Imagine that a Society member or Associate was ready to write a million dollar check to Harmony Foundation. But he or she needs a cause that they are certain would be a great investment. Would YOU know what to tell them?
I'm pretty sure I already know what Harmony Foundation would tell them. They already gave $450,000 to the Society in 2009 to fund our entire Youth in Harmony program and to help dozens and dozens of chapters improve via Director's College scholarships. And I know they're hard at work trying to raise money for additional Society priorities:
- $275,000 for the Tag Team program, in which full-time Society employees will live out in the field and do nothing but strengthen existing chapters and help create new ones.
- $475,000 for Four on the Road, a full-time youth quartet that will travel full-time for a year singing at schools, colleges and a cappella events, helping youth and educators get excited about barbershop harmony.
- With even more money, they could help the Society create even more tag teams, grow the endowment, expand the reach of Youth in Harmony, retire the remainder of the headquarters' mortgage, and build S!NG -- what will be Nashville's most exciting musical interactive experience on the ground floor here in Nashville.
What would be on your wish list? Maybe there are one or two sexy big-ticket items, or a list of smaller, more pedestrian things that would add up to a stronger Barbershop Harmony Society? The idea is to think of things that would most benefit chapters and individual members, or put the Society on the best long-term trajectory, if only we could afford to do them.
And what if the number were $10 million?
I can think of a pretty big wish list myself -- resources we could provide our chapters, experts we could hire, materials we could generate, campaigns we could run, festivals we could sponsor. Change that check to $10 million and it will help our Society grow and spread Barbershop even further I even more.
How would you invest it?
p.s. Nobody asked me to write this. I just think too many barbershoppers don't get what the Foundation does and why it matters.
p.p.s. Most if not all of the barbershoppers on staff give to Harmony Foundation out of their own pockets every year -- I believe most are even President's Council members. (There are also a lot of Ambassadors of Song on staff as well, who contribute $10 or more a month, which together can make a big impact.) Nobody has pressured us to do this. We just believe in what the Foundation is doing. Give them a call to see what you can do to help ensure that barbershop harmony grows and thrives now and in the future.