How Band Together has used technology to fundraise during the pandemic ::

How Band Together has used technology to fundraise during the pandemic ::

This article was written for our sponsor, United Way of the Greater Triangle.

Music brings people together — in fact, research can prove it. A study from University of California, Berkeley found that listening to and singing music with other people has been shown to impact neuro-chemicals in the brain and may release a potent amount of endorphins.

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, those moments of happiness and community are all the more important. Through the United Way-partnered Band Together event, music is not only being used to boost moods, but also raise money for nonprofits around the Triangle area.

“We’re a 20-year-old organization, and our first event was actually back in 2001 to honor the heroes and families affected by 9/11— we raised $70,000 that year. Music is a universal language, and people love to come together through music, so we had to think: ‘How can we use this as a platform to help and the foundation of who we are?’ said Thorne Daubenspeck, executive director of Band Together. “Every year we try to pick a new nonprofit to ‘band together’ with. We really embrace this partnership philanthropy model. A lot of nonprofits don’t get the chance to showcase what they do, and we provide that marketing with the additional support of raising money.”

Each year, a committee helps vet and select the nonprofit that Band Together will support, with past partners including Triangle Family Services, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and the YMCA of the Triangle. This year’s partner was United Way of the Greater Triangle and through their network of funded nonprofit partners, the two organizations funded nearly 100 nonprofits in the Triangle.

The event itself features music from a handful of acts, craft and domestic beer, local food, a silent auction and more.

“This year, we had a band that is on a meteoric rise right now called Khruangbin. We hit the home run, and we had a sold-out show. It brought the community together to celebrate, a comeback of sorts,” said Daubenspeck. “There’s nothing better than to bring people together through live music — I think that kind of helps with the healing process.”

Band Together’s October event was a comeback for the organization just as much as it was for the community. In the midst of Covid-19, Band Together had to postpone their 2020 event — which was planned to be an all-out celebration for their 20th anniversary.

Instead, they were able to pivot to a virtual format, using technology to raise funds for nonprofits in the Triangle.

“Technology was huge for us. We had a chance to see more people than we ever had thanks to virtual events and fundraisers,” said Daubenspeck. “Last year, we also partnered with United Way to host a virtual concert with WRAL, both online and on TV. That was a unique opportunity to really spread the word to more people than we ever have before. And I think that was the most important piece for us — to be able to be flexible, but also understand that the need is greater now than ever.”

This year, the organization has leveraged technology to promote raffles on social media. Additionally, on the night of the event, guests were able to text in and donate $5 to be entered for the chance to win signed posters from performing bands.

For Daubenspeck, it’s a relief to get back to in-person events — but the past year has shown just how valuable technology can be for their cause.

“Technology gets us closer to having everybody be able to be part of this show, and I think we’re going to be utilizing that more than ever this year and beyond,” said Daubenspeck. “Now we can hopefully start living our lives as safely as possible and trying to keep on working through this together. We have to take a little bit of what we figured out with technology in 2020 and bring it to the mix, and I think we’re better off for it in the long run.”

This article was written for our sponsor, United Way of the Greater Triangle.

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Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.