Well, I've been trying to research this on my own and haven't been getting anywhere fast. I figured I may as well float it here for advice.
I did find something from the archive here
Here's what I want to do. I want to have a way to make recordings available in exchange for charitable contributions to a third party.
As far as I know, nobody does this all the time. CD Baby had a deal for a short time that would have fulfilled my needs, but obviously it only fit their business plan as a temporary PR measure, not as a full-time undertaking. They were allowing artists to use their distribution services with net (or was it gross?) sales going directly to charitable organizations.
I talked briefly to an entertainment lawyer and she felt it would be too costly/time consuming to set up an entity for this purpose. I'd like to keep this separate from my personal finances if possible. One stumbling block is that I want to avoid the pitfall of being the middleman between the donor and the charitable organization due to possible tax issues.
I seemed to find better info when looking at non-profits, since that's what they're all about. Unfortunately, I haven't run across a non-profit that deals with the sale of music as a fund-raiser. I happen to know a lawyer that specializes in non-profits; hopefully he can shed some light on this for me.
It seems to me that what I want to set up is a non-profit publisher. Sound right? Does anybody know if such a thing already exists? (I haven't been successful in my googling.)
It may be a little overkill for what we have now -- a seven-song CD (and mp3 digital downloads) -- but if there's nothing out there to fill this apparent need, then it seems likely that it would serve other like-minded artists, as well as our own future endeavors.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.