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Ear Candy Charity Frequently Asked Questions

Donating Instruments

How do I donate a musical instrument?
Ear Candy collects instruments at all 57 Phoenix Fire Stations between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. Click HERE for a map of all the stations currently collecting. In order to track your instrument donation and issue a donation letter for tax purposes, you must fill out all of the information on the Donor Card.  You can download the card HERE  or fill one out on sight at the Fire Station. If you are donating multiple instruments, be sure to indicate all of the instruments you have donated on the card, or fill out a donor card for each instrument. Firefighters will not be able to issue receipts for instruments donated.

Where can I donate instrument?
Ear Candy collects instruments at all 57 Phoenix Fire Stations between the hours of 8 AM and 6 PM. Click HERE for a map of all the stations currently collecting.

You can also drop instruments off at our office during regular business hours. If no one is in the office at the time of your visit you may leave the instrument in the box in the hallway by the office door.

Ear Candy Charity
ASU Community Services Building (Lower Level)
200 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281

Can I mail an instrument donation?
You can mail instruments to:

Ear Candy Charity
P.O. Box 2555
Tempe, AZ 85280

For larger items email info@EarCandyCharity.Org to make arrangements for delivery.

Can I donate a large instrument such as a piano, organ, PA system or drum set?
For larger items please email the following information to Info@EarCandyCharity.org to make special arrangements.

What condition does an instrument donation have to be in?
Ear Candy collects new and gently used instruments. Currently Ear Candy does not have the means to repair instruments. The schools and programs Ear Candy donates instruments to are receiving the instruments due to a lack of funding for music programming. As such, they will likely not have funding available for instrument repair, only routine maintenance. For this reason we prefer donated instruments are in playable condition.

Does Ear Candy repair instruments?
Currently Ear Candy is unable to repair instruments. We are in the process of reviewing solutions for instrument repair, but at this time we are holding on to badly damaged instruments until we find a solution. If a used instrument is in fairly good condition, and the repairs and maintenance needed are slight, Ear Candy donates the instruments to a school, as the value of the instrument is far greater than the cost of the repairs.

Instruments that are beyond repair, or the cost to repair is greater than the cost to replace, are typically donated to a local artist or community organization for use in a project or to create an art piece to be used for fundraising purposes.

Is my instrument donation a tax write-off?
Yes. When you donate an instrument along with a completed Donor Card, Ear Candy will mail you a tax receipt for your records. Ear Candy does not assign a cash value to your donation. You should consult your accountant or tax attorney for further information on how to assign a value to your donation for tax purposes .

You can download a Donor Card HERE or pick one up at the Fire Station you drop the instrument off at.

How is the amount of my tax write off determined?
Ear Candy provides instrument donors with a tax receipt, but does not assign a cash value to your donation. It is the responsibility of you, the donor, to assign the value of the instrument(s) donated. You should consult your accountant or tax attorney for further information on how to assign a value to your donation for tax purposes. If you are donating an instrument you believe to be worth more than $5,000, you will need to have a professional appraisal done in order to claim above that amount.

Is my Donor Card a tax receipt?
Donor cards are not valid tax receipts. Your tax receipt letter will be mailed to you once Ear Candy receives your donated instrument. 

How do I know my instrument has been received / when do I get a letter?
Ear Candy makes every effort to ensure Instrument Donation Letters are sent out in a timely manner. Because Ear Candy collects instruments at all 57 Phoenix Fire Stations, it may take as long as 6 weeks or more from the date of your donation until Ear Candy receives and processes the instrument. Ear Candy cannot send out a donation receipt letter until we have physically received the instrument. If you have questions about an instrument you donated and have not received a letter for, please email us at info@EarCandyCharity.Org.

VERY IMPORTANT – Securely Attaching Your Donor Card
In order to ensure Ear Candy has your information to provide a donation letter, make certain the Donor Card is properly filled out and SECURELY ATTACHED to the instrument. Put it in the case, tape it to the instrument, tie it, or whatever else you need to do to ensure the Donor Card stays with the instrument. If Ear Candy receives an instrument without a donor card we are unable to provide a donor letter. If you have donated an instrument several months ago and have not received a donor letter, email info@EarCandyCharity.Org and we will check our inventory to see if we received your instrument without a Donor Card.

How long does it take to place an instrument?
Typically instruments are placed between 1 to 4 months after receipt by Ear Candy. However, how long it will take for a particular instrument to be placed is dependent on a number of factors.

  • Date donated
  • Current Inventory
  • Condition of the instrument
  • Requests by schools and programs

How will I be notified?
You will receive a letter from Ear Candy in the mail when we receive your instrument, and you will receive another letter from Ear Candy when your instrument is placed.

How does Ear Candy measure impact?
Ear Candy measures impact based on numbers provided by the teachers of the programs we support. When Ear Candy donates an instrument(s) to a music teacher’s class / program, the teacher writes Ear Candy a letter outlining how many youth will be impacted by the donated instrument(s). These impact letters are posted on our website in the Instruments section and are viewable to the public. 

I want to start my own version of Ear Candy, how do I?
Ear Candy will be offering service learning support for communities across the country to start their own Ear Candy in the near future. When these services become available we will have the information posted on our website under the Instruments section.

Receiving Instruments

Does Ear Candy give instruments to organizations outside of the Phoenix area?
At this time Ear Candy only supports music programs in the Phoenix area. If you are located outside of the Phoenix area, Ear Candy will not be able to provide instruments.

Ear Candy has plans to expand to select markets outside the Phoenix area in the near future. At that time qualifying organizations in those areas will be notified. Please sign up for our monthly email news letter and Facebook or Twitter to stay update on Ear Candy operations and expansion. 

Does Ear Candy give instruments to individuals?
Ear Candy does not give instruments to individuals. Ear Candy donates instruments to established music programs with qualified music instructors in place. These established music programs may be in schools or conducted by non-profit organizations.

Does my organization qualify to receive instruments from Ear Candy?
Qualifying organizations include public school music programs, charter school music programs, and music programs offered by non-profit organizations. The student population served must predominately consist of low-income or at risk youth and the program must demonstrate a need for support.

Further Rules:

  1. Programs must have a safe place to store instruments on-site
  2. Donated instruments belong to the program, not individual students. They are meant to be shared (where appropriate) and passed on from year to year.
  3. Programs are responsible for instrument maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity.
  4. Programs can apply no more than two times a year.

What does Ear Candy require of organizations that receive instruments?
Ear Candy seeks to find mutually beneficial partners to fulfill our mission. In order for Ear Candy to provide instruments to a program we require the following in return:

  1. An accurate measure of the impact of the instruments received.
  2. A letter to Ear Candy from the program manager or teacher specifying the instruments donated and the impact they will have, including the number of students impacted.
  3. Ensuring instruments remain the property of the music program.
  4. Providing for secure storage and maintenance of donated instruments.
  5. Providing Ear Candy access for student, teacher and/or parent interviews (where appropriate).
  6. Working together on securing press to cover the partnership's progress.
  7. Informing teachers, students, and staff about obligations to Ear Candy.
  8. Annual online report on status of the music program and donated instruments.

My Organization qualifies, how do I apply to receive instruments from Ear Candy?
If your organization is in the Phoenix area and meets the criteria listed above, you may apply for instruments by submitting the electronic form found HERE .

Financial Donations

How does Ear Candy use my donation?
Ear Candy uses financial donations to fund Instrument Drives®, conduct BackStage Class® music field trips, and support music programming in conjunction with our community partners. Ear Candy also uses a small percentage of the funding we receive for staffing, office supplies, mailing and other traditional operational expenses. In the last fiscal, Ear Candy spent 11% of the budget on operational expenses, and 89% on fulfilling our mission.

How do I make a financial donation to Ear Candy?
Donate Online:
You can make a financial donation to Ear Candy by clicking on the Donate button on the top of any page on the Ear Candy website, or by clicking this link HERE. Our electronic donations are run through Google Checkout. If you do not have a Google Checkout account you will be prompted to create one at the time of your donation.

Can I specify where my donation goes?
You may specify your donation to one or more of the following funding categories:

  • Administration
  • BackStage Class®<
  • Instrument Drives®<
  • Community Partnerships (Music Programming)
  • Expansion (Expanding Ear Candy’s mission to communities across the country)

Donate by Mail:
Write the funding category (defined above) in the note section on the check, or in a letter included with the check. Mail checks payable to Ear Candy Charity to the address below:

Ear Candy Charity
PO Box 2555
Tempe, AZ 85280

For Online Donations:
When you make your donation through Google Checkout, write the funding category (defined above) you would like to support in the notes section. Donate Now!


How do I volunteer for Ear Candy? AKA, how do I become a Roadie?
You can volunteer for Ear Candy by going to the Roadies section of our website and submitting the online form. You will then receive emails from Ear Candy about meetings and opportunities to volunteer.

In the near future Ear Candy will be utilizing an online social network to create a collaborative community for Roadies. If you are already a Roadie you will receive an invitation to join. If you are a new Roadie after the launch, the process for becoming a Roadie will include registering for the online network. Instruction will be posted to the Roadie section at that time.

What volunteer opportunities are available with Ear Candy?
Roadies help fulfill the mission of Ear Candy in several ways:

  • Events: Set up, sell gear & raffle tickets, promote Ear Candy at a booth, ect.
  • Instrument Drives: Solicit instrument donations, participate in instrument delivery events to music programs, pickup or deliver instruments, repair instruments, ect.
  • Funds Raising: Promote Ear Candy in the community, host fundraisers, bake sale, carwash ect..
  • In-kind donations: Secure donated material resources for Ear Candy such as supplies and services that support the organizations operation (Ex. office supplies, office equipment, printing, videography, ect.
  • Special projects: One time projects that Ear Candy staff is unable to do without the help of volunteers.
  • Professional Services: Legal, Financial, Accounting, Media, ect.

BackStage Class®

How does Ear Candy pick students for BackStage Class®?
Ear Candy provides BackStage Class© opportunities to organizations in the community who provide services to at risk youth and have mentor / mentee relationships in place.

What is the cost for students to attend?
BackStage Class® opportunities are free for students and chaperones.

Are BackStage Class® opportunities open to the public?
No, BackStage Class® opportunities are not open to the public. They are strictly offered by invitation only.

Who provides transportation?
Ear Candy does not provide transportation for BackStage Class® opportunities. Ear Candy relies on the partner organizations to transport the students to the events.

How often are BackStage Class® opportunities offered?
BackStage Class® opportunities are offered throughout the year. There is no “regular” schedule as they depend on the opportunities made available to Ear Candy in the community.

Music Programming

Does Ear Candy create programming?
Ear Candy does not create music programming, but collaborates with established community partners with an expertise in music education to provide music programming. An example is our Rock Band Program at the Scottsdale Public Library. Ear Candy  

What is the cost for students to attend?
All Ear Candy music programs are FREE for students to attend.

We want a program, will Ear Candy help?
Currently Ear Candy is at maximum capacity in partnerships for providing music programming. Under no circumstances will Ear Candy partner with individuals to provide music programming. If you feel your organization has compelling program proposal and you are located in the Phoenix area you may contact Ear Candy at info@EarCandyCharity.org to make a proposal.  

Out of state requests for programming
Currently Ear Candy only provides services and support in the Phoenix area. We will be expanding in the future, but at this time we are only partnering with organization in the Phoenix area.

Community Partnerships

I am a local business owner and I would like to host a fundraiser for Ear Candy Charity?
If you would like to raise funds for Ear Candy through your business you can download our Special Event Guidelines & Application (hyperlink). The document outlines the parameters for hosting an event with Ear Candy including Ear Candy’s role in publicizing and promoting the event. Ear Candy’s Special Events Coordinator will contact you within 1 week of submission.

Are there other ways my business can support Ear Candy?
Your business can support Ear Candy in a number of ways:

  • Displaying Ear Candy posters and brochures in your business
  • Supporting Ear Candy through in-kind donations
  • Supporting Ear Candy through financial donations

How do I put on an event for Ear Candy Charity?
Ear Candy Charity has created a Special Event Guidelines & Application package available for companies and event coordinators. You may download the form HERE (hyperlink) to receive more information about hosting a special event with Ear Candy. Our Special Events Coordinator will contact you within 1 week of submitting a completed application.

I am a Musician who wants to benefit Ear Candy Charity, what do I do?
If you are a musician looking to benefit Ear Candy you can download our Artist Application. This package provides a easy, step by step approach to benefiting Ear Candy through your performances. Ear Candy’s Special Events Coordinator will contact you within 1 week of submitting a completed application.

I am a promoter or company who wants to benefit Ear Candy Charity through one of our events, what do I do?
If you would like to benefit Ear Candy through one of your events you can download our Special Event Guidelines & Application (hyperlink). The document outlines the parameters for hosting an event with Ear Candy including Ear Candy’s role in publicizing and promoting the event. Ear Candy’s Special Events Coordinator will contact you within 1 week of submission.

© 2007 - 2011 Ear Candy Productions Inc. A 501C3 Non-Profit Organization
200 E Curry Rd, Lower Level, Tempe, AZ 85281  Contact Us
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