Charity singles are a great way to give back to the world through music. If you have a cause you’re passionate about, make a song about it. But how do you release a song for charity?
To release a song for charity, you must pick a cause you want to support. Once you and the charity of your choice agree, you can start working on a creative and memorable song. Your song will get more coverage if it is catchy and includes more people.
Charity songs exist for one purpose: to help others. In the rest of this article, we’ll be breaking down some steps for you to release a track for charity.
Three Steps to Release a Song for Charity
Releasing a song for charity is a great way for a musician to give back. Not only will you be donating all the track proceeds to the charity of your choice, but also your time and talent.
There are a few steps that can help you release a song for charity:
- Choose a charity
- Write a creative song
- Find musicians to perform the song
1. Choose a Charity
When you decide to release a song for charity, you might already have a cause in mind. But sometimes, you may have many ideas, and choosing the right charity can be overwhelming.
If that’s the case, start by picking a type of charity. For example, you could write a song to help children in need, cancer patients, animals, or the homeless. If you still need help choosing a cause, check out lists of popular, good charities.
It would be best if you chose a cause that needs support. Previously successful charity songs have supported causes in dire need- something that affects many people.
UNICEF, for example, is known for collaborating with artists to raise awareness for what they do for disadvantaged children. Below is an example of their use of a pre-existing song, “Imagine” by John Lennon. Although this is a cover.
When you decide on a charity, ensure they agree with you. You should contact someone within the cause to present your ideas. Most charities will be excited to have someone write a song for them, but some might have reservations. This song is a project for you to work alongside them, not separate from them.
2. Write a Creative Song
Once you have picked a charity, the second task you must undergo is writing the song. There are many things to keep in your mind while writing the music, but ultimately you want to ensure that the song is memorable and creative.
Consider ways to include a call to action in the song to spur people- to tug on their heartstrings. Consider what makes some of the most famous charity songs memorable and borrow from their success.
If you write a song for a kid’s charity, consider making the track fun and humorous. This tactic is another way to help the song become memorable.
Remember that what makes your creation a charity song is where the funds go to. The song One by U2 had its proceeds donated to charity research. The name came from BONO’s organization, the One Campaign.
You also need to know how to play off of emotions well. Think about charity commercials you see on TV. They use soft music. Sometimes the music is smooth with well-timed minor notes or lyrics that tug on heartstrings- like Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” in the ASPCA commercials.
3. Finding Musicians to Perform the Song
Choosing to present your song idea to a musician with a big following would ensure your cause gets more recognition. As long as they find the reason good, most musicians willingly agree to perform it.
If you are a singer/songwriter, you can always choose to perform your song alone. However, the collaboration will increase the pool of listeners, thus garnering more awareness and funds for your chosen charity. So even if you cannot get very well-known musicians to collaborate, choosing some local ones will still help you create an impact.
The greatest example of collaboration was “We are the World.” It sold over 20 million copies worldwide and was built to raise awareness of famine and disease in Africa.
Famous Charity Song Examples
If you need inspiration for your charity single, check out some of the most famous ones.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas” is one of the most famous charity singles created. The super band, Band-Aid, formed by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, performed this hit track. The song raised money for the Ethiopian famine of 1983-1985.
“We Are the World” is another famous charity single by a super band. Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie formed USA for Africa, and the song raised money for famines across Africa.
Another example is Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t Drive Drunk,” supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Wonder is known for using music to create social action. This famous call-to-action song increased awareness of deaths by drunk drivers.
Releasing a song for charity is easy. The main thing you have to focus on is creating memorable music and finding the best cause to support. Including more people in the process will help your charity receive more recognition from the song.