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So What Next?

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

As fono has evolved since its inception in mid 2017, we’ve seen the role of our resident DJs and promoters grow right along with us. In those early days, we were fortunate to witness how these so-called social outcasts would challenge, explore, and champion artists from a top floor of repurposed pre-independence building in Kampung Attap. That early organic, raw approach evolved into a philosophy, which grew into an organisational mission: to enrich your life through music discovery. As we’ve grown, we’ve become more intentional in upholding the institution of a socially conscious curated programming.

The power of human curation - sharing music with people, choosing tunes from their hearts and experiences to surprise, comfort, move, even occasionally provoke. And it goes beyond that as we offer our space to host other community events from food pop-ups to art workshops, film screenings to get-together trauma healing sessions. Yes, fono is a registered business but only for practical banking purposes, we are currently working to convert our status to a non profit or social enterprise real soon. Until today, (almost) all our profit goes back to programming and giving back to the community - and we have yet to make back our initial investments.

In the spirit of transparency, these are how we will use the collected donations ($3767 so far, almost halfway of our $10K goal):

  1. The big chunk (roughly 70%) of it will go to rent & utilities. We have been blessed by an extremely supportive landlord so rest assured there is no talks of eviction but we cannot in good conscience abuse their trust any longer.

  2. A tiny portion of the collected donations will be used to support our only (almost) full time staff who is devoted to the cause at the cost of a steady monthly pay check elsewhere because lets face it, keeping the engine well-oiled and running is a time, energy, and emotional consuming task.

  3. Another tiny portion of the collected donations will be channeled to our sinking fund because who knows when will we see better days.

  4. Last, an extremely tiny percentage will be deducted for Donorbox's platform fee (1.5%).

We hope this will clear a little bit of misunderstandings that arose when we first launched our donation drive. We admit that we have failed as a sustainable business but we refuse to fail our mission. Instead, we turn to you, our own community for the support to help make the world a smaller, more connected and vibrant place through harnessing the spiritual power of music and art. “These are unprecedented times” is probably the most overused phrase for the past year but it cannot be any truer - while we are already planning for better days, we will take things one step at a time to avoid burnout and information overload.

We will keep doing what we do: curating, crafting, and delivering the best audio experience whenever we can. We ask that you let us know how you feel, what can be done, or simply share your fono memories. At times like these, music can connect us and provide a sense of respite when events are out of our control. We all hope music will increasingly encourage and enable a come-together despite our many points of view. That’s how we can keep this conversation going far in the future.

Ultimately, we approach our work in this way because we believe music can make your life better and we are able to sustain the work because a global community of donors, artists, volunteers, and listeners believes that too.

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