FAQ’s ABOUT RPM

What is RPM and why do we do what we do?

  • RPM is a nonprofit that provides strategy and support for musicians and comedians making change.

How was RPM founded and why?

  • RPM was founded in 2005 by musicians, managers and advisors from bands like Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and The Beastie Boys in order to share best practices and lessons learned so that all artists—no matter where they are in their careers and no matter what issues they care about—can have access to the resources they need to realize their full potential to create change.

Who is on your Board?

  • The RPM team is made up of some of the most innovative and successful professionals in entertainment, activism, technology, and philanthropy. Meet the board, staff and advisory council.

How does RPM work? What services does RPM provide?

How we work is simple:

  • We have a lot of online tools and resources that you can access anytime.
  • We organize conference calls on specific issues or topics.
  • We even offer peer meetings and retreats in various locations throughout the country.
  • We can get on the phone for one-to-one advising.

Whatever you have time and need for, we can help.

Does RPM charge a fee?

  • The short answer is no—we don’t charge artists for our services. We support ourselves through generous donations made by foundations, institutions, supporters, and members of our network.
  • When we implement a philanthropic campaign or fund (where we are helping an artist raise a lot of money for a cause) we ask that 15% stay with us to support our mission and work. But that is money that we generate with the artist, rather than a fee-for-service or anything out of the artist / manager’s pocket.

How do I get started with RPM?

Contact us when:

  • You are planning a tour or about to go on tour.
  • You are about to record or release an album.
  • You are putting together a digital strategy.
  • You want to engage your fans.
  • You want more information about an issue.

What are some examples of things that have worked?

  • Artists like Bassnectar, My Morning Jacket, and tune-yards have raised over $2 Million for the organization that they care most about through our addRPM program, which helps them embed small donations on every ticket that they sell.
  • RPM teamed up with Taskforce and HeadCount to flood social networks in the days before the 2014 election with #GoVote images, messaging and information. More than 500 artists—musicians, comedians, TV personalities, visual artists, and more—posted photos of themselves holding #GoVote/#Vota art, or just posted the art itself, along with vital voter protection and polling information.
  • In 2012, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon reached out to RPM after founding Artists Against Fracking (AAF) to engage like-minded artists from the RPM network who care about the environment. As a result, RPM connected 15 artists to the AAF effort who continue to take action, raise awareness, and inform fans about the dangers of fracking. An email from Yoko Ono in response to the help RPM provided attests to the importance of our work and the solid reputation of our organization:

“Thank you so much for your incredible help! Nobody was reaching out to them [the artists], since nobody could. You did it for us! We are very lucky. With love, yoko.”

See more strategies and results.

What do artists and managers say about your work?

  • “With RPM’s support, we funded and launched (and are now maintaining) a charitable fund. It has been deeply empowering to pair my music with my beliefs and to have a tangible impact on the causes I want to support. It’s given every show I play more meaning.” Merrill Garbus, Tune-Yards
  • “I thought I was the only manager who cared about this stuff–and now I am sitting in a room with 40 others!” Jessica Weitz, artist manager
  • What’s great about a liaison like [Revolutions Per Minute] is that they know what is needed in each area [so] we can be more effective with our philanthropy.” —Patrick Hallahan, My Morning Jacket

What do the organizations that you work with say about your work?

  • “Successful advocacy requires a compelling message, credible messengers, and effective delivery…RPM [and the artists it works with don’t] just understand this; they make it happen, and in doing so change the world for the better.” —Steve Murchie, Campaigns Director, Gulf Restoration Network
  • “This donation is more energizing to our movement than much bigger donations because of who it came from!” Jessy Tolkan, Executive Director of Energy Action Coalition about a $2,500 donation a musician made.

How do I support RPM?

  • To quote Donna Summer, RPM “works hard for the money!” For every $1 that you give us, we will turn it into $2.60 of artist-powered contributions to social change. Donations of all kinds welcome.

I’d love to see RPM’s financials.

  • Just email us and we’ll send over our most recent tax returns and audits.

Don’t see your question on this list? Email us or check out the video below.