High School Band Fundraising

Interested in fresh, new suggestions for successful high school band fundraising and unique fundraising ideas for marching bands? As many of you are well aware, bands, choirs and other music groups are often in need of financial support to sustain musical programs, fund competitions and concerts, cover travel costs for band trips, and pay for instruments, uniforms and training tools.

Band fundraising campaigns help fund music programs in schools, universities and social organizations. And, bands are very important for schools. They are the epicenter of school spirit and make many moments unforgettable. The marching band performs during football games, high school bands get students excited at pep rallies and homecoming celebrations, and there are plenty of band concerts that entertain students, parents and faculty.

This article is intended to help your band plan a successful fundraiser by providing planning tips and creative fundraising ideas for high school and marching bands.

March-a-thon

Try to tie your band fundraising campaign into what band members are so passionate about: music! Create a variation of a walk-a-thon event by hosting a "march-a-thon". This specific example is an excellent fundraising idea for marching bands. The march-a-thon is almost exactly like walk-a-thon. Members from the community can participate in the event and march alongside band members as they play popular tunes and raise money for a great cause. Reach out to the cheerleading or dance team to see if they are interested in participating with your band, and make the "march-a-thon" like a parade!

Band members raise funds by asking relatives, friends, and neighbors to make a pledge donation to help a certain "cause" (i.e. raising money for new band uniforms or to cover fees for an upcoming competition). Pledge amounts can be calculated per mile marched or contributors can also choose to donate a fixed amount. A great way to obtain a lot of pledges easily is through DoJiggy Pledge online fundraising software. Players create personal pledge pages where they upload photos, explain their mission and have people make secure online donations. Participants can send out an email donation request letter that in includes a link to the online pledge page. For more information about hosting an "a-thon" fundraising event including sample pledge forms, participant registration, forms and "how-to" planning guidelines, visit our walk-a-thon resource center.

Fundraising Sales

Another option for a band fundraiser is implementing a sales drive. Many groups achieve success with fundraising discount cards and scratch card fundraising. These options work well because they are not specific to one item, and therefore appeal to a broader audience. In addition, both of these options provide value to those who purchase the card. The discount card is sold for a set fee (i.e. $10) and provides numerous savings from local businesses. It's an easy sell as purchasers are likely to save much more than the $10 they spent on the card. Scratch cards also provide savings for donors as they receive a coupon-sheet for participating, yet they also add in an element of fun & excitement. Participants ask potential donors to scratch off a dot on their scratch card, which determines the amount they will donate. Often contributors will scratch off multiple dots.

Another idea for fundraising sales are selling seasonal items that are in high-demand during certain times of the year. For example selling wreaths, poinsettias, holiday wrapping paper, ornaments and candles during Christmas can be a very successful band fundraiser. These items typically have a 40% profit margin, which can make for quite a lucrative fundraiser. Holiday fundraisers work best if conducted late-Fall, which could be an opportune time for high school bands and marching bands since it's shortly after their season starts. Band members are excited for the new season, and are often preparing for Holiday concerts and performances. What better way to ramp up ticket sales and support for the upcoming performance than with a fundraiser? You can promote the upcoming event and ask for donations all at once! Remember that seasonal sales typically require delivery, so start your sales early, and allow for two weeks of delivery.

If considering a sales fundraiser, be sure to offer incentives for top performers to help motivate band members to sell more, and add in a fun element of healthy competition.

Community Fundraising Events

Community fundraising events are a great option for bands. Not only are they great for team-building as they require cooperation and encourage involvement from students, families and community members, but they also provide an opportunity to practice in front of an audience. This is one great advantage that bands and choirs have over other groups when planning a fundraising event; the built-in entertainment. Whatever the event may be—community picnic, yard sale, car wash—band members can take turns playing tunes to entertain guests during the event. Don't forget to consider adding a fundraising raffle as part of your event. Local businesses are usually happy to donate prizes and gift certificates for you to raffle off to event attendees, which can be another great source of revenue.

Some ideas for community fundraising events include:

  • Community picnics and bake sales: Have band members prepare food and sell items to raise funds. Tie the event in with food that's in season such as pumpkin bread and apple pies for a Fall fundraiser.
  • Car Washes: This fundraiser can be very easy to execute. Set up the fundraiser right in the parking lot of a school or recreation center. Charge a small donation fee ($5 - $10) in exchange for a car wash. Offer lemonade and snacks for sale while guests wait for their cars to get cleaned.
  • Community Yard Sale: At least once a year people clean out closets and garages. Have team members reach out to families, friends and neighbors to see if they have any items they'd like to donate for a good cause. Gather all donated items and host a large community garage sale at a convenient local establishment such as a school cafeteria or local recreation center.

Other Ideas

Whatever you decide on for your community fundraiser, be sure to promote it throughout the local community. Add your event to community calendars, post announcements on bulletin boards, and include an announcement on your school or band web site. Remember that hosting any event requires the assistance of volunteers, and various details to manage including event set-up, organizing collection of donated goods, promoting the event, and managing money. DoJiggy offers event management software to help you safely collect donations, and manage the details of your fundraising event!

School Fundraising Resources

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