John Schneider, a veteran musician and marketing professional for a major non-profit organization, has found a way to connect musicians to charities who are looking for ways to raise funds. It’s a new web site called MusiciansForCharity.org. The free web site allows charities to describe their organization’s mission, the fundraising event and the type of music needed for the event. Musicians can describe their music, upload song samples and provide links to their own web sites. Schneider describes the web site as a type of on-line “dating service” for nonprofits and musicians. “With the current financial problems within the economy,” Schneider explained, “many charities and non-profit organizations throughout the country are having trouble raising funds. Simultaneously, these same charities frequently see an increase in the use of their services.” Today, there are more than 900,000 charities registered in the United States. While the site has been live for only a few weeks, two national charities have already signed on: Shaping America’s Health (part of the American Diabetes Association), and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "Many nonprofit organizations are challenged by a rapidly changing funding environment and a steadily rising need for services from the communities they serve," said Gary Deverman, CEO of Shaping America’s Health. “MusiciansForCharity.org is a great way to help charities survive and communities thrive.” Americans may individually be donating less money to fewer nonprofits today than at any time in the past quarter century, according to a recent national study published by The NonProfit Times.“It’s a tough situation to be in,” Schneider continued. “Many charities spend a considerable amount of time raising money with little time left over to provide critical services to the communities they serve.” “The entertainment business, however, always seems to do fairly well despite downturns in the economy,” according to Schneider. “When the financial woes of the world weigh upon your shoulders, society often escapes into the movie theaters and concert halls to take a break from reality.” “Some musicians make a living by playing music,” Schneider said. “But not all musicians work all the time, so the next best thing is playing for an audience.” Schneider believes that when musicians play for fundraising events, they’re not only making a contribution to the community but also making valuable contacts for future, paid performances. Schneider is currently looking for partner organizations to further develop the web site so that users can post and edit their own pages.
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