A couple of weeks ago, I noticed Beth Ann Spiegel’s status update on Facebook:

Beth Ann Spiegel needs your help finding hip songs (rock/alternative/punk/indie/folk/bluegrass/reggae, etc) related to disability/ability, respect, achievement, dignity, friendship, etc. –basically a soundtrack for The Arc of Atlantic County — to play on Stockton’s radio station…we’ll be on 91.7 WLFR talking about The Arc and playing songs connected to our work. Thanks for your help, all!!”

Beth Ann is a fund development and communications associate with The Arc of Atlantic County (New Jersey). The Arc is the world’s largest community-based organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with more than 780 state and local chapters across the nation, including Beth Ann’s.  This sounded like a perfect way to procrastinate on book writing and still help a nonprofit out, so I spent some time scrolling through iTunes and offered some suggestions: Beautiful (Christina Aguilera), Unwritten (Natasha Bedingfield), New Soul (Yael Naim), Everyday (Dave Matthews Band), Waiting (Green Day), and Shine (Collective Soul).

The more time I spent thinking about it, the more I was intrigued by ways that other nonprofits could use this soundtrack concept. How about collecting song suggestions from your supporters, or even iTunes playlists, and then having your fans vote on the best ones? You could use the winning soundtrack during a DJ’d event or get on a local radio show like Beth Ann is doing this afternoon.

Beth Ann explained how this opportunity came about:

“My colleague and I went to a business mixer and met a radio show host, Joe Molineaux, from the local college’s station–he also runs their small business development department. He hosts a radio program called Money, Management, Marketing and Music. He invites people from small businesses and nonprofits to talk about their work for a whole two hours–but must say something about each of the first 3 M’s. Last night he booked us instantly, on the spot, for September 1st. We’ll get to play a selection of music over those two hours that reflects what we do. Absolutely brilliant, and a way to really engage listeners. We’re promoting an October walk-a-thon to the college students through the radio show so we want them to be able to relate to the music and really get what we do. It’s been such fun thinking of songs and helps us consider our work in a different way. Would be a good exercise for any nonprofit, I think.”

Want to hear Beth Ann’s playlist for The Arc live? Tune in today at 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. ET (1:00-3:00 p.m. PT) to 91.7 WLFR or listen online at www.wlfr.fm, the radio station of Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. I’m on my way out to the Charlotte airport in just a few, but I’m going to try to catch some of it on my netbook.

Listen in and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Or tell us what songs would be on your organization’s playlist. Happy mixing!

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