An understanding, caring staff, business partner and wife have all given me the time to invest energy into one of the greatest joys of my life, Band Together, the nonprofit I co-founded after the tragedy of 9/11. This force for good organization is now 20 years old! It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago Band Together, the volunteer-driven org that has donated over $11 million through live concerts, marketing and mostly corporate fundraising, was born from a simple comment. “We should do something” became a collective vision in our collective conscience. Creating Band Together was not just a reaction to the national tragedy of 9/11. It was a retaliation. Band Together’s strength is in its name. Together, with hope, optimism, hard work and a little rebellion, improving our condition is possible.

The Original Band Together Volunteers 2001

I have always said that positive outcomes can result from tragic events, and Band Together is evidence. 20 years later and we are standing taller than ever, responding to community issues and needs. This is what I try and remember on every anniversary of 9/11. Adversity is the mother of invention. And in darkness, we must create the light.   

Helping create and build Band Together has been one of the greatest joys of my life. I was so lucky to be in the room with Skip Mangum, Tom Lyon and Phil and Shellie Gruber when we set out to do something bigger than ourselves. And later, our all-volunteer organization had the vision to invest in capacity building, where we hired leaders like Matt Strickland, Fraley Marshall, Hannah Parker and Thorne Daubenspeck. Through their hard work, Band Together now brings $1 million into the community each year, which doubled what we were doing as an all-volunteer group. The moral of this story is to invest in your nonprofit. Hire the best people and give them the resources to do their very best work.

Music remains Band Together’s gateway to bringing people together and appreciate something many of us often take for granted — our community.

I know all the people who have invested time, treasure and talent into Band Together are honored that the Triangle community has embraced our dream and helped us grow. Especially the nonprofit community. While our sacred cow is live music, it is our open-source “partnership philanthropy” model that is our secret weapon. The old African Proverb is our language: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The nonprofits we partner with are doing the hard front lines work. They are the real heroes.

The moral is that you may not need to start an overlapping nonprofit. Rather, circumvent your ego and develop partnerships and collaborations to accelerate success.

Fusing my career in the promotional products industry through cause marketing, design, fundraising strategy and promotion is the work I love most. When music, community, marketing and family come together, I am in my happiest place.

The fine people at Brand Fuel and many in our industry step up large to make the Band Together vision a reality. They do so through thousands of volunteer hours and product donations! From VIP giveaways, fan perks, donor thank yous, volunteer appreciation and retail purchases.


I hope you will join Band Together as we aspire to positively impact those in need through the power of live music and partnership philanthropy.

With love and defiant optimism,

Danny Rosin, Co-Founder, Brand Fuel & Band Together