How to donate musical instruments to charity

Written by david stewart
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How to donate musical instruments to charity
Your donation could help budding music enthusiasts who can't afford an instrument. (EnginKorkmaz/iStock/Getty Images)

Musical instruments are created for people to play and enjoy. Rather than allow an instrument to lie unused and gather dust, why not pass it on to a worthy recipient. Many budding musicians can't afford to buy the instruments they need to hone their skills. Recognising the need to encourage them, many organisations work to direct donations to suitable candidates. Other organisations accept vintage musical instruments for exhibition in fundraising events, with the proceeds going toward supporting other charity activities.


  1. 1

    Get an evaluation. Take your instrument to your local music shop and get it inspected by a professional. If your instrument is difficult to transport, a piano, for instance, ask the music expert come over to inspect it. Find out if it is in playing condition and arrange for minor repairs to get it back in shape. If the repairs are major and expensive, wait to find out if the organisation accepting your donation will take responsibility for repairs.

  2. 2

    Contact schools. Get in touch with local schools that include music as part of the curriculum. Find out if they require instruments for pupils to practice at school and ask if they accept instrument donations.

  3. 3

    Contact charity organisations. Visit the websites of organisations such as Sistema England that accept musical instrument donations. Find out details of the types of instruments they accept; some organisations do not accept particular instruments. Provided your instrument is one of the approved types, send an email to the organisation, giving details like the make, age, present condition and the reason for donation.

  4. 4

    Donate the instrument. If you receive a favourable reply from the organisation, finalise the handover details. Ask for a receipt so that you can claim a tax deduction. If the organisation arranges for picking up the instrument, provide your address and other relevant contact details. Alternatively, pack the instrument with all the accessories you have in working condition, and hand it over to a delivery service, if the organisation asks you to have the instrument delivered to them.

Tips and warnings

  • If professional evaluation shows that your instrument may be a vintage piece, get in touch with organisations that accept donations of vintage instruments for their fundraising exhibitions.
  • Contact local orchestras or bands to find out if they are willing to accept your instrument.

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