Emmy Award)

Beacon Award Community Relations – Full Campaign 2000

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award - Full Campaign 2001

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

2001 Golden Beacon Award Education - Full Campaign 2001

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Education – Restoration of music program in Buffalo 2001

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Community Relations – Full Campaign 2002

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award - Government - Full Campaign 2002

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Education - Full Campaign 2002

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Events & Observances - VH1 STM & Cable Partners 2007

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Finalist - Events & Observances - VH1 STM Hip Hop Honors Week 2007

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Beacon Award Events and Observances - 10th Anniversary Gala 2008

Cable Television Public Affairs Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of new programs/program sites

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children

Related Program

Save The Music Foundation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric shows the number of new schools impacted by Save The Music grants.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe every child in every American public school should have the opportunity to make music as part of their education and that this is an achievable goal in our lifetime.

Our approach is to build community-level partnerships with local music advocates, educators, artists, and funders in places where we see opportunities to invest in 30, 50, or 100+ schools over several years, driven by thorough needs assessments from those partners and publicly available data. When successful, this approach catalyzes growth across a community music ecosystem – creating impact for students, schools, and other music and arts non-profits.

Community in this instance can be broadly defined: a school district, a city, a metro area, even a state. In every case, investment in young people’s creativity through the public school system should lead to both better outcomes for those students’ well-being and future success, and increased participation in the larger creative economy.

Save The Music believes every child in every public school should have the opportunity to make music as part of their education and that this is an achievable goal in our lifetime. To get there, we are investing in community-centered projects that create systems-level change to increase access to in-school music programs for public school students – aligned with standards-based education and taught by qualified teachers. Specifically, when a partner school district commits to providing teachers to teach music during the regular school day, STM:

• Provides schools with the capital investment of instruments, technology, and other resources.
• Supports music teachers with professional development, research, and classroom content.
• Advocates for music as a necessary component of every student’s education.

Program options range from elementary school (Intro to Music with an emphasis on early development), to middle school (Core Band, Strings, or Mariachi; J Dilla Jr. intro to electronic music), to high school music tech and career pathways (our J Dilla Music Tech Grant). Each one-time grant includes 10 years of program support, monitoring and evaluation services.

STM has been at the forefront of music education advocacy at the local, state, and national level for over two decades. On the local level, STM works in close partnership with school districts and in tandem with community-based organizations and stakeholders to advance a shared vision for music education. Staff members participate in community and school board meetings; and they are members of local roundtables and working groups. At the state and national level, STM staff members actively promote the importance of music education equity at a variety of state and national conferences, such as the National Association of Elementary School Principals and SXSW Edu, and exhibits and presents awards to celebrate superintendents who show strong support of music education at the National School Boards Association and AASA: The School Superintendent Association.

Over the past 25 years, STM has received many awards recognizing our work to advance music education, including for example, an Emmy Award, Peabody Award, and special recognition from the Americans for the Arts and The United States Conference of Mayors for excellence in arts programs for youth.

Founded in 1997, STM has addressed the systemic inequalities in music education by investing in communities across the US – donating school instruments and technology; working as a convener, expert, and catalyst; helping to train and support teachers; and starting and building thousands of new music programs in over 2,500 schools in 287 school districts nationwide.

Save The Music is growing both the number of partner communities and our impact in each community:

• In 2021, STM invested in 100+ schools and community projects nationwide, roughly double our level of program investment from 5 years ago.
• We launched significant new community-based programs in Mississippi and Los Angeles.
• In response to the mental health impact of the pandemic on school-aged children, we added a new level of support and training for teachers on ways to bring social-emotional learning and trauma-informed care into their work in the music classroom.

Overall, our goal is to double our impact again by 2024 – investing in over 600 schools across 10+ partner communities over this four-year period.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to collect feedback directly from public school students.

Financials

Save The Music Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Save The Music Foundation

Board of directors
as of 06/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Elena Diaz

ViacomCBS Entertainment & Youth Group


Board co-chair

Allen Murabayashi

PhotoShelter

Tom Chavez

Noah Kerner

Mark Leiter

Mike Levine

Chris McCarthy

Laurie Schell

Kevin Ng

Jennifer Box

Sway Calloway

Brianna Cayo Cotter

Jesse Collins

Wanda Coriano

Leslie Fram

Jennifer Grady

Suzanne Hall

Grace Hong

Cesar Martinez

Nicole Portwood

Malika Quemerais

Alan Sartirana

Nat Zilkha

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/10/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/10/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.