Society of Singers, known as "SOS" is the only nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization devoted exclusively to helping professional singers.
SOS was co-founded in 1984 by Ginny Mancini, widow of Academy Award-winning composer Henry Mancini, and Gilda Maiken Anderson and Donna (Fowler) Manners of the vocal group The Skylarks. Their aim was to help singers in need, as there is no union or guild that exclusively represents the rights of singers. It is the mission of SOS to benefit the health and welfare of professional singers by providing emergency assistance and other human services to those in acute financial need. Additionally, the SOS Vocal Arts Scholarship Program helps deserving students take their first step toward becoming professionals in the vocal arts. Tuition-based scholarships are granted to those pursuing master's degrees in Voice.
SOS is primarily funded by individual and corporate donations. SOS supporters have included Barbra Streisand, Florence Henderson, Pat Boone, Elton John, and Barry Manilow. As a 501 (c)3 organization it is supported by tax-deductible contributions which help SOS maintain its free and confidential programs.
SOS's premier fundraising event is the ceremony awarding the ELLA, named after its first recipient in 1989, Ella Fitzgerald. The Ella Award is given to singers "...for their contribution to the world of music along with their dedicated efforts to benefit the community and worldwide causes". SOS holds other events throughout the year to raise funds.