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I have been writing music since I was 12...which is really only a whopping 4 years ago. I started without any idea of where it would really lead me. I just knew that it was something that I loved doing. When I realized that I could actually make a difference in some else's life with my song-writing, I was inspired to write a song for my friend Jake, who has dystonia, a neurological movement disorder. The finished product is called "Mission Possible" and up on iTunes with all of the proceeds going to dystonia and Parkinson's research.
Since then, I have released an album entitled The Giving and started a "Pay it Forward Project" that I hope will inspire people to give, and perform random acts of kindness as a part of every day life. Here are some things you can do to fund-raise and inspire people through music and the arts.
1. Write a song for the cause. You can directly raise money to support fundraising by publishing the song as a single and selling downloads to your friends, at a local coffee shop -- anywhere! Don't forget to advertise the song along with what it is supporting. If people like the song, they will be intrigued and more likely to check out the cause. It's all about spreading the word, right?
2. Speaking of spreading the word, sometimes that's all it takes! If you don't want to sell a song, post a link to it for free! The more you send it around, and encourage others to pass it on, you can increase awareness drastically just by getting people interested with a cool tune. Include a description or link to the cause with the song so people are inspired to click, read, and support.
3. Send newsletters including ways to support, as well as a link to a song pertaining to the cause. Even if it is not your song, you can still inspire people to help by capturing their attention through song.
4. Put on a show! Find a few local bands or solo acts willing to do a festival or a concert event and sell tickets to raise money. The artists get to show their skills and have the opportunity to increase their fan base, while playing a fun show that benefits a cause.
5. Create a song writing contest for students (or friends!) to compete in. Encourage people to write and submit a song for the cause. You can even take it a step further and set up a 'talent show' type concert where each song is performed and the winner is announced. You can sell tickets to support the cause. There can be a prize for the winner and the added benefit is increasing awareness for the cause through the mere interest and buzz about the contest.