Singing for Change empowers people to become more self-sufficient.
Singing for Change supports invests in nonprofit organizations that inspire, empower, and equip people to become more self-sufficient.
Our grantees encourage personal growth among people who are marginalized. They care about the community as a whole, as well as promote the belief that collectively, people can bring about positive change and sustainable self-sufficiency through connected, diverse communities.
Most likely to be considered are organizations that keep their overhead low and collaborate with other groups in their community to find innovative ways of solving a common problem.
Singing for Change (aka SFC Charitable Foundation, Inc.) was created by Jimmy Buffett in 1995, and receives one dollar from each ticket Jimmy sells at his shows. We envision a world where nonprofit organizations, large and small, provide compelling opportunities for individuals to discover their power to make a difference. The foundation promotes work on the forefront of social change - helping people and communities become smarter, safer, stronger, healthier, and whole.
Singing for Change (SFC) partners with progressive, community-based organizations addressing the root causes of social or environmental problems. We recently narrowed our focus to projects designed to promote self-sufficiency.
Specifically, We Look For Groups That Are:
- Working to engage individuals in their communities,
- Helping people realize their full potential and become self-sufficient, and
- Creating lasting change in the communities they serve.
We will fund operating expenses for those organizations that we feel are accomplishing these goals.
Areas Of Interest:
Children and Families: Grants are awarded to programs fostering self-sufficiency and stability. Individual therapy is not funded, nor are therapeutic or recreational camps or wish-fulfillment programs.
Disenfranchised Groups: SFC defines these groups as people who have been marginalized in society because of their low levels of skill, education or income, people with disabilities, and people who are homeless.
Projects Most Likely to be Considered are those which:
- Help people overcome social or economic barriers to education or employment
- Promote the empowerment of individuals toward self-sufficiency, and provide opportunities for personal growth that benefit their greater community
- Demonstrate human equality and encourage people to cross boundary lines to help others
Geographic Focus: United States. International Grants are made only via special request by a member of the Board of Directors or the founder. SFC cannot assist in making these grants.
Funding Categories: Grants range in size from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00.
Timeline: Letters of interest (LOIs) accepted from the 1st business day in January to March 15th. Invitations to submit full applications are sent out by May 30.
Applications are due July 15. Results are issued in October. Funds are disbursed in November.
Restrictions: Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code, or to organizations that have a sponsoring agency with this status. Please read the following restrictions carefully.
SFC Does Not Consider Grants To:
- public or private schools
- government agencies
- art, music, or recreational programs (even if offered to disenfranchised groups), unless specifically asked to do so by a Board Member or our founder and SFC cannot facilitate those requests
- disaster relief
- political organizations
- religious organizations
- medical research, quality of life, wish fulfillment, or disease treatment organizations
- basic needs programs (that exist to supply food or clothing)
- single service programs such as individual counseling
- emergency/crisis services (childcare, counseling)
- efforts to protect individual species or animals
The Application Process (note due to COVID we are not accepting new applications until 2023):
Letter of Interest (LOI) and organizational profile due: March 15th
(SFC) Invitations to submit full proposals: May 30
Full proposals due: July 15
(SFC) Final decisions: October
(SFC) Checks disbursed: December 1
What is in your LETTER OF INTEREST (LOI)?
If you think your project fits our guidelines, please send an inquiry to [email protected] We will respond with a Google form with a Letter of Interest. Letters of interests and organizational profiles may be submitted on the first business day of January, and close March 15th every year. Note we are NOT accepting new LOI's until January 2023.
Your letter of interest should be a brief, ideally one page, informative letter which summarizes your ultimate full proposal.
The LOI should include:
- A concise, executive summary which provides enticing information to inspire the reader to continue. Include the name of your organization, the grant you are applying for and/or the amount of money you are requesting.
- Short description of the project involved. You should also include how your project fits the SFC’s guidelines and funding interests.
- Give a brief history of your nonprofit and its programs. There should be a direct connection made from what you currently do to what you want to accomplish with SFC funding
- Include a description of your target population and geographic area.
- Please give specific examples of successes and needs.
- Elaborate on your objectives. How do you plan on using the funding to solve the problem? Describe the project succinctly. Include major activities along with the names and titles of key project staff
- If you are requesting funding from
other sources, mention this in a brief paragraph. In addition, include any funding already
secured as well as how you plan to support the project in the future.
- Briefly summarize your goal
After June 1st you will be notified by email whether your organization is being considered for funding. In any case, we appreciate all you’re doing in your community! Many projects aren’t part of our mission, but we recognize and respect their worth.
Note: No full grant proposals are considered without the initial approval of an organization's LOI, except by invitation from a Board Member, our founder, or the Executive Director. Due to the volume of inquiries we receive, Singing for Change cannot consider or respond to unsolicited grant proposals.
If you are invited to submit one, what is in your FULL PROPOSAL, Due July 15?
- Mission statement and/or one paragraph on your organization's history and purpose.
- Description of the project, demonstrating how the project will solve problems or change conditions facing the community. We encourage you to include an honest assessment of the challenges you face and any efforts to date to address them. This narrative description should include project goals and objectives, whom it will serve or benefit, and the amount of funding requested. (For activity intended to be ongoing, anticipated sources of funding should be indicated.)
- Description of the multiplier effect of the project, or how the primary beneficiaries are empowered to benefit others with newly acquired skills or resources (in under 750 words). Using their new resources and skills, the original beneficiaries/participants of your program will create a separate, positive impact in the community.
- A project plan that includes:
- method(s) of measuring the project's impact
- the three top measurable results you expect to accomplish by the end of the grant period
- steps for achieving the objectives.
- a timetable with milestones.
- Description of organizational readiness to undertake this work including:
- groundwork done previously by staff or board;
- individual staff and board leadership for the project;
- and structures that will ensure follow-through and implementation.
- IRS letter confirming your organization's 501(c)(3) status
- Itemized budget for the project if it is separate from your organization's budget
- Letter from a responsible officer of your organization, stating that:
- To his or her knowledge, the organization's nonprofit status has not been revoked;
- The proposed grant from SFC will not result in the loss of the organization's nonprofit status (that by funding this project, SFC will not become the organization's predominant source of support);
- The present operation of the organization and its income are consistent with its nonprofit status (that the organization's mission and funding sources are the same as when it received 501(c)(3) classification).
- Audited financial statements for the last four years in electronic format. If your organization was founded fewer than four years ago, please provide pertinent financial data showing your contribution base and program budget (990s are acceptable in this case).
Decisions are made in October; checks are disbursed by December 1.
Thank you! We look forward to learning more about your work.