If you want to create the ultimate 2021 nonprofit playlist, you have to ask your community - Generocity Philly


Aug. 27, 2021 4:29 pm

If you want to create the ultimate 2021 nonprofit playlist, you have to ask your community

So we did.

(Canva photo, Generocity design)

Call it community-centric playlisting.

We wanted music to fill these last few days of summer so we reached out to our community via our daily newsletter. We asked: what one song HAS to be part of the ultimate nonprofit playlist?

The responses were as varied as the nonprofit sector itself. Hopefully you will find something completely new to you (I certainly did!).

So here are the songs our community members picked as must-haves, along with the occasional notes they offered about why.

(TL DR? Scroll all the way to the end for a Spotify playlist of the 21 songs I thought worked the best together.)

1. David Chiles, Lutheran Settlement House

“The chorus was on a loop in my head this past year: ‘I am going to make it through this year if it kills me.'”

2. Peggy Curchack

“I suspect lots of us won’t keep it to just one…”


  • Woody Guthrie – Do, re, mi
  • Buffy St. Marie – My Country ’tis of thy people you’re dying
  • Romanovsky and Phillips – What Kind of Self-Respecting F***** Am I

3. Graziella DiNuzzo

From our Partners


  • Help by the Beatles

4. Dawn Frisby Byers, Pennsylvania Humanities Council

5. Andrew Frishkoff, LISC Philadelphia

6. Fontaine Gutierrez, West Philadelphia Skills Initiative

“Ciara’s ‘Level Up’ always gets our participants up and dancing.”

7. Jennifer Leith, The Douty Foundation


  • Beautiful Day by U2

8. Lisa Longo, Karen Singer Tileworks

9. Rochonne Preston, The Urban League

“I am so sorry, I just got carried away!”


  • Mr. Wendal Performed by Arrested Development
  • Another Day In Paradise Performed by Phil Collins
  • I Need a Dollar Performed by Aloe Blacc
  • No Woman, No Cry Performed by Bob Marley
  • Count on Me Performed by Bruno Mars
  • I Smile Performed by Kirk Franklin

10. Joe Pyle, Scattergood Foundation

“I often think it would be fun/powerful to teach a course only using musical lyrics. I have been re-listening to CSN and CSNY, they were a powerful force in my musical youth.”


  • Public Enemy and Stephen, Stills, He Got Game

11. Valerie Ross


  • Jimmy Cliff, Wonderful World, Beautiful People
  • Crosby, Nash, Stills & Young, Heart of Gold
  • Youngbloods, Get Together
  • Natalie Merchant, Kind & Generous
  • Beatles, All You Need Is Love
  • Bruno Mars, You Can Count on Me
  • Katy Perry, Firework
  • Public Enemy, Fight the Power
  • Michael Jackson, They Don’t Really Care About Us (Brazil Version)
  • Steve Wonder, Love’s in Need of Love Today

12. Danielle Selber, Tribe 12

“Musical theater recommendations!”


  • A million dreams from Greatest Showman
  • Non-stop from Hamilton

13. Chris Wink, Technically Media

14. Steve Wray


15. Sabrina Vourvoulias, Generocity

I couldn’t resist including my own choice in the list, and I do so love this Afro-Cuban duo…

As promised, the Spotify playlist is here — with some different selections than the ones highlighted in the post.



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