Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Very Good Idea from the Fidelity Investment Company

Finally an entity in the financial sector is trying to do something to help struggling school music programs!

This is what the program is all about (the contents of the e-mail that was sent to me):
FutureStage was created to help empower under-served high school students by funding educational opportunities in the performing arts. This year, MMB has worked with FutureStage to create a holiday focused, free e-card that is fun, timely, and features some great classical-music elements the audience from Musical Assumptions might enjoy.

These electronic cards are designed so that for each one sent, Fidelity gives a donation. More, each holiday ecard features music provided by and distributed on behalf of select regional orchestras. For every ecard sent, Fidelity Investments will donate another $1 to buy new musical instruments for students in under-served schools in the same area as that orchestra.
I think it is a great idea, which is why I'm sharing it here.


Lisa Hirsch said...

We received the same email, but mine had an egregious error in it of the sort that results in my ignoring it. I am highly skeptical about fund-raising in $1 increments, which seems like a waste of effort and, uh, money because it costs something to get out the word about the ecards. It's like that "click to donate a grain of rice to fight hunger" site. No, I'll donate directly to my local food bank.

Fidelity has nearly $3 trillion of customer assets under management - that is not a typo - and is extremely profitable. What does Fidelity get out of encouraging people to send around the ecards? Mindshare? Information about who we all know?

I donate to causes I care about in amounts larger than $1. Fidelity does the same (I checked the web site for the music & theater program), so why the ecard business?

Elaine Fine said...

I imagine that it is a kind of public relations move. Unlike donating to a local food bank, It is difficult to donate to your local inner city school's underfunded music program. Making the connection (or bridging the gap) between high culture in cities and and the underfunded cultural programing in the schools of the cities that support major orchestras is, I believe, a good thing.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I'm not sure it's that hard to donate to an underfunded city school. Sometimes PTAs accept donations. Sometimes there's another established way to make direct donations. I was able to give money to my local underfunded music program after a chance encounter with a student orchestra playing at our local farmer's market.

Elaine Fine said...

Ah, but isn't it nice when you can get somebody else, like a large financial institution, to give money?

Lisa Hirsch said...

At $1 a pop, not so much.

Elaine Fine said...

You do have a point.