Music education has been shown to enhance learning across all subjects, aid in language development, and even increase IQ. Unfortunately, strapped school districts don’t always devote the necessary funds to music programs like band and choir. That’s no reason to end these vital programs. Let fundraising come to the rescue!
A successful high school band fundraiser can provide the money your groups needs for instruments, new marching band uniforms, or transportation to musical competitions and events. Fundraising is essential. Not only can it be a team-building extracurricular activity for students, but it also will contribute to their ongoing education and creative development.
Considering that a 2003 Gallup survey indicated “95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child’s well-rounded education” this lends credibility to your cause. Now let’s move on to four steps you can take to ensure your high school’s band fundraising efforts are a hit – not just once, but season after season.
Choose the Right Fundraiser
It’s good to have that go-to fundraiser that always yields good results. There are reasons people continue with these. However, it helps to do something different from time to time as well. Have you considered offering a fundraising activity that gives people something they value and can use year round? Merchant tickets and discount cards are your solution. These fundraisers do exactly that—give your donors value–because they offer discounts on goods and services your supporters are already likely using on a regular basis.
- Merchant Tickets– Local businesses offer special discounts and promotions, which are printed on perforated tickets in sets of 16, 48, 60, or 72. You could find 16 different businesses each offering one deal, 12 businesses each offering four, or any such combination to fill your tickets. Your supporters shop at these businesses already, so merchant tickets are practical for them. Why? They get to enjoy discounts and support you at the same time.
- Discount Cards– You can customize these durable plastic cards to suit your needs with offers from a large number of merchants on a single card. Set expiration dates or allow for ongoing discounts. Opt for a Done For You Fundraising package, and your cards come loaded with discounts for more than 450 well-known and loved local and national brands.
Tell The Community What You’re Doing, And Why You’re Doing It
A fundraiser starts before the selling does. First up, you need to educate and inspire the public. Highlight the details of your fundraiser and don’t be afraid to spell out exactly what the raised funds will help your group out with. Listing specific needs often helps donors in realizing their dollars will go toward an actual need – not just funds for a rainy day.
If you really want to wow the crowd, a great way to do this is with a brochure. No matter how you fold it, a brochure gives you the space to explain the details of your fundraiser and reiterate how your group will use the money. Think about what you can include in your brochure:
- Fundraising Details– Tell your audience when the fundraiser will start and end, what they’ll be getting in exchange for their money, and what types of payments are accepted, or to whom they can write checks.
- Photos– Pictures tell the story! Share photos of the band performing at a sporting event or a regional music competition.
- Get Personal– Allow your audience to connect with the individuals who will benefit from this money. Ask a few students to share a sentence or two about what the band has meant to them and how participating in music has helped them grow, make friends, or prepare for college.
- The Why – Explain how you’ll be using the money. If it’s for a trip, include photos of your last trip and show where the money is needed. You can even indicate how much will be used for each activity – gas, hotels, and meals. But again, be sure to drive home the Why
- Creative Design– A good brochure attracts attention and is easy to read. Get professional help with the design to ensure your message doesn’t get lost.
Send brochures home with all of your band members and be sure to leave stacks of them at local businesses. Don’t just drop and go though. While you’re there, engage in a friendly conversation to make your cause memorable to the business owner or employees.
Don’t just pass out a bunch of order forms and tell the students to get to work. Set a plan and some goals. Who’s going to approach which businesses for the merchant tickets? When it’s time to sell, how many people are you each going to talk to every day? How will you measure success? What goals do you have as individuals, and as a team?
Set up a booth where the students can sell their fundraising products, maybe at a sporting event where they’re going to perform. With permission in advance, groups are often allowed to set up in front of a banks and grocery stores. This gives the students contact with people outside of their family circles, and you can schedule every student to work a shift to make sure everyone gets involved.
Show Your Appreciation
Your supporters need to know you appreciate them so they are inclined to continue supporting your music program. Even with all of the technology of today, people still like to take down notes by hand. What better way than with a custom notepad with your band’s image in the background? This makes it more personal, and thus, they stand a chance of being kept longer. Why is this good? This makes you more memorable to your donors for following fundraising events. They can take them to work or use them at home for to-do lists. Either way, they will always have a “usable” reminder of your gratitude for their support.
Another unique and fitting option is to plan a special event for your donors. This could be a short musical performance with some simple refreshments (like coffee and cookies) purchased with any money you had left over. Plan and budget for this in advance by setting your fundraising goal a little higher so you know you’ll have the funds to do these types of things.
A well-organized fundraiser sets you up for success. If you don’t have the time or energy to put everything together, take a look at the Done For You Fundraising options. They provide everything you need to run a successful high school band fundraiser. If you have any questions about how to make the most of your fundraising package, or if you’re looking for more fundraising ideas, contact Fastlane Fundraising. This is our specialty, and our products and services have helped hundreds of organizations, like your band, raise much-needed funds to continue their life-enriching activities.