Tips and Resources for Fundraising Success

Teaching Tips: It’s that time of the year again. Tubas need new tubes. Christmas pageant needs more pageantry. Time to get around to replacing those missing second violin parts to Winter Wonderland.

It’s the beginning of the school year and if you are lucky enough to have faced only minor budget cuts, chance are, you’ll need to raise additional money to supplement your music budget for the year.

After perusing a few (of the many) music fundraising sites out there, here are a few tips that stuck out to us as a ‘must read’ before you finalize your fundraising strategy.

  1. Plan, Set goals and Schedule. Make sure that you have a clearly defined plan – with a goal. That goal could be detailed down to a specific dollar amount. Or maybe the specific amount is not appropriate to share and you would rather set a goal of “100% of Funds for Such-and-Such Trip to Anytown Music Festival”. In both cases, you can have a finish line and a larger sense of accomplishment for the group (and for yourself!). The need for a set ‘finish line’ and finish date will help you make the most of your efforts.
  2. Quality, not quantity. This one might seem obvious – but there may be a limit to the number of times that little Johnny’s next door neighbor is going to order candy bars. If enough time and thought is put into the planning phase, the number of individual fundraisers can be reduced by possibly combining and selecting priorities in advance. It is important to consider the law of diminishing returns – make the fundraisers unique and special to your ‘customers’ by limiting the number of fundraisers throughout the year.
  3. Now is the time. The big factor to remember related to ‘schedule’ is not only to make sure that the funds are available for use at the right time, but to do your best to target the fundraiser timeline to match up with larger world events and/or community needs. Candy sales just prior to Halloween? Great idea. Custom-knit parka sale during summer in Arizona? Maybe not. Don’t forget to watch for larger selling season trends and holidays that may overlap with your fundraiser.

And last, but not least…we’ll get you started with four helpful resources:

  1. http://www.nammfoundation.org/support-music
  2. http://www.ehow.com/list_6696841_music-fundraising-ideas.html
  3. http://musiced.about.com/od/lessonsandtips/a/musicgrants2.htm
  4. http://www.easy-fundraising-ideas.com/programs/high-school-fundraisers-ideas/

What are some of your fundraising success stories?

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