BIG UPDATE:
WE WILL BE ISSUING A STATEMENT ON MONDAY ADDRESSING HOW WE ARE MANAGING THE SUDDEN WIDE INTEREST IN THE CORONA RELIEF FUND. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND PATIENCE AS WE BUILD THIS PROGRAM OUT QUICKLY, RESPONSIBLY, AND ETHICALLY.

Corona Relief Fund FAQ

We've understandably been getting a lot of questions about our Corona Relief Fund for musicians with cancelled gigs. Actually, we're totally overwhelmed with requests for help AND requests to help. It's pretty cool actually. We're moving along sorting through stuff and are confident about the success of the program, but it's gonna take a minute to get it right.

For instance, someone pointed out that our flier for it has hands touching each other and that that was probably a dumb move. Sorry. We liked the helping each other out-ness of that image. It still looks pretty sharp to us.

Anyway, here are answers to your questions. If you have one and don't see the answer here, email corona@equalsound.org.

Who are you? Is this legit?

Equal Sound is a 501c3 based in Los Angeles. We were kinda small until three days ago. Our EIN is 82-5429868. Our main activity is presenting concerts, but since we had to cancel ours this weekend we decided to set up a fund to help people instead.

We are teaming up with a couple of other organizations doing similar things to try to centralize publicity around this to bring in more donations. Mika from Mobius Percussion is taking over communications, and we are pretty sure we're going to team up with Artist Relief Tree in some way.

Is this legal?

Yes. As a 501c3 we can collect tax deductible donations. Our accountant told us to get W9s from everyone making requests so that we could figure out how to classify them correctly later when things calm down a bit. We'll probably have to send 1099s, but we have nine months to figure that out, and this had to be set up fast.

Is this secure?

We think so. When we set it up we called our hosting provider and asked what to do. We already had an SSL, so they told us to buy a firewall for the server, which we bought. We also have backups of all the data. The only people who can see the requests and donations coming in are site admins, and right now there is only one (me! Nick Norton! The artistic director figuring this out as he goes!).

People email their W9s for work all the time, and email is pretty seriously not secure most of the time. And we're all pretty screwed anyway, so this seems like a somewhat smaller concern, but we are indeed doing all we can to do right on this front.

Seriously, if you're a web security expert drop us a line.

Who can apply?

Any musician who can be legally paid in the US who has had work cancelled by the COVID-19 outbreak. We need a W9 so we can track these payments. We will not cooperate with ICE.

If you are an artist in need of assistance and it's not for a cancelled performance, visit Artist Relief Tree. We're talking with them about how to combine forces anyway, but go there for now.

How does the money work?

We receive donations via the project page. These are processed by Stripe. Other donations on this website are processed by PayPal. This way we can easily see how much has come in to the fund by only looking at one payment processor at a time.

When a musician applies for assistance, their info goes into a spreadsheet (actually a Gravity Forms response plugin that we can export stuff from when needed). The entry is automatically time and date stamped.

When we have a meeting with our accountant this week so she can tell us how to actually send the payments (max of $500 per cancelled gig), we'll start going down that sheet and sending them out.

Requests are coming in way faster than money. We'll get to yours eventually—we see no reason this program should ever end. It's just gonna take us a few stumbles to get it right and sustainable.

I hit some sort of tech error

That's not a question. But everything we tested works fine. The only thing we can think of thus far is that the server was overwhelmed. Try it in a different browser maybe. We'll call our web host about this on Monday.

How can I help?

SPREAD THE WORD. The link to share is equalsound.org/corona. Go ahead and tag us on social media (links in footer). Also, donate.

If you are an HR person, lawyer, in business admin/operations, or website security person, we could probably use some advice. Email corona@equalsound.org if so.