It’s more common than you might think. There are plenty of old upright pianos and organs hiding in people’s homes. If you’re the owner of one such instrument, you already know.
While these pianos might be worth something to someone, sometimes finding a buyer can be difficult, not to mention the trouble of having to move such a heavy object.
Whether you’re selling or donating, you may still need to move (or hire help to move) the piano, but if you’re donating, you’re more likely to find a new home for it faster.
In this guide, we look at where to donate a piano, and how.
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The Beethoven Foundation
Founded in 2008 by composer and pianist Ian Mulder, The Beethoven Foundation provides free pianos and grand pianos to young musicians and those who would not otherwise be able to access or purchase an instrument.
The Beethoven Foundation is accepting upright and grand piano donations. They offer free pickup and provide you with a donation receipt for tax purposes.
They may not be able to accept every donation, but you won’t know unless you try.
PianosForEducation.org was founded by David England in 1999 as a non-profit promoter of piano education. The piano made such a positive impact on his life that he wanted to give back by creating new learning opportunities with a piano-lending program.
PianosForEducation accepts donations from all 50 U.S. states, and will review acoustic pianos, electronic player pianos, recording pianos, and digital pianos for consideration.
Simply supply the organization with as much information you have on the piano and its condition to get started with the piano donation process.
Once your piano has been accepted, their pickup vendor will schedule a time to pick up the piano from your home.
Society of Unique Artists
Society of Unique Artists claims they are the best piano donation program in all of U.S. We can’t confirm or deny this statement.
What is the Society of Unique Artists? It’s a non-profit art organization promoting new, unique, and extreme expressions and art forms – the kind of art that challenges people.
Society of Unique Artists promotes the disabled, culturally diverse, unconventional, and extreme.
Their piano donation program was set up in 2004, a program that’s even been featured in The Washington Post.
Society of Unique Artists is accepting donations from all 50 U.S. states, and they are usually looking for pianos that are less than 30 years old (though there are always some exceptions). They will also provide a piano donation receipt for tax purposes if your piano is accepted.
Pianos For People
Pianos For People is accepting piano donations in the St. Louis, MO area.
For it to be accepted, your piano must be under 50 years old, in great condition, located on the first floor of your home (unless you have easy elevator access), hasn’t been stored in a garage or other spaces with no climate control, and hasn’t been exposed to smoke / smoking.
Pianos For People is accepting console pianos, consolette pianos, studio pianos, and occasionally grand pianos as well. Full sized upright pianos are not accepted.
Pianos For People also require three photos of the piano (front view, inside view, and keys view).
The Music Guild
The Music Guild is home to the Piano Donation Program.
Who are they? The Music Guild is a classical music producer. They put on 12 concerts per year in Los Angeles, CA, provide instruments to dedicated students, and they’ve supplied 400+ free pianos and other instruments to music educators through their Piano Adoption Program.
The Music Guild is not accepting pianos in need of extensive repairs. You will need to supply them with your contact information, brand name of piano, type of piano, year of manufacture, three pictures of the piano, condition of the piano, when you want the piano moved, or as much information as you can provide.
The Music Guild will not accept piano donations, however, without photos of the instrument.
Pianos for Peace
Pianos for Peace is a charitable non-profit organization in Atlanta, GA. They offer multiple piano-based programs, whether arts education, healing arts, community arts, or cultural diplomacy initiatives.
To donate your piano to Pianos for Peace, you will need to send them photos of the body of your piano, its hammers, and the keyboard. You will also need to provide them with information regarding how many stair steps there are leading into your home, and whether you have a deadline for when the piano needs to be picked up (e.g., if you are going to be moving).
Located in Salt Lake City, UT, Mundi Project was founded by Hana Janatova in 2006. They value empathy, connection, inclusion, lifelong learning and transferability, as well as advocacy and impact. They create inter-generational music learning opportunities, produce live music events, and provide access to pianos through Piano Bank.
Mundi Project has found a home for over 260 pianos from 2006 to 2021 through their Piano Bank piano adoption program.
They are specifically seeking pianos in excellent condition in need of minimal repair. The pianos are placed in homes with students who would not otherwise be able to obtain a piano. Pianos may also be placed in public spaces to promote music making in the community.
Mundi Project’s Piano Bank program was also featured in The Washington Post. Not all pianos will be accepted by Mundi Project.
Alamo Music Center
Alamo Music Center is a full-service music instrument store serving San Antonio, TX, and surrounding area. It was founded in 1929, and they carry various pianos, guitars, accordions, band and orchestral instruments, pro audio gear, and more.
They are currently accepting tax-deductible piano donations through their Pianos for Charity program, a program that makes quality music education available to young musicians from every school or neighborhood, regardless of economic status.
TUSTIN MUSIC CENTER
California based TUSTIN MUSIC CENTER offers quality music education to children.
They are accepting piano donations through their piano donation program. These pianos are placed with schools, churches, or non-profit organizations. Donated pianos are refurbished by TUSTIN MUSIC CENTER.
If you would like to donate a piano, you’ll either need to get in touch with them via email or phone.
Toledo Public Schools
Per Craig’s Keyboards, Toledo Public Schools is accepting donations of quality studio and grand pianos.
A certified appraiser will work with you in assessing the market value of the piano. If your piano is accepted, it will be picked up by professional piano movers, and you will receive a written receipt.
Move Over Mozart
Move Over Mozart offers affordable group lessons, private lessons, online lessons, and a summer camp program.
They are accepting piano donations through their Mozart’s Amazing Musicians program, which supports instrument donations, scholarship assistance, and recital performances.
If your piano is accepted, Move Over Mozart will provide you with a donation receipt for tax purposes.
The Erie Philharmonic was established in 1913. You can go to learn about their various activity – the orchestra, philharmonic choruses, junior philharmonic, and more – on their website.
Their piano donation program was launched in 2015. So far, through the program, they’ve been able to place 35 pianos with families in the region.
If you’d like to donate a piano with the Erie Philharmonic, you will need to fill out their piano donation form and supply your contact information, piano type and make, serial number, piano history, stairs / staircase, and deadline.
Collins Piano Service
Collins Piano Service, located in Santa Monica, CA, offers piano tuning, repairs, moving, sales services, and more.
They are accepting piano donations and will move them free of charge. Pianos are used to teach piano tuning procedures.
Piano Santa Foundation
Piano Santa Foundation has been placing pianos in the homes of students in Portland, OR for over 20 years.
They accept a limited number of piano donations on an annual basis. They are only looking for instruments in good working condition.
To donate to the Piano Santa Foundation, you’ll want to prepare the serial number of the piano, the brand, model, and year of the piano, date of last tuning, location, deadline, needed repairs (if any), and photographs of both the inside and outside of the piano (especially the hammers).
M Institute for the Arts
M Institute for the Arts was established in 2015. Through their platform, you can connect with a teacher, hire a performing artist, find a rehearsal space, and get connected with other artists and opportunities (if you’re an artist yourself).
M Institute for the Arts is seeking piano donations. Pianos are placed with musicians in need, lesson studios, rehearsal studios, schools, arts organizations, or performance venues.
If you donate to their public charity, your donation could be tax deductible.
M Institute for the Arts is looking specifically for pianos that are in good condition and don’t require repairs and are valued at over $3,000.
They are only accepting applicants from DC, VA, and MD.
Steinway Piano Gallery of Naples
Prior to becoming the Steinway Piano Gallery of Naples, the company began as a piano dealer in 1957, founded by Zeb Billings. It was in Waukesha, WI at the time. The store continued to evolve through the decades, eventually relocating to Naples Park, FL.
Their showroom features used and new pianos, digital pianos, piano rebuilding, piano restoration, a player piano installation facility, as well as a used piano clearance center.
If you would like to donate your instrument to the Steinway Piano Gallery of Naples, your piano must be less than 50 years old, and free of mold or rodent droppings. Minor cabinet damage, be it water stains or scrapes are not a problem!
The gallery is generally looking for upright pianos, but they may accept the occasional grand piano depending on the instrument.
More Places To Donate Your Piano
There are other stores, communities, organizations, and institutions that would potentially welcome the donation of a piano. This includes:
- Schools. Pianos may be placed in classrooms or lesson studios for educational use. Real life instruments are especially great for educational purposes.
- Churches. Most if not all churches have quality piano and/or organ instruments for Sunday morning worship or mass. But additional pianos may be welcomed for education and recreation, in basements, side rooms, gathering areas, and the like.
- Music stores. Music stores have experience with instruments and may accept your donation for refurbishing and resale, for placing in lesson rooms (if in good condition), or otherwise. They may also be able to connect you with other worthwhile resources for donating your piano.
- Recreation centers. If they have space to spare, a recreation center may be interested in a piano donation. While the piano isn’t likely to be played in a professional capacity, it could inspire the community and students to engage in music more.
- Community centers. Community centers are booked for a variety of events through the year, and may benefit from the addition of a piano, whether for fun and recreation, for musical events, or even just for show.
- Senior centers. If they don’t already have a piano (or multiple pianos), senior centers may welcome the addition of a piano in their multipurpose hall(s). Seniors enjoy music, and some may even remember how to play from when they were young.
- Music education. Your piano could be donated to a family with a child or student who is interested in learning the piano. You may need to ask around to find a suitable home. Alternatively, you could also find local musicians who are interested in owning a piano.
If you plan to donate your piano to one of these locations, you may need to head it up as an independent initiative. That means contacting the offices of the locations, asking whether they are accepting a piano donation, and if they are, arranging for the moving of it.
In some cases, you may not have to move the piano yourself, but you will need to confirm the details with the organization you’re donating to.
Just so you are aware – if you donate through one of the organizations mentioned above, your piano will likely end up going to one of the “other” places mentioned here. So, the result is basically the same!
Worst case scenario, if your piano is too damaged to be worthwhile, or you simply can’t find another home for it, you can call a local junk removal service to help you get rid of it. It’s not ideal, but if your piano is more trouble than its worth, it might be your best option.
But before you make up your mind, keep reading, because you will find more alternatives below.
How To Donate A Piano
Donating a piano may take a bit of time and energy, depending on where you end up donating to. But generally, the process is not complicated.
In most cases, you can simply:
- Go to the organization’s website
- Fill out their web form with applicable details (don’t forget to gather all relevant information regarding your piano – also see below)
- Wait for approval
- Schedule a pickup
- Obtain your tax receipt (if applicable)
But there is no guarantee that your piano will be accepted by an organization, and it would be in your best interest to gather some information on your piano before applying to donate it in the first place.
So, here’s what to look for:
Assess The Condition Of The Piano
Some organizations may accept a piano in any condition or age. But this is rare. Minor scrapes and scratches may not present much of an issue, but if the integrity of the instrument has been compromised, there is the chance it will not be accepted at all.
You don’t necessarily need to hire an expert to assess your piano. You can do most of this yourself. It’s suggested that you:
- Look over your piano and note any visible damage
- Diagnose the keys – are all white and black keys available, are there any stuck keys or damaged keys, does each one sound, and are the keys in tune?
- Check for pedals (there are usually two or three) and ensure they work
It’s quite normal for your piano to be a little out of tune, especially if it hasn’t been tuned let alone played recently. But if your keys aren’t close to the pitch they should be at, your piano may have extensive damage.
In such an instance, you may only be able to donate your piano to specific individuals who would be interested in it.
Gather Key Data
No matter where you plan to donate, they’re going to want to know a little bit about your piano.
So, gather the following pieces of information:
- What type of piano is it – upright or grand?
- What is the make and model of the piano?
- What is the serial number (not required in most cases)?
- How old is the piano?
Once you have a few key pieces of data, you should be able to Google your piano and find additional pertinent information / missing information on it.
Consider Your Own Needs
Are you planning to move soon? When do you need the piano out of your house by?
If you have a tight deadline, recognize that it may be difficult to donate your piano in time for your move. The best idea is to find a donation center well in advance of your move.
But you may still be able to donate your piano to Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, or other organizations if you don’t have much time to find a more suitable home. This applies to damaged pianos as well.
If you would like to donate locally, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research on your own. Google searches should turn up some relevant local results, unless you live in an especially small town.
You can also reach out to music stores and music teachers, who may know of a suitable home for your instrument.
If you don’t have much of a budget, then you may want to prioritize working with one of the organizations listed above. In many cases, they will come to pick up your piano on your behalf. This will eliminate the need for you to hire movers, pay for a rental, pay for gas, etc.
There are different ways of going about it depending on your budget, deadlines, and requirements. It would be wise to keep these factors in mind as you look for a suitable home for your piano.
Where To Donate A Piano, Final Thoughts
Donating your piano isn’t that hard. But where you can donate to will depend a lot on the age and condition of the instrument.
Pianos are also quite heavy. Moving one yourself generally isn’t recommended. Hiring movers may cost you a bit of money, but it can save you a lot of hassle. Depending on the organization you’re donating to, though, pickup may be included, and you may not need to hire movers at all.
There is no shortage of places to donate your piano to. It’s just a matter of finding the right one!