For this initial post, I think it’s very appropriate to explain what Opus One Studios is all about and how it came to be.
In 1982, actor Paul Newman and a partner founded Newman’s Own (salad dressings etc.) as a for-profit business, but one of a very different kind. In his own words, “My profits will be divided between a number of tax-deductible charities and causes, some church-related, others for conservation and ecology and things like that.” Perhaps the epitome of what has become known as “the socially conscious business,” Newman’s Own set the bar as high as it can go with its 100%-of-profits-for charity policy. Looked at another way, I suspect Paul figured that philanthropy could be fun if it combined running a fun business with the ability to benefit his favorite causes, and that if he chose the right business, it could leverage the funds he might have simply given away by generating a regular stream of donations for the foreseeable future.
Opus One Studios was created to follow Newman’s model, albeit on a much smaller scale no doubt. I have had plans for some years to follow my creative instincts in music, writing and game development. At the same time, I have long had a number of favorite charities to which I have been making regular donations. Combining those two interests led to Opus One Studios which I formally incorporated a year ago, committed to the standard of all profits being donated to selected “worthy causes,” as reflected in our tag line.
We had a “soft launch” of the concept over two years ago, with the release of “World War II Songs You Never Heard,” a mini-CD (three original song tracks) with profits going to the West Point Cadet Glee Club which receives very little government support. Now we are ready for the full-scale official launch of Opus One Studios with the multi-product “Ranger” Project, to benefit the Art Therapy program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children’s Cancer Center. Much more about the Ranger Project in upcoming posts.
A small portion of the gross margin on our product sales will go to offset indirect costs, with the bulk of margin going to the selected “worthy cause.” The hope, of course, is that the public will respond to the products in sufficient volume to make this model work. Marketing is the key to that formula. While we are making modest investments in marketing, ultimately the best marketing is word of mouth (or word of text….) and if you like what we’re doing, please pass the word!
I welcome your questions and comments on this, and on any and all blog posts in the future.