Frequently Asked Questions

How did Hungry for Music get started?

Enrolled at the George Washington University, Jeff Campbell had an idea to hold benefit concerts for the Coalition Against Homelessness, using the talents of street musicians and local bands. The concerts were held in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, Jeff began to understand and observe the healing and transformative powers of music in his life and others. Campbell went through the process of registering Hungry for Music as a nonprofit organization and was granted 501(c)(3) status in March of that year. Check out our timeline.

How can I help Hungry for Music?

Donate an instrument. Learn how

Donate funds. Give now

Donate your time. Become a volunteer

Buy a t-shirt. Shop now

Spread the word through social media.

How do I donate an instrument?

You can donate an instrument by filling out a short form. Depending on your location, we will provide you with a drop-off location or a volunteer will arrange to pick up. In some cases, we will ask you to ship the instrument to us. You can either choose to donate the shipping costs (which is tax-deductible) or we will be happy to reimburse you for shipping costs. We are primarily in the Northeast, but can provide drop-offs and pick-ups throughout the country.

Do you take broken instruments?

Yes, we will take instruments in any condition. We will have them repaired if it is cost efficient. If not, we will donate them to Landfill Harmonic’s program so they can repair or use for parts. Also, occasionally we will give them to artists to transform them into works of art. We have held two auctions using this kind of art and used the proceeds to purchase new instruments!

What kinds of organizations do you help?

We support innovative music programs throughout the United States and abroad. Some of our programs include: Intonation Music Workshop in Chicago, Roots of Music in New Orleans, Road Recovery in New York City, El Sistema music programs in New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC. Please check out the amazing programs around the world that we support on our Partners page.

Do you help individual children?

Yes! We support children whose parents cannot afford to rent or purchase an instrument for a school or after-school music program. Parents should have the school music teacher request the instrument though our website application process. To request a donated instrument, fill out the short form on our Request Instrument page.

Can I request an instrument if I don’t know how to play?

Yes! If you are in a music program at school, in another music program or have a music mentor/private instructor that will be responsible for requesting the instrument.

How do I get an instrument?

By filling out a short application. For individual children, the school or music program teacher must make the request.  If you have any questions, please e-mail us at contact@hungryformusic.org or submit the contact form on the Contact Us page.

How many children have you helped?

Hungry for Music has delivered more than 10,000 instruments in the last 23 years and impacted many thousands more. We have donated music instrument in 48 states and 20 countries in our history. Our vision is to facilitate the donation of music instruments to all those who wish to play. Giving the gift of music has the potential to change lives.

Do you send instruments overseas?

We partner with international organizations such as Bridges Across Borders, Haiti Outreach, and Montgomery County Sister Cities. Through these organizations we are able to facilitate the donations of instruments to other countries.

Where do you get your instruments?

Music instruments are donated to us from a multitude of places. Ironically, more than half of the instruments we receive every year come from other children holding music instrument drives for their bar or bat mitzvahs, boy scout service projects, high school service projects and also support from college music organizations and high school music organizations. We also receive instruments from individuals who are cleaning out their attics, garages and closets. Even some professional musicians have helped us acquire instruments. Finally, we purchase musical instruments from various sources that are funded from individual donations, business contributions, organization support, benefit concert proceeds, merchandise and raffle sales.

How can I learn about your events?

By checking the News & Events page,  subscribing to our newsletter, downloading our mobile app, or through our Facebook and Twitter pages.


If you have any other questions, call us!

202-674-3000