// 10th Anniversary Campaign

Statement of Need: Many veterans do not seek services after returning home from combat, while often struggling to adapt to civilian life. Many SW:S participants avoid therapy or military resources because of the stigma associated with PTS and depression. The Veterans Administration estimates that approximately 20 veterans take their own lives each day, of that, 14 have little to no contact with the department. SW:S has reached a critical juncture in our growth as we transform from a founder-led program to an independent, sustainable nonprofit organization. Key initiatives designed to solidify, amplify, and sustain SW:S. We have made significant progress over the past two years by strengthening our organization to align with future goals; partnering in scientific research to validate our service model; and cultivating greater public awareness.

SW:S has been working on a very modest budget, but the ratio of SW:S resources to impact is unprecedented. Overall impact from 2012-2020 nearly 50 weekend retreats held; 530 attendees, expanding to 2-3 family members and subsequently to 3-5 peers, bringing a total number of community members impacted to approximately 6,000. In addition, we have served 675+ combat veterans through SW:S Collaborative Songwriting programs through a partnership with Boulder Crest’s Warrior PATHH.

As we approach 2022—our 10th anniversary—we have embarked on a strategic multi-year campaign to deepen our overall development and organizational growth.

In considering our potential as a nonprofit organization to effect positive change in the lives of vulnerable veteran populations, we are seeking multi-year funding commitments (through 2023) to build capacity and strengthen our future programming efforts by increasing organizational sustainability and scale life- changing programming to reach additional veterans and their families.

Capacity-building can mean many things for nonprofits. At this juncture, for SW:S it means investing in:

Core Programming

  • Weekend Retreats that use SW:S Collaborative Songwriting and creative applications grounded in the tenets of positive psychology led by master artists trained within the SW:S model.
  • Post-retreat materials and offerings in which participants are sent home with tools to continue to explore their innate creativity and allow alumni to have something tangible to share with their family, friends, and community; and post-retreat calls that reinforce rich connections, bring positive memories back from the weekend.
  • PATHH support expansion with our partner to provide revenue stability and provide a scalable program with the SW:S Collaborative Songwriting module embedded.

The SW:S Team

  • Curriculum and Training designed to cultivate resources to develop and train new teams with our founders at the helm to result in true organizational scalability.
  • Organizational Strength by building our organizational foundation to be sustainable with adequate working capital in the form of unrestricted operating support which allows us to add key staff and resources to be responsive to the needs of the population we serve.

Evidence-Base Applications and Outcomes

  • Strengthen our Collaborative Songwriting programs by continuing our successful research partnerships with major institutions and veteran service organizations and refining our offerings to identify the most impactful partners to scale outcomes of the Collaborative Songwriting programs.
  • Further develop and apply Positive Psychology/Post Traumatic Growth (PTG) applications and assessments for use in our unique target populations, help further the science of building strength and resilience

Outreach and Community

  • Cataloging, sharing content from the treasure trove of more than 400 soldier songs documented in music, photos, video, and lyrics, and translating them to become a collective forum to spark healing in conflict zones around the world.
  • Community events/performances that create ways to advance the music and build connections around the globe to help foster our work, expand our social and digital resources to tell SW:S stories to global audiences, and secure high profile ambassadors to bring greater attention to our work.
  • Bridging Communities through a curriculum for discussion groups, civilian and military alike that would bring a greater understanding and support for the challenges faced by our returning service members.

Summary:

In order to reach our goals as we approach our milestone 10th anniversary, we are seeking multi-year support of individuals and organizations whose values align around the vitality of deep connections, dialogue, and relationships; strong, committed leadership; and results that have the potential to help create wider ripples in the world at large that SW:S embodies. We feel that an opportunity to partner over a multi-year funding cycle will leverage more funding and help us achieve a clear path to a stronger future and expand our work to assist more in need.

To learn more about our future plans and support our 10th Anniversary Campaign contact:

Kristin Starling, Executive Director at kristin@songwritingwithsoldiers.org

REFLECTIONS Volume One

In 2020 we published our first compilation book of stories to share publicly with permission from these participants. This documents the stories behind the songs to give insight into the power of building creativity, connections and strengths.

Coming in 2021

Coming in 2022

SongwritingWith:Soldiers
632 Fogg Street, #8
Nashville, TN 37203

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© 2020 SongwritingWith:Soldiers, Inc,, a nonprofit, 501c (3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible. Tax ID # is 26-1626709.

SongwritingWith:Soldiers transforms lives by using collaborative songwriting to expand creativity, connections and strengths.

If you or a veteran you know is in need of other assistance beyond the programs of SW:S, please call the confidential Veteran's Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK or dial 911. If you are in need of immediate help or if this is an emergency, please go to your nearest emergency room or dial 911.