BRONZE2023

Freedom Sings USA

Healing With Song

Chattanooga, TN   |  http://www.freedomsingsusa.org

Mission

The mission of Freedom Sings USA is to help veterans, active duty military and their families throughout the country reach emotional balance by telling their stories through the creative process of songwriting. Songwriting, along with peer support, helps provide veterans and their families the tools necessary to cope with trauma or readjustment from military service. Our mission is to also promote public support, education and appreciation for the sacrifice the veterans and their families make serving our country through the hearing of their stories as told through song.

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director

Barbara (Bobbie) Standefer

Main address

3317 Dayton Blvd PO Box 17205

Chattanooga, TN 37415 USA

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EIN

84-2449466

NTEE code info

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

Music (A68)

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Freedom Sings USA

We have a unique song writing model working with veterans, active duty, and family members expanding rapidly with virtual and in person classes and retreats across the country to help those who have served our country and given so much for our way of life. We pair award winning songwriters with veterans who tell their stories, and put them to music. Once written, a professional CD is made. Music therapy is one of the most healing alternative therapies in the world today.

Population(s) Served
Families
Military personnel

Freedom Sings USA has a unique model working with veterans, active duty, and family members expanding rapidly with virtual and in person classes and retreats across the country to help those who have served our great nation.
We pair award winning songwriters with veterans who tell their stories, the ones they usually cannot tell others, which helps organize their thoughts and put them to music. Having survived military service, female Veterans come home to restart their civilian lives. Some of the women warriors are dealing with death, amputation, PTSD, TBI and sexual trauma and some, have a wonderful experience. Music therapy is one of the most healing alternative therapies in the world today.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Military personnel

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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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 work with veterans, active duty military and their families to bring emotional balance and open a window
for healing for those suffering trauma and mental stress from being in the military and/or combat. We help them learn how to get their troubled thoughts out of their heads in a creative manner, initially using songwriting with professional songwriters who have been trained and then making ongoing classes available. There they get vet to vet therapy and can support other veterans who are going through the program. Added recently is our Camo Cafe where veterans can perform their own works in front of other veterans and their families in an open mic cafe atmosphere.
The ongoing support is key in the form of classes and events where they have the comradery and feel safe among other veterans and families. We have been vendorized by the national VA and have done a pilot program with VA Veteran Nurses producing a healing album. We do retreats as well all over the country.

We partner with veteran organizations, the National VA and cities to work with veterans who are in trouble or have mental stress that could spiral into suicide or homelessness or domestic violence. We have a dedicated ongoing weekly female veterans' class where female veterans feel safe to discuss their particular problems from the military and ongoing difficulties and share ideas on problem solving. The class is majority minority as well and these women are able to share personal experiences, ideas and help.

FSUSA has 4 weekly zoom classes and live classes are being set up after retreats we do all over the country. The ongoing classes provide support and also creative arts therapy. We have been successful in growing classes and have increased retreats from inquiries from organizations and cities all over the country. Our program is endorsed by the National VA as 90% effective as indicated by the National VA Director of Community Development and Civic Engagement. We continue to add classes and retreats.

In 2023 we are now at 4 weekly zoom classes that have participants from all over the country. We continue to add live classes when we do weekend retreats. We have them in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, and Arkansas. We will be in Florida as well this year. We did a successful Pilot Program working with VA Veteran Nurses from all over the country and produced a healing album that was sent to every VA Hospital and Clinic in the country. From that we have VA nurses contacting us to get into this program.

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 and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, 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 take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Freedom Sings USA
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Freedom Sings USA

Board of directors
as of 07/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Norman Skipper


Board co-chair

Roger Rahor

Norman Skipper

President

Roger Rahor

Vice President

Albert Jarvis

Treasurer/Events MGR

Paul Newby

SGT At Arms

David Barry

Endowments BOD

Robert Waters

Secretary/Media Design

Sheila Van Dyke

Fundraising

Jennifer Powers

Public Relations

Margie Newby

BOD At Large

Karen Hunziker

BOD At Large

Jim Hunziker

BOD At Large

Diane Jarvis

BOD At Large, Grants

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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 7/21/2023

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/21/2023

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

Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.