Giving Back

So you’ve got a successful DJ company.  You’re at the top of your game and growing.  Now what?Giving-Back-Logo

by Stu Chisholm

At a long ago Mobile Beat show, Mark Ferrell once uttered a twist on the old Peter Marshall quote: “If you don’t stand for something, then nothing is what you stand for.”  This got me to thinking; what is it, beyond making a living and living my life, that I stand for?  How do I contribute to the greater good?  When someone thinks of me, what do they associate me with?

Reality Check: What Is Truly Important To You?

In the DJ world, you are your business, and your business is you; you are what you’re selling.  This brings us back full circle to the original question: what do people associate you with?  The image of the DJ alone conveys good times, great music and fun, but this is common to every DJ company, so there is no “standout factor” by dint of simply being a DJ.  In the eyes of your clients, any DJ company will do.

This is where it gets personal, where the real differences come out.  Beyond serving your clients, you need to answer the questions: what is important to you?  What change in the world would you like to see?  What cause or effort do you feel moved to support?  How else do you serve your community?

A Win-Win For All

Each year I budget eight weekend days out of the 104 “prime” working weekend days to do charity events.  Now this is not etched in stone, and I may do a few more if I am moved to do so!  But I set my own minimum at eight so that I have a minimum; a set metric that I now feel obligated to meet.  If apathy rears its ugly head, it provides motivation.  Life will always provide reasons for us to fudge, skirt and slack, so this is my countermeasure.

Over the course of the year, I get approached by a great many charity events, and most are worthy of support, yet due to the overwhelming demand, I’m forced to pick and choose.  I make those choices based on my own life experiences; things I feel strongly about.  For instance, it wasn’t long ago that I lost a close family member to Alzheimer’s.  I assisted in the daily caregiving and got an up-close-and-personal look at what it does to the patient and their loved ones.  It tears up families, and unlike a sudden tragedy, has a prolonged onset, intense, sometimes extended plateau phase, and is then inevitably terminal.  In short, it’s a horror show.  Whenever there’s a way to try to fight it, I will not refuse.

How many of us have lost someone we loved to cancer?  This, too, is very personal to me.  As is Muscular Dystrophy.  What about you?  Did one of these diseases, or maybe another, hit you where you lived?

Social Issues

Other causes are sometimes seen as less dire, yet still personally important.  Around the holidays we get appeals to help feed the hungry, donate warm clothing and fund warming stations, etc., yet hunger and homelessness don’t stop after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.  Nor do the needs of the handicapped, our honored Veterans of the armed forces and on and on.  Whatever you are personally involved in, or feel strongly about, you as a DJ and business owner have the power to help affect change!

Your actions not only can help people, but will help your business.  You will inevitably become associated with a cause or causes in the mind of your community; now you’re “The DJ that helps kids” or “The entertainment company that supports our Vets.”  Press from such events can be significant!  There were times when I got exposure on radio and television that I could never have afforded, but happened simply because I was involved.  Now, press was never the reason why I was involved, but a happy byproduct, and one more way I got my business in front of new potential clientele.


Lastly, don’t hesitate to show your support on your website and social media!  Promote charity events to your fans, followers, past and present clients.  It will make the event more successful and elevate your stature simultaneously; an excuse to party together again for those who know you, and a full-blown audition to those who don’t.  So stand for something and you, your business and your community will stand stronger together.  Until next time, safe spinnin’!


  • Stu Chisholm of Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service in Michigan has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe.

    He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well.

    Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine.

    To contact him, email You can grab Stu’s book at

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