Are you looking for better band fundraising ideas this school year? If you’re a band director, a student, a parent or part of the band booster for your high school jazz, orchestra, symphonic or marching band, we’ve got a few ideas to drum up higher participation and profit in your next band fundraiser.
In 2018, a groundbreaking report found that public schools in every single state in the U.S. are drastically underfunded. As you’ve probably experienced, when schools make cuts, creative programs like your band, choir, and drama are often the first to see budget restrictions. And considering some schools have 25% of their student population involved in at least one of the music programs, that’s an enormous amount of students that can be negatively impacted.
When funding is cut, the students, parents, and booster club have to pick up the slack. Most likely, you fall into this category. These groups play a vital role in implementing multiple effective band fundraisers every school year, which are used to finance uniforms, instruments, and transportation that your band department needs.
Why Does Our Band Need So Much Fundraising?
You may be wondering why your son or daughter has to participate in so many band fundraisers… Why can’t the school foot the bill? Most often, yes, the band has a certain amount of funds provided by the school. But it’s never nearly enough to cover all the expenses they face. This study found only 1.6% of all spending done by schools in the chosen district was spent on band.
Even still, others on Reddit say their band gets nothing from the school, and any expenses or new gear have to be covered with fundraising efforts.
And bands have a lot they need to cover on their own. They have to regularly get new band uniforms and maintain old ones. It can be embarrassing showing up to band competitions in outdated uniforms. Sheet music, which is typically about $4 per song, per student is necessary for the performances done year-round.
Then, of course, there are more expenses if the students travel to, or compete in any events. The band has to cover transportation and lodging, and any entry fees.
Even with all the expenses, band and music classes provide vital experiences for growing students. Joining a band can boost self-esteem and provide social structure, especially for students who don’t feel like they fit in anywhere else.
A school band is also a place where students can see how diligent practice pays off. As well, studies show playing in a school band or orchestra boosts hand-eye coordination similarly to sports.
Band is a vital element in the education and personal development of your students and provides for an extraordinary life experience. Needless to say, the better your fundraisers, the better off your band members will be!
Great fundraising ideas for bands can come in many forms. Your school band can sell products, put on events, do an online fundraiser, gather sponsorships and corporate donations, amongst many others.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 ideas for your band to raise funds – some new and creative, others tried-and-true school band fundraisers. Which do you think will work best for your school band?
#1 Run A Consession Stand
This band fundraiser is a no-brainer! Generate a list of upcoming school events such as interscholastic sports, talent shows, school dances, etc, and get permission to set-up a concession stand to sell delicious candy and snacks to your fellow schoolmates, parents and other spectators.
JustFundraising offers many unique, quality and affordable treats for high school bands to sell. Some of their favorites are:
- $1 chocolate dipped pretzel rods: rolled in 4 various candies. These sell by the handful!
- $1 jack Links beef sticks: perfect protein snack and healthier alternative to candy.
- 50 cent lollipops: your supporters will come back for these daily.
#2 Sell Fundraising Products Using Order-Takers
Selling fundraising products is one of the best ways for your musicians to earn money for their high school band. Check out our order-taker options so you can get started without any upfront investment; there are more than two dozen options. Set a target amount for each student to raise, and start fundraising!
- Some of the more popular fundraisers are:
Gourmet cookie dough: up to 10 delicious flavors of cookie dough that sell for $10 to $17 each.
- Popcorn: 7 fresh and crunchy flavors, that sell for only $10 each
- Scented Candles: perfect for gift-giving, giving your band 50% profit!
With an adult, students can sell door-to-door. Of course, parents can also take the order-taker to their workplace and sell to their coworkers. But there are also safer and more efficient ways than going door-to-door. Today, kids can use texting, Facebook and WhatsApp to reach a wider audience faster and take orders online from friends and family.
At the agreed-upon deadline, students turn in their order forms and the payment. Then, the team leader places the order and coordinates delivery. The band gets to meet their budget requirements, and supporters get a great high-quality product.
Many of our products have supporters coming back year after year. They look for band students to start their cookie dough fundraisers because supporters love our products that much. Products like cookie dough sales help the fundraisers keep 55% of the profits!
If you have questions about which product fundraiser might be best for your marching band fundraiser, one of our friendly experts would be happy to help you.
Call Toll-Free 1-888-440-4114
#3 Host a Music Talent Show
Consider hosting a talent show. This is a great way students can show off their skills on their instruments, and get the rest of the school involved too. Set your rules, create your budget, pick a venue and a date, and get students to sign up.
Don’t forget to organize a talent show committee and get back-stage support for the show. Hosting a talent show can be a lot of work, but it gets the entire community involved and can raise quite a bit of money, especially if you include a concession stand.
#4 Get Local Businesses to Sponsor a Coupon Book
Local coupon books are one of those well-received band fundraising ideas that schools will do year-after-year!
People are always looking to save a buck. So, if you can provide a coupon book for local businesses, the community will love it!
To get started, talk with your local businesses to see what kind of promotions they can offer. You can even sell ad space in your coupon book to bring in more revenue.
Once you have your community’s businesses on board, your only cost is printing the coupon books. Businesses in your community get more clientele, your band hits its fundraising goals, and members in the community save money. It’s a win-win-win.
#5 Host a Dinner and a Show
Partner with a local restaurant to put on dinner and a show. You’ll need to pick a venue and a budget, but the band and choir students can put together a show. Make sure there’s enough space and it’s not too loud, so they can fully enjoy the experience. Younger band members can serve a set course of dishes from the local restaurant. You can get volunteer adults to babysit young children while their parents are enjoying the show and dinner.
Have some select band members play music pieces throughout the meal to make this band fundraiser a truly unique experience.
Make sure you set entry tickets at a price high enough to cover your expenses and still hit your fundraising goals. Dinner and a show may have more upstart costs than a talent show, but it can bring in more revenue and attention too. Make even more by hosting it around a major holiday like Valentine’s day to provide an inexpensive date with free babysitting for parents.
#6 Organize a Music Festival of Local Musicians
Most likely your high school band isn’t the only group of musicians in town! Encourage other student-led bands and local musicians to join together to put together a music festival.
Find a good venue that requires little or no set-up, and obviously get approval. It could even be inside your school or on school grounds. Make sure you choose a good MC who is entertaining. Keep it simple, so it won’t be too much work to get up and running. Once they’re pulled off, they can be highly profitable.
#7 Host a Battle of the Bands Fundraiser
Battle of the Bands is always a great idea to encourage young musicians to show off their skills. Get sponsored prizes for the band and get ready to sell merchandise and food.
Or, put a twist on this classic and put on a Rock Band Playoffs, until there’s only one Rock Band Champion. While this raises money for the band, you can get students involved who are more proficient in video game music.
#8 Do a Fundraising Blitz
For a fundraising blitz, gather your high school band students in the gym for an hour. Have them make calls and social media posts to see who can generate the most donations. It’s sort of like a telethon, but only for an hour. The winner can earn a prize, or maybe just bragging rights. Students are driven by competition. It’s a great way to raise money in a short amount of time.
Another option is to sell as much product in an hour as possible. Again, text, post messages and call all friends and relatives to take orders for cookie dough, popcorn, or another fundraising product. Tell them you’ll come by to collect the funds that week. It’s the perfect way to kick-off a fundraiser, and you’ll find that up to 80% of your band’s fundraising goal can be reached inside of an hour.
#9 Start An Online Fundraiser
Don’t neglect the strength of online fundraising! There are numerous platforms that can be used to raise funds online. Check out places like GoFundMe, Indiegogo, or Crowdfunder. JustFundraising now has an option for you to have your own Online Cookie Dough Store.
We recommend you pick one platform and stick to it. Otherwise, you can spread yourself thin trying to keep track of all your fundraisers and creating supporter fatigue. To maximize your online donations or sales, make sure your message is personal and make sure your potential supporters know exactly what school band expenses the funds will pay for.
#10 Promote Your Band Fundraiser Using the Local News
If you’re working to raise a lot of funds for a big goal, try to get it on your local news, like this school did. It’s essentially free advertising, and it can reach a wide range of the community. These people might not know about your school’s fundraiser, but may be interested in donating anyways.
This can be tricky to pull off, so make sure you have a big enough goal to motivate the community. Then contact your local news organization and let them know what’s going on.
#11 Hold a Yard Sale
When spring cleaning hits, it’s the perfect time for your high school band to hold a yard sale. Ask for donations from the community and host a massive yard sale. People looking for a bargain love big yard sales, so it’s sure to draw a crowd. Plus, it’s 100% profit since everything is donated.
Then, when the sale is over, you can donate whatever is left to a local organization.
#12 Run a High-End Raffle
Raffles can be a great way to raise a lot of money but do make sure you comply with your state’s laws.
Keep in mind, the prizes matter! The more valuable the prize, and the more relevant it is to your audience, the higher you can sell the raffle tickets for and the more people will purchase raffle tickets.
You will have to cover the cost of the raffle prize. But if it’s a high-quality prize, and you price the raffle tickets right, you can still make a huge profit.
You can try and get the entire prize or a good percentage of the prize covered by a sponsor, or the store or service you buy it from. For example, many travel agencies may be willing to give away a free trip for 2-4 people, if you are handing out several thousand raffle tickets with their name and phone number on it. Another
Another consideration is the number of prizes. In addition to a high-value prize(s), you can offer many other prizes of lesser value, to increase the chances of winning a prize. $50 and $100 gift cards for popular local restaurants are loved by all, and should be easy to secure free of charge or heavily discounted.
Get a local print shop to print up your raffle tickets at a discounted price.
Thank all your sponsors on the Raffle tickets in order to provide them with goodwill in your community.
Your Band Fundraiser Can Be Fun and Profitable!
Fundraising doesn’t have to be seen as a tedious chore. Keep it fun and make it rewarding! Consider it an opportunity to engage your community and even an educational experience for your band members.
If you’re looking for more easy and effective band fundraising ideas to help fund your band budget and get your band members into new uniforms and new band supplies, check us out at JustFundraising.com.