Recently I was reading about Pythagoras, and his musical theories. In the book, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Hall writes,

“Pythagoras had such a marked preference for stringed instruments that he even went so far as to warn his disciples against allowing their ears to be defiled by the sounds of flutes or cymbals. He declared that the soul could be purified from its irrational influences by solemn songs sung to the accompaniment of the lyre.”

Oh that Pythagoras. What a riot.

We are going to break all of his rules today.

You want to know what songs should be on every fundraiser’s playlist?

Positive upbeat songs!

However, according to Manly P. Hall, “Plato depreciated the notion that music was intended solely to create cheerful and agreeable emotions, maintaining rather that it should inculcate a love of all that is noble, and a hatred of all that is mean. In his mind, nothing could more strongly influence a person’s feelings than melody and rhythms.”


I still say, positive, upbeat songs!

Why should positive upbeat music be on your playlist? Because fundraising is hard and music should make it easier.

I should mention my musical taste tends to the NEW music, and trends towards the positive and upbeat in every way.

So if you like positive, upbeat music, to make your fundraising workday more fun, I think you will like this list.

OK I lied there are more than ten songs. Sorry. I couldn’t pick just 10.

I take no responsibility if these songs get stuck in your head. I am your DJ for the day. Play these at your own risk. (But probably use headphones in case there is swearing. I make no promises about the swearing).
If you like Hiphop and Rap:

“All I do is Win” DJ Khaled – From Kishshana Palmer (When you made the ask, and they said YES!!!)

“Gratitude” – Little Simz ft. The Hics (When your nonprofit is going to demonstrate or protest – Get pumped!)

“Two times a charm” – Leikeli47 (When you need to take life less seriously)

“Hahaha Jk” – Das Racist (When you’re dank from a hellweek and you just want to blow it all off)

“Best Day Ever” -Mac Miller (When you’re super happy that your favorite volunteer showed up and did a bunch of work with you)

“Did I” and “FWU” – Kehlani (1 for when you’re doing really well and you wish your old boss could see, and 2 for when you see your donor loyalty numbers and they are SUPER GOOD)

“Freaks and Geeks” -Childish Gambino (When you’re happy at work as your campaign all falls into place)


If English words distract you:

Animus Vox –The Glitch Mob (There’s an incredible video for this too (Shaolin) but it’s also just a good song to get PUMPED for your workday!)

Pricks of Brightness” and “Cream on Chrome” – Ratatat (I love listening to Ratatat when I’m already happy. It makes me stay there)

“Disintegration Anxiety” – Explosions In the Sky (This is a surprise one for you)

“Four Seasons Spring and Summer (Heavy Metal Version)” (This is when you’re in your groove and you just need to stay focused.)

“Karate” – Babymetal (This video is truly incredible. POW. This is when you just have this huge grant application to do and you’re going to PLOW THROUGH IT!)

(Picture Pythagoras clapping his hands over his ears for this one!)


If you like Pop music:

“The Sound” – The 1975  (When your nonprofit makes a really cheesy newsletter and you’re worried about how it will go down)

“Flesh without Blood” – Grimes From Fundraiser Grrrl Rory Green (When your event has gone horribly, horribly wrong and you basically want to run away)

“Break Your Heart Right Back” – Ariana Grande & Childish Gambino (When you see a donor’s name on another nonprofit’s donor list, after they stop giving to you)

Chasing Shadows” -Santigold (Walking home from work, by yourself)

Boyfriend” – Tegan and Sara – (when you see a donor in public and you don’t know if they want you to hang with them or keep moving)

Wrong” – Zayn and Kehlani  -(When a supporter turns you down when you ask for a donation)


To cool down:

Te Amo” – Atlas Sound  (A lot of his songs are atmospheric and this song is no exception, it’s beautiful to listen to when you’re looking at all of the work program staff have done, or when you’re looking at a beautiful dinner your partner has cooked for you. Many uses.)

Ridin Round” – Kali Uchis (The line “He did not realize I was my own hustler” reminds me of fundraising! It’s a fun song when you feel smug about saving the world with your magical fundraising powers- cruise home to it.)

“Telegraph Ave” – Childish Gambino (The video for this is mellow up until the end when it goes bizarre so I didn’t include it, but it’s so beautiful, especially with the background vocals from Jhene Aiko, speaking of…)

“Spotless Mind” -Jhene Aiko (Constantly have this on replay, it’s good for kind of thinking about your life and realizing how you’ve changed, from the early, idealistic days, to now, when you’ve found out how to apply your powers for good.)

“Curse” – The Internet (When you want to leave fundraising, but you just can’t…-or just when you’re mellow and peaceful and want to stay that way.)
Did I leave some of your favorite songs out? Please, tell me what your favorite fundraising work songs are!