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If you have an instrument lying around and collecting dust, one of the best ways to put it to use again (and in deserving hands) is donating it to charity.

First off though – Save The Music doesn’t accept donations of used instruments. We purchase high-quality new instruments for schools, and we partner with local retailers to source them at a discount. If you’d like to help us with that effort, here are other ways to donate funds to and raise money for Save The Music.

That said – we want to help! So we’ve compiled some ideas as well as other organizations that take instrument donations.

Start with Your Local Music Retailer or Community Music Nonprofit

First, you should contact your local music retailer or a community music studio and ask if they accept used instruments. They are often associated with the area’s public schools so they may be able to connect you. Find a music store in your area. Other groups that might be in need are theaters, nursing homes, youth and religious organizations.

National and Regional Organizations That Accept Used Instruments

After looking into these options, perhaps you decide that you want to go down the charity route. Below are national and regional organizations that accept used instruments:

Band of Angels – has drop-off locations in parts of Missouri and Kansas.

Collectibles with Causes – helps social service agencies, nonprofits, shelters, schools, individuals with special and educational needs including victims of crime, discrimination, those with physical challenges, financial challenges and more.

Ellis Terry Music Foundation – helps provide students entering middle school who would like to learn music, but through no fault of their own are not going to be in a position to purchase an instrument.

Half Steps Music Foundation – reconditions used musical instruments and donates them to organizations for the advancement and benefits of performing arts and music education. They are based in North Texas, but work with organizations all over the USA.

Hungry For Music – puts quality musical instruments into hungry hands. They serve children who demonstrate a desire to learn music, as well as teachers who have students willing to learn. They have drop-off locations in parts of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

Instrumental Horizons – a nonprofit organization based in Tennessee that donates musical instruments and services to communities in the United States and around the world. Start with their online form to donate a gently-used instrument.

Instruments in the Cloud – online giving platform that connects supporters directly with music classrooms. Donate musical instruments, supplies, and dollars to support music programs in your community. (Bonus: they’re supported by our friends at the CMA Foundation!)

Instruments of Joy – a Nashville-based nonprofit that collects musical instruments for aspiring musicians in need all around the world. They’ve delivered over 700 instruments in over 67 countries, giving joy through the gift of music. A photo and story are sent to the donor when the instrument is delivered.

Mundi Project – committed to creating access to quality pianos, music education, and performance for youth and adults residing in Utah.

Pianos for Education – considers acceptance of piano donations from all 50 states.

The Dreaming Zebra Foundation – delivers supplies to young artists in need, with an emphasis on serving diverse populations of vulnerable youth in underserved communities.

The Gift of Music Foundation – dedicated to creating greater accessibility to music programs, instruments, teachers and the overall benefits of music education. They accept drop-offs at their location in NW Atlanta, or they can work with you to have your donated instrument shipped to them.

Ferree’s Tools is a manufacturer of helpful tools that repair band instruments. Located in Battle Creek, Michigan, they are always looking for used instruments for research and development of new tools that assist the musical instrument industry, especially for school music programs. Drop off your instrument or call for free shipping information at (269) 224-6881.

And this list is in progress! If you are, know of, or have had a good experience with an organization that accepts used instrument donations, email us at [email protected] and we may add it to this post.