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Thread: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

  1. #1
    Registered User John Flynn's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    Richmond, VA

    Default Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    I just had my will redone and there is a form for special bequests. I'm not planning on dying anytime soon, but it got me to thinking about where my instruments and sound equipment should go. I don't have any real "treasures," but I have nice, single builder and major manufacturer instruments and some decent sound gear that are worth someone having and playing. It would be more trouble than it would be worth for my heirs to try to sell, though, and none of my heirs would be interested in owning them, except to hang on the wall.

    I want a charity that is set up to do this, not some local charity that will just take anything and then figure out what to do with it.

    So is there a charity that puts instruments and equipment to good use? It would be great if it were a national charity, because I don't know where I'll be when the time comes.

    And I will beat you to the standard answer: "Just leave them to me and I'll take care of them!" Thanks for caring, but I've heard that one already! LOL

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    Nice idea John and good to think about it before something heirs wouldn't have the slightest clue of what to do and I actually sold alot of instruments and equipment I wasn't using late last year.

    Here is but one organization that comes to mind - Guitars for Vets, they do accept equipment here's the link..

    I'm sure there are other Organizations out there, also maybe contact the local school's music teachers...they my have some ideas.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    This is a nice idea. I am presuming that what you want to do is for somebody to take your instruments and play them, not take your instruments and sell them (to fund some other charitable mission). Here are a couple, although I will state that I haven't checked these out through Charity Navigator or the like:

    Those both appear to be somewhat national in scope and somewhat focused on schools. I'm not sure it is that great a fit for mandolins and the like, but you could ask them.

    Lots of more local roots music schools might be appropriate. I personally really like giving to local organizations but that wasn't what you were looking for. I will plug this one, as it is somewhat local to you (hi somewhat near neighbor). They are a school with a pretty extensive mission to provide lessons for people who can't otherwise afford it:

  4. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Rochester NY 14610

    Default Re: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    I'd be a bit more likely to "go local"; here in Rochester the Rochester Education Foundation sponsors a "Donate An Instrument" program to provide instruments for students who can't afford them. One year I staffed a table at our local jazz festival to accept donations, and the Eastman (no relation to the mandolins!) School of Music and local public broadcasting also assist in the program. You could investigate whether there's a similar program in Richmond.

    A quick Google search showed Richmond-area programs: the Richmond Concert Band runs a "Instruments For Young Hands" effort -- probably focused on band instruments, but perhaps worth talking to. Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation has a similar used instrument donation program.

    Of course, the kind of gear Cafe members are likely to have, isn't exactly what school music programs generally use; they're more likely to want violins or clarinets, than banjos or mandolins. The Bluegrass Heritage Foundation has a "Play It Forward" program;in their words, "We put instruments into the hands of young people nearly every month...Donate your gently-used, playable fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo, or dobro today! Just contact us and we’ll work out the details."

    Of course, there's always Goodwill, which regularly receives and auctions off instruments, some of which show up in our "eBay, CraigsList etc" forum. Not a big fan of Goodwill -- though I did get a bass fiddle stand there for $10 -- but it's an option.

    And I would humbly recommend a "live" donation while you're still able to get the gratification of a "thanks" from the one accepting it -- rather than a post-mortem legacy. In most cases, there comes a point when one realizes that he/she isn't going to use some of those accumulated instruments any more, and that a donation would be welcome, and also give the donor the satisfaction of knowing where the instruments are going -- to a "good cause."
    Allen Hopkins
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  5. #5
    Registered User Gary Alter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Default Re: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    Junior Appalachian Musicians,
    This is an after school jam, learning opportunity for kids that Helen White (Wayne Henderson's significant other) started.
    Whenever I've had odds and ends, capos, tuners, strings, etc. I wasn't using I'd send it along to them and they put it to good use.

  6. #6
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Shutesbury, MA

    Default Re: Bequeathing instruments to charity in a will

    Depending on the instruments, MIM is good (Musical Instrument Museum) in Phoenix, AZ.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Collings A (MT2-V)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress

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