Our Guiding Principles

Our Guiding Principles The 15 principles below reflect the Ellis Music Foundation's beliefs about the role of philanthropy and the impact they want this foundation to have. The principles guide what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.

While many of them are fundamental to the way we operate, we will remain open to amending them as we grow in our mission.

  • This is a 501 (c) (3) public foundation driven by the interests and passions of its founders.
  • Philanthropy plays an important but limited role.
  • Music and the arts have great potential to improve lives around the world.
  • We are funders and shapers we rely on others to act and implement.
  • Our focus is clear and limited and prioritizes some of the most neglected issues.
  • We identify a specific point of intervention and apply our efforts against a theory of change.
  • We take risks, make big bets, and move with urgency. We are in it for the long haul.
  • We advocate vigorously but responsibly in our areas of focus.
  • We must be humble and mindful in our actions and words.
  • We seek and heed the counsel of outside voices.
  • We treat our grantees as valued partners, and we treat the ultimate beneficiaries of our work with respect.
  • Delivering results with the resources we have been given is of the utmost importance and we seek and share information about those results.
  • We demand ethical behavior of ourselves.
  • We treat each other as valued colleagues.
  • Meeting our mission to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need requires great stewardship of the money we have available.
  • We leave room for growth and change.