Raising money for a school band doesn't have to be a daunting task, but band booster fundraisers do need to set themselves apart from the rest of the school. There will be sales and events throughout the year, as every niche group tries to earn money for their annual budget. Put the youthful energy of the marching band members to good use for raising the money that the school band needs. Explore a few unique and forward-thinking ideas that can help boost the band's fundraising to a higher level.
Pennies for the Players
Loose change can give school bands quite a boost via a large-scale penny drive! A penny drive can be a great way to raise money to help cover the cost of band uniforms or equipment that needs to be purchased or replaced, as well as any other needs the band might have. Pennies for the players is one of the simplest fundraising ideas for bands. All you'll need to do is place penny drop boxes throughout the school, as well as in high traffic locations in your community, such as local coffee shops or convenience stores. It's also a good idea to set up a penny jar at band events, especially in areas where it'll be easy for people to drop in their change after purchasing snacks or drinks.
Marathon Band Concert
Combine the students' love of music with some good old-fashioned money-making! Equip students to pull off an all-night concert, ideally lasting for a full 24 hours if possible. Task the band members and their parents with recruiting sponsors who agree to pay a set amount for each hour played, and/or sell tickets for people who want to check out the never-ending entertainment in person. Sell food and drinks (including a bake sale!) throughout the marathon concert to raise even more money. Put the boosters in charge of finding a performance space and supplying the food, with the students also securing pledges and selling tickets in addition to providing the music and endurance.
Hosting a band festival at a community park or on school grounds is a great way for a band to raise money. A lot of community members will enjoy spending a day listening to music in the great outdoors, especially if they know that any money they spend at the event will help the school band. Schedule band performances throughout the event. Sell booth space to craft vendors, food trucks, and other local businesses that want to promote their wares to the attendees. Set up beverage stations where band boosters can sell water and soft drinks while also collecting donations on behalf of the band via a "pennies for the players" jar. Charge a few dollars for admission, or keep it free to attend to help drive up sales and donations.
Band Booster Bingo
Hosting a bingo night is a great way to bring school alumni together with students and their families, as well as other community members, for a fun fundraising event. Charge a small fee per game and give out fun prizes to encourage attendees to keep on playing. Whether you play traditional bingo or opt for a creative musical bingo theme (it is a band fundraiser, after all!), everyone is sure to have a fabulous time. Sell food and beverages throughout Bingo night to boost your earnings. For an upbeat, exciting environment, have band members provide musical entertainment between games.
Band Basket Raffle
Selling raffle tickets can be a great way to raise money for a band, especially if you can put together some fabulous band-themed raffle baskets to give away. Get the boosters and students involved in gathering raffle basket prizes to fill the baskets. Ask local radio stations, music venues, and performing groups if they would be willing to donate tickets to a local concert or music festival. Ask local retailers for contributions as well. Restaurant gift certificates are great to include in this type of basket, as are books, CDs, and other fun items. Consider asking local crafters to donate music-themed items, such as ornaments, wreaths, yard decor, and more.
Band-Backed Talent Show
Band members aren't the only talented performers at the school or in the community. Hosting a talent show can be a great way to raise money for a school band. The school auditorium or gym is an ideal talent show venue for this type of event. For a community connection, recruit band alumni to judge the event. Charge a small entry fee for those who want to perform, as well as a nominal admission fee for those who wish to attend. Sell refreshments throughout the event to boost earnings. You'll need to purchase trophies or medals for winners in various categories, but the rest of the money you raise can go directly to the band's booster account. With a few other talent show ideas, you can put together an amazing event.
Band Booster Golf Tournament
Organizing a golf tournament to raise money for the band is a great fundraising project for the band boosters to spearhead. You can raise money via sponsorships and entry fees, as well as from selling refreshments during the tournament. There are a lot of interesting golf fundraising ideas to consider. Celebrity-sponsored golf tournaments are always popular. Consider inviting a few famous (or infamous) band alumni or local celebrities to participate. This can help attract media coverage that can boost participation and sponsorship sales. If you move forward with this option, use this helpful checklist for planning a charity golf event to help you get started.
Key for Booster Fundraisers
When you're a band booster, it can seem like fundraising season never ends. It's a fact that bands have expenses each year. From cleaning uniforms to traveling for performances, there are a lot of costs involved in creating a positive band experience. The more successful the booster club is with raising money, the smaller the direct financial cost to students and their parents. Fortunately, raising money doesn't have to be an exhausting or negative experience.
- The key to having a positive fundraising experience for the band starts with getting both parents and students involved! Fundraising season can help teach tweens and teens some valuable lessons in responsibility, teamwork, and perseverance while providing a powerful opportunity for parent/child bonding.
- Allow the band members to be involved in selecting what they are going to do for the fundraiser. They may need a little guidance as to what will work well for your school and community demographics, but if they prefer car washes and candy sales over a casino night or bake sale, then they should be allowed to voice an opinion.
- Set a positive example for the students by working hard and keeping a good attitude yourself, just as you expect them to do. If students hear the boosters grumbling and complaining about fundraising, their attitudes will take on that same negativity. When the adults are positive about raising money for the band, the students will also be likely to have an upbeat outlook.
- Encourage the students to team up with other band members (and their families) who are outside of their regular circles. Encourage the color guard to work with the trumpet players, put the drummers with the flutists, and even sometimes pair parents with students that aren't their own kids. This will create more of a community feel for the fundraiser and strengthen the overall band/booster team.
Choose the Best Band Booster Fundraisers
Band booster fundraisers reach far beyond these basic ideas. Forming a fundraising committee within your booster club is a productive way to yield even more options. Gather as many fundraising ideas as possible by asking for suggestions from parents and band members. The committee can narrow down the list to the ideas that seem most appropriate for your group. Once there is a good selection, invite all booster club members to vote for the ones they think will work best for the current fundraising year. When everyone has a chance to decide how to raise money for the band, chances are that the experience will be more enjoyable and yield better results.