Guidelines for Relationships with NAfME

Guidelines for Relationships by Outside Organizations with the National Association for Music Education

National Association for Music Education enters from time to time into relationships with outside organizations. We do so to pursue the strategic goals of the association, and to strengthen the association itself so that it can better serve those goals, and most of all to better achieve the mission of the association, which is to “Advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.”

The following guidelines are designed to define the nature of the relationships desired by NAfME.

Review of Relationships with Outside Organizations

The designated staff has the authority to pursue opportunities and negotiate terms within the parameters provided in this document. Any departures from the guidelines in this document require Board approval; any departure from the pre-approved strategies for use of NAfME service marks or trademarks requires NAfME Executive Director and designated staff approval (in consultation with the national leadership).

Each proposed relationship will be reviewed by the Executive Director to ensure that it is likely to meet the cost/benefit requirements. Each will be reviewed by NAfME Legal Counsel when required under “legal aspects and liabilities” above. New relationships will be reviewed as outlined below Key to this review process is the Partnership Review Committee (PRC). The PRC will consist of members of the National Executive Board and additional NAfME members, appointed by the President, and designated staff. Further:

The PRC will meet as appropriate.

The primary focus of the PRC will be to provide guidance to staff on ways to refine the decision-making process and participate in the decision-making process when it comes to approving new partnerships, particularly those built around educational projects. The PRC will have responsibility for reviewing partnerships already in place and to respond to proposed partnerships with (a) approval, (b) rejection, or (c) decision to pass on to the Executive Committee or full NEB (as appropriate) for final decision. Such review should be limited to ensuring that potential projects (a) further the mission and strategic goals of the association as defined by the National Executive Board and (b) are in accordance with the limitations set forth in these guidelines.

The PRC will respond to new proposals and issues related to partnerships in an expedient manner (approximately 2-3 business days).

A list of relationships will be maintained by staff and provided to the National Executive Board for review at each Board meeting.

Structure of Relationships with Outside Organizations

Nature of relationships with outside organizations: The relationship must be selected to further the goals of NAfME as stated in the NAfME Mission Statement and the NAfME Strategic Plan. Further, the benefits to NAfME and to music education must be of national scope and sufficient as to justify any and all projected expenses involved. (“Expenses,” in this sense, should be taken to encompass direct financial costs, cost of staff and overhead, and non-quantifiable “expenditures” of member attention, association prestige with select audiences, and the like. “Benefits” may include monetary support for NAfME programs or other programs in support of music education and non-quantifiable contributions to public awareness and the like.) It is understood that the officers of the organization involved will make certain that they gain significant “cause-related marketing” benefits from such a relationship; it is the task of NAfME staff to ensure that the relationship is in furtherance of NAfME’s tax exempt purposes and that NAfME and the music education field also gain sufficient benefit from the relationship. An evaluation by the Executive Director (in consultation with the NAfME leadership) of this cost/benefit factor, together with the other factors listed in this document, are the only guidelines limiting such relationships.

Acceptance of Funds: NAfME may accept funds as a part of a relationship with an outside organization. Such funds may be in the form of direct grants or of royalties. Such funds will only be accepted, however, if the acceptance does not pose a conflict of interest and in no way impacts the objectivity of the association, its members, activities, programs, or employees, or jeopardizes NAfME’s tax exempt status. The avoidance of conflict of interest includes keeping the processes of determining NAfME direction, NAfME publications or media content, and NAfME program design free from influence by outside organizations. The avoidance of conflict of interest does not include the blanket exclusion of any class of organizations, for example music-related corporations, from relationships, especially where partnerships seem most viable with corporations from within the music industry.

Exclusivity in relationships with outside organizations: NAfME will not enter into relationships with outside organizations that provide for an exclusive partnership in any significant area of NAfME’s endeavours as an association. For example, NAfME will not enter into an agreement that restricts our ability to enter into new agreements with third parties in the general area of publishing, of web communications, or of broadcasting. Notwithstanding this principle, we recognize that support of a specific event, publication, or service may need to come from a single source. In such a case, NAfME will exercise special caution so that we avoid conflicts of interest and guard against any appearance of conflict of interest. Further, we recognize that sponsorships (as outlined below) may need to involve category exclusivity; that is, a major title sponsor for NAfME may require that no other sponsor from that market segment (e.g., auto manufacturing) be granted parallel sponsorship during the duration of that sponsorship. Also, an exception exists in that service providers may be granted exclusivity for specifically defined products or services where such grant of exclusivity is a logical and customary requirement for carrying out the service. In another attempt to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, ideas for relationships that (a) originate with NAfME staff (and are thus not subject to confidentiality that may surround ideas that come from entities outside NAfME) and (b) logically would involve a member of the music industry will be pursued by contacting a number of different corporations that might wish to be involved with a Request for Proposals.

Legal aspects and liabilities: NAfME will not enter into relationships that expose the association to legal liabilities. NAfME Legal Counsel will review any agreements regarding potential relationships that have possible legal liabilities connected with them. NAfME will not enter into any relationships that jeopardize the status of NAfME as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Public Relations: NAfME will not enter into relationships in which the use of the NAfME name and any NAfME service marks might reflect badly on the association in the eyes of significant numbers of members or other key constituencies. NAfME will retain editorial control over the use of the NAfME name and NAfME service marks and will retain discretion to discontinue the use of the NAfME name and NAfME service marks at any time. Where partnerships involve the development of advocacy resources that refer to research results, those materials should include citations of the source materials where such citations can be made in an unobtrusive fashion that does not interfere with the public relations goals of the materials. All decisions in this area are subject to the strictures on “Review of Relationships,” above.

The association of the NAfME name with products or services widely considered inappropriate for use by the general public or by children will not be allowed.

The association o
f the NAfME name with political or social movements external to the mission of NAfME will only be undertaken where such association is the part of an alliance that is likely to materially further the mission of the association.

The association of the NAfME name with corporations that wish to publicly connect their products or services to the concept of music education will be undertaken when the benefits to the association and to music education are, in balance, strongly positive.

The use of the name, logos, and other service marks of corporate entities on curriculum materials should not be primarily for the purpose of commercial promotion, where “commercial promotion” is construed narrowly as the placement of advertising for specific products or services. The association of corporate sponsors with the public good of music education, however, is an expected part of any cooperative agreement.

Materials, programs, and initiatives developed in cooperative agreements should reflect the same standards of quality as those typically used for the development of resources by NAfME.
Public relations efforts connected with cooperative agreements should focus on the benefits of music education programs, using personalities as vehicles for the message where and if appropriate.

Member and Student marketing: The NAfME member list can be rented through normal professional channels. The use of the list for marketing connected with relationships with outside organizations will be limited to those uses that are likely to be of inherent interest to the members. NAfME will not enter into marketing efforts for which the target of a marketing effort comprises the children in members’ classrooms, unless assurance can be obtained that no inappropriate pressures or methods are used to gain sales from minor children. NAfME will not engage in the forced exposure of students to commercial advertising for specific products or services. In any marketing programs to students that are allowed, adequate controls will be established, involving some or all of:

  • Providing members, as professional educators sensitive to community norms and mores, with appropriate cautionary statements and sufficient information, so that they can decide whether involvement of the students in their care is appropriate (given age level, community standards, and so on).
  • Avoiding any implication that NAfME is advocating the involvement of minor students in activities or consumption patterns not generally accepted by major legal, educational, or medical authorities (e.g., NAfME will not promote involvement of minor students in activities considered inappropriate by the national council of mayors; in educational practices considered developmentally inappropriate by NAfME or other associations including CEC and NAEYC; or in the consumption of products or the adoption of lifestyles identified as inappropriate by the Surgeon General of the United States.)
  • Where possible, cooperative agreements that involve competitions or grants to music educators should strongly encourage winning music educators to become members of NAfME if they are not already members. In all cases, staff will work with state association officers to ask these winners to become members.

Types of Relationships with Outside Organizations

Sponsorship: Requires comprehensive Executive Director review, with oversight by the National President (with additional input from members of the NEB at the President’s discretion). Sponsors will agree to provide substantial funding to support all or part of NAfME programs and activities, and will receive commensurate recognition in collateral materials and in NAfME communications and at NAfME events. Educational projects undertaken with a sponsor will be subject to PRC review as outlined under “educational cooperative ventures.”

Endorsements: Reviewed and approved by the PRC on behalf of the NEB, endorsements allow the outside organization to use the NAfME logo or other service marks, including an “NAfME Endorsed” logo. Staff will review proposed endorsements, depending on input from a panel of selected members of NAfME where needed, before submitting potential endorsements to the PRC. All endorsements will be reviewed on an annual basis. The logo and other service marks may be used with permission in situations in which NAfME has not formally endorsed a product or service. This will be done, however, only when NAfME has formally entered into one of the other relationships listed here with the outside organization in question. Exceptions will be allowed when the use of the logo or other service mark is clearly a simple matter of conveniently representing the existence of a link on a web site or similar avenue for communication.

Unrestricted Grants: NAfME may accept unrestricted grants from outside organizations. In this case, the outside organization is permitted to use the NAfME logo and service marks in reporting the fact of their generosity in supporting music education through NAfME. Various other forms of recognition, including mention in NAfME media, listing on plaques or other tangible items, receipt of certificates or awards, and the like may be arranged by NAfME staff in consultation with the national leadership of NAfME.

Restricted Funds: At the discretion of the Executive Director with the oversight of the President, NAfME may enter into agreements with outside organizations to provide funding to restricted funds established within the parameters of Give a Note Foundation. These funds must be structured to be consistent with the NAfME mission and goals, must be consistent with the status of NAfME as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and must be subject to sufficient oversight by NAfME as to ensure that monies in the fund are spent appropriately. Normally, this will mean that any governing council for the fund has majority or parity representation from NAfME officials.

Member services: At the discretion of the Executive Director with the oversight of the President, NAfME may enter into agreements with outside organizations that allow those organizations to provide specific services to members and to use the NAfME logo and service marks in promoting those services. Among these services may be insurance, credit cards, discounts of various types, access to other goods and services, and the like. NAfME staff may negotiate appropriate return in the form of direct payments or royalties for these services. NAfME will retain ownership rights to all NAfME programs, activities, campaigns, logos, trademarks, membership lists, and other NAfME materials. All materials produced by NAfME for a service program are under the sole ownership of NAfME. Any use of these materials by the organization outside the expressed terms of the service provider agreement requires written permission of NAfME.

Educational Cooperative Ventures: With approval from the PRC, NAfME may enter into agreements with outside organizations that are providing products or services with significant potential educational impact in an effort to increase that impact on the field of music education. The development of cooperative ventures around such products and services shall not be limited by style or genre of the music presented. Products or services in this category might include radio or television broadcasts, Internet projects or systems, audio or video recordings, events, and the like. All materials produced by NAfME for such ventures are normally under the sole ownership of NAfME. Any use of these materials outside the expressed terms of the agreement requires the written permission of NAfME.

Licensing arrangements: Licensing arrangements: Subject to a review process specifically set up to meet legal requirements, including a two-step review process. First, products submitted for licensing will be subject to staff review. Passing that step, potential licensees will pay a fee and submit product for review by a panel of NAfME members
. If that panel approves, the potential licensee would pay a fee for the right to display an “NAfME Accepted” logo for a one-year period. No name other than NAfME and the licensed organization’s may appear on the product, without the prior written permission of NAfME. Any use of the NAfME logo or service marks must be pre-approved by NAfME.

Recognition: Where smaller-scale projects, publications, or products are manifestly supportive of NAfME’s mission and goals; and where association of the NAfME name and logo with those projects, publications, or products is likely to benefit the image of NAfME as authoritative and influential; and where there is no net cost to NAfME in associating the NAfME name and logo with that project, publication, or product; and where funding from the originator of the project, publication, or product is not likely to be forthcoming; the Executive Director or his designee may provide a statement pointing out that the project, publication, or product is in line with the stated NAfME mission and goals and may extend wording that nonexclusively identifies benefits apparent in the project, publication, or product.