Bands, choirs, orchestra, and all music clubs need an injection of funds each year to pay for summer camps, concessions, instruments, music, uniforms, out-of-town trips, risers, awards, banquets, and so much more. Often the extra money needed falls to music booster club fundraising to pay the difference. If you’re looking for some new fundraising ideas, there’s good news.
To help with music booster fundraising, we’ve assembled seven different ways your parent-teacher group can help students continue to learn music and gain the valuable life lessons that come with music education, performance, and travel.
Music Booster Club Fundraising: Sell Something
Sometimes, the simplest way of raising funds can be the most effective. Some organizations have been conducting bake sales for decades, but that’s because they offer an effective way to raise funds for your group.
If you choose a bake sale, ensure you select a date that doesn’t interfere with any other event. You may also want to choose a theme, for example, a cookie festival or a pie-only affair. And you can always decide whether you wish to sell items from a professional bakery or sell home-baked goods.
Having a dinner event is another excellent way to drum up some much-needed profit. Beyond the expected spaghetti dinner, consider a picnic in which you sell burgers or barbecue. A sandwich sale – with preorders conducted for several weeks and then picked up on one set day – is also a proven winner.
Some music booster clubs have found great success by partnering with candy companies and fruit growers. These companies often have established fundraising programs that you can join, which reduces the amount of administrative work for your group. And by creating an annual sales event, you give the community – and not just your booster group – something to look forward to every year.
You may also consider basing your booster club’s big sale around a seasonal event or holiday. Perhaps the choir or band – along with their family members – could provide a holiday gift wrap service for donations. There may also be opportunities to sell hot chocolate at holiday parades and events or an occasion to sell seasonal plants like poinsettia, lilies, and tulips.
Speaking of flowers, Valentine’s Day is another great holiday to base a sale around, whether by selling flowers or candy.
There are plenty of businesses and organizations ready, willing, and able to help your music booster organization in exchange for low-cost advertising and to showcase their community involvement.
Even in today’s digital world, there’s always a need for traditional calendars. Many groups have found that printing their own calendars – along with sponsored advertising from local businesses – makes for a great fundraiser.
A similar tactic is to print programs for each year’s performances, with advertising space available inside. Not only will your group and performers benefit, but the community will see what businesses support your efforts.
Put on a Show for Music Booster Club Fundraising
Concert bands and choirs have found that hosting a movie night is a great way to increase their funds. Whether you partner with a theater in your community or present the show at your school’s auditorium, a concert with a movie or a sing-a-long film night not only brings in music lovers but also those that enjoy seeing a movie.
Beyond selling tickets to this event, you can also work to either get a portion of the concessions or run the food and drink business yourself. Another quick and easy way to make more money is to sell posters or t-shirts for the event.
Sing or Play Your Heart Out
As a music booster, you know your student group is filled with talent. Why not share that with the community and raise some money along the way?
The holiday season offers an excellent opportunity to do caroling for cash. Consider partnering with a local charity and donating a portion of your proceeds. Or, as you make your way through different locations in your area, consider visiting senior care centers and hospitals if possible.
Another idea is to put on a free concert and ask for donations during the event. It doesn’t have to be a whole show, as a preview of an upcoming concert can give your choir or band time to perform in front of a crowd without too much pressure. And you may make a few new fans who will come to your next event.
You can also seek venues in the community that want to book performances. Local events, parades, community centers, and churches often provide venues where your group can play for a donation.
Play-a-Thons are another option. There are two ways that you can structure your event. One is an all-nighter, in which students sing or play as long as possible while asking for sponsors. Think of how a Bowl-a-Thon works, but with donations being given by song or minutes performed. Another option is to make a challenge to see how many pieces your group can complete in one hour with sponsors playing a higher donation if they break a certain level, such as ten songs.
Music Booster Fundraising Grants
There are several government and business grants to help music organizations raise the funds they need so that students can keep singing and playing. The downside of music grants is the submission process and paperwork. Music teachers already have enough on their plates. Your music booster club can help by stepping in to assist with music grant submissions.
One federal grant is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which offers funding as part of Title IV-A. ESSA has a specific and separate mention of music as a part of a well-rounded education. Several groups are ready to help improve the state of music education, including the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM).
Music retailers and companies that build music instruments also have gotten involved in donating to music education too. For example, the Fender Play Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to “increasing access to music education through innovative and sustainable programs that put instruments and learning tools directly in the hands of students and teachers.”
Gibson Guitar has created a similar group, the Gibson Foundation. This group is “committed to making the world a better place through music by creating, developing and supporting programs, and other non-profit organizations, in their efforts to advance youth-focused or healing music initiatives by growing the share of sound for everyone.” They have also established the Gibson Generation Group, a two-year mentoring program to inspire a new generation of guitar players.
The Guitar Center Music Foundation also “makes the gift of music available to people across the country by providing resources for music education programs.” They award grants to schools, local music programs, and national music programs across the United States and sponsor the Guitars in the Classroom music program.
More Music Booster Fundraising Grants
- Give A Note is donating vocal masks and instrument covers so that choirs and bands can continue to perform while observing COVID-19 restrictions
- The Conn-Selmer Division of Education seeks to provide resources and support to music educators worldwide. This year, they have created the USA Made Stimulus Purchase Program, which partners with local music communities to celebrate USA manufacturing. They plan to donate an additional one million dollars of stimulus aid to schools interested in purchasing school-owned, USA manufactured instruments
- The KHS America Academic Alliance awards grants to help schools pay for clinics that feature woodwind, brass, percussion, and educational artists
- Ableton – a company that creates hardware and software for music production, creation, and performance – provides free Ableton Live Intro licenses for classes with young learners, as well as discounts on their Push and Live Suite tools. Schools with smaller instrument budgets can also apply for free Push units
- The Classics for Kids matching grant program awards funds to string and wind instrument programs
Raffle Up Some Support
A raffle is another tried and true way to raise funds. Before conducting your raffle, do some investigation into the legality of a raffle in your region. In some states, raffles may be considered lotteries that require special taxation codes, permits, or licenses. AIM can also help insure your raffle prizes against damage and theft.
Consider what type of raffle you’d like to have. Whether you choose one big-ticket item – a vacation or a car, for example – or several smaller gifts, keep in mind the scope of your budget and what people would truly love to win. A great way to keep costs down is to have local businesses and organizations donate gift cards, products, and services. Another option is to have a performance from your choir, band, or orchestra serve as the prize – just imagine getting to perform a concert for a lucky raffle winner.
A great way to increase the effectiveness of your raffle is to combine efforts with several other organizations, including boosters for the arts, dance, and athletic programs.
Music Booster Fundraising Wash
Depending on your location and season, a car wash is an excellent opportunity to make cash. After all, who doesn’t prefer to sit back and relax while getting their car cleaned for a good cause. With a donation to your organization, everyone comes out a winner.
If you’d like to try something different, consider a dog washing event. Ensure that you have a safe and roped-off area for the dogs to be cleaned and volunteers who are comfortable around pets and are informed of the safety issues when it comes to handling dogs.
As you prepare for the Fall semester and music booster fundraising for the new school year, keep these tips in mind. Above all, keep it fun, as these activities can be learning experiences for young musicians and their families.
AIM Helps Make Music Booster Fundraisers a Success
We make it simple for hardworking volunteers like you to protect your people, property, and events during fundraisers and events. We can help insure your event participants, event supplies, and group members. To help keep things in perfect harmony, get in touch with us today.