Q: Where did the idea for the Songs for Good Challenge come from?
A: Well before the current pandemic, members of the Songs for Good team saw an opportunity to connect music and people power through a competition to create a new soundtrack for democracy. Throughout history, music has played a significant role in successful movements, and in hundreds of conversations with organizations, musicians and regular folks, there was clear consensus about this moment: "yes, we need this."
Q: Is Songs for Good a nonprofit organization?
A: Songs for Good is a fiscally sponsored project of Social Good Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN 46-1323531). This project is a mostly volunteer team committed to amplifying the good, in service to changemaking movements, for artists, for our democracy, for future generations.
Q: Who’s behind this organization and what experience do they have in the music industry and movement building?
A: We are mostly a volunteer team of staff, advisors and partners, with decades of experience in the field of music, arts, public policy and changemaking.
Q: Who funds Songs for Good?
A: Songs for Good has so far been funded by individual donors.
Q: Am I going to win a recording contract from this?
A: No, but Songs for Good will support the songwriters and artists with the top rated anthems in other ways, including song production support, cash awards and promotion. See RULES for more details.
Q: I have a full band and/or I want to write a song with full instrumentation. Can we still submit?
A: Sure! We encourage all artists to submit songs. Our goal is to lift up anthems that can be performed in the streets, in the halls of power and on stages and in order for our review panel to best assess whether the song will work in those contexts, we encourage a light instrumentation version as the primary submission. If it works best to write a full band version first and that’s possible in these social distancing times, and then record a simplified version, then great.
Q: I have a song I’ve already written and released that fits the criteria, can I submit that?
Q: Who is on the review panel?
A: The review panel is a range of people on our team, advisors, music industry professionals and every day folks.
Q: How many panelists will review my song?
A: Each song will be reviewed by at least three review panelists to ensure a robust review process.
Q: What is the criteria panelists are using to review my song?
A: The general review criteria are: universal, inspiring and easy-to-learn.
Q: If my song is a winner, how will my song be promoted and used?
A: Our partner organizations will use the songs to mobilize their movement, at events.
Q: Do I need to have an account on Submittable to submit my song?
Q: Do I retain ownership rights to my song?
A: Yes! See the OFFICIAL RULES for the legal language.
Q: How can I increase my chances of winning?
A: Two ways. Enter multiple songs and promote your song on Instagram and TikTok. The song with the most likes on each platform will automatically qualify for the second round.
Q: Can I submit more than one song?
A: Yes. Please do. Note that only one song per artist will advance to the second round.
Q: Can I submit a song written with someone else even if I don’t have their permission?
A: No, you must have their permission to submit a song
Q: Can I submit a song written by someone else?
A: Yes, if you obtain written permission from the official songwriter.
Q: If I haven’t recorded my song yet, can I just submit the lyrics?
A: The contest is for both the lyrics and song,
Q: Which organizations will be reviewing my song?
Q: How will the organizational vote work?
A: Our partner organizations will share the top 12 songs with their members and they will use rank choice voting to determine the top 5.
Q: How will the public vote work?
A: The top 5 songs will be posted on our website and each person will be allowed to vote once, using rank choice voting.
Q: Are you politically affiliated?
A: No. As part of a non-profit, 501c3 organization we are not affiliated with any political party.
Q: Do I have to be affiliated with a political party to participate?
A: No. We welcome everyone to participate. Information about political party affiliation is not requested at any point during the contest.
Q: If I’m outside the United States, can I submit a song?
A: You are welcome to submit a song although you will not qualify for the award.
Q: If I’m under 14, can I submit a song?
A: Yes! If you are under 18 you will need to have your parent or legal guardian complete a form. If you are under 18, once you submit your song here on our website, we will send you a form to complete and send back to fully qualify for the contest.
Q: If I’m under contract with a recording label, can I submit my song?
A: Yes, if you have permission from your record label to do so.
Q: If I’ve performed my song in public previously, can I still submit my song?
Q: Do I have to have an Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, or TikTok account to submit a song?
A: No. Though promoting via these social media platforms, specifically Instagram and TikTok can increase your chances of moving onto the second round.
Q: I want to help promote Songs for Good to my community, how can I help?
Q: I want to help support Songs for Good, how can I help?
A: Beautiful, thank you! There are lots of ways to help, and we would love your support. Please check out our ABOUT page to learn more.
Q: What is the Mission of Songs for Good?
A: Our mission is to amplify pro-democracy and youth-led civic engagement movements through music. In other words, to amplify the good.
Q: What is your commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion?
A: Songs for Good is committed to shine light on the brilliant work of people historically and currently underrepresented by supporting their leadership and voices in decision-making. We do that as an organization to the greatest extent possible in own operations and through our mission to create a more inclusive, equitable democracy. By amplifying pro-democracy and civic-engagement movements, we are seeking to transform our government so it represents the people, in this election cycle and all future elections.
Q: Is this a one-time thing?
A: To be determined! Depending on the 2020 Challenge success, we may try another.
Q: Who are the previous winners?
A: There are no previous top rated anthems because this is the first contest from Songs for Good. By participating you could be the first!
Q: Why should I sign up for your mailing list?
A: Songs for Good sends out regular updates so signuping will you stay informed of the latest developments. You can sign up here.
Q: Why should I submit my song to Songs for Good?
A: Great question. For several reasons. First, your anthem can fuel movement-building doing amazing things to transform this country for good. Second, your song will be amplified and promoted and potentially heard by thousands of people across the country. Third, there are awards including cash and production - both audio track and music video. Those are just a few. And there is no cost for submission (although we accept donations). We look forward to hearing your power!
Q: If I have already submitted my song to another contest, can I still submit it to Songs for Good?
A: Yes! Please do as long as the rules for that contest allow it.
Q: How does the donation to Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) work?
A: A donor of Songs for Good has offered to donate $10 for every anthem for justice posted on Instagram or TikTok tagged #anthemsforjustice to the Movement for Black Lives.
Q: What is an anthem for justice?
A: That’s up to you to decide. We are not being strict with the definition, but encourage you to consider the context we’re in. The general definition of justice is “just behavior or treatment.” A few considerations to ask yourself before you submit. Does it contain an inclusive vision for this country? Does it honor or support Black people directly or indirectly. Does it support the Movement for Black Lives directly or indirectly?
Q: If my song isn’t “justice-related” will you still make a donation?
A: As noted above, we are not being strict with the definition. If you don’t consider it a justice-related song, then you don’t need to tag it with #anthemsforjustice.
Q: If I’ve already submitted a song, and it’s “justice-related” will you still make a donation?
A: Yes! If you haven’t already, post it on Instagram or TikTok and tag #anthemsforjustice.