Jun 16, 2020
In this episode of The Nonprofit Architect, Travis features Vincent James, the founder of “Keep Music Alive”, a nonprofit organization that focuses on musical education and support of kids with an interest in music. He shares his experience as a startup and gives a breakdown of the journey so far.
[01:40] Vincent shares some of his background with music and the startup if his nonprofit organization.
[07:30] NPOs can insert their cause into a particular date or week dedicated to it yearly and benefit from the awareness and support it generates.
[09:56] Take away #1: E-mails get a better response when they are personalized rather than spammed.
[12:56] What to do when there is no reply to your emails.
[16:37] Take away #2: "Polite persistence, keep asking".
[19:23] Vincent gives a few tips on how to locate contacts of celebrities
[25:15] Take away #3: Be an "Ask-aholic".
[26:03] Raising funds for "Keep Music Alive".
[28:38] Focusing on the reason for starting your nonprofit organization, makes it easier to ask for help.
[18:24] "Silence never means no".
[19:19] "Don't write people off just because they said No the first time".
[21:11] "If you don't ask, it's a guaranteed No"
[36:22] "A rising tide lifts all boats".
Who is Vincent James?
Vincent James & Joann Pierdomenico are the founders of the national non-profit Keep Music Alive and two international music holidays: Teach Music Week (March) and Kids Music Day (October). Each year, they partner with 750+ music schools and stores in over a dozen countries to offer free lessons to new students and to hold special events that benefit and celebrate kids playing music. These events range from student performances, instrument petting zoos, drum & ukulele circles, instrument donation drives and more. Over a dozen celebrities have signed on as Kids Music Day Ambassadors lending their name and image for the cause including Julie Andrews, Jack Black, Sarah McLachlan, Kenny Loggins, Michael Feinstein, Vanessa Williams, Pat Benatar and more.
When not rallying around Teach Music Week and Kids Music Day, they can also be found putting on Musical Instrument Petting Zoo events throughout the Philadelphia region. Over a dozen instrument petting zoo events were held in 2019 at schools, libraries, and other public spaces with keyboards, guitars, ukuleles, and dozens of different percussion instruments.
Vincent & Joann are also authors of the “88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life” book series with each edition featuring over 100 inspirational music stories from around the world. 80% of the proceeds from the book series are donated to several music education and service non-profits.