Whether you’ve been fundraising for years or are just getting started, you should always be asking “How can I make more money with less time and effort?” It’s not really about selling a product; it’s about thinking like an entrepreneur. In this episode, Elisa lays out the steps for raising money without taking unnecessary time away from your choir.
Highlight to Tweet: “The last resort should be having your students sell stuff. Why would you do that? ” – Elisa Jones
1. Know what you need, why you need it, and what it will cost. Start by having a strong proposal that anyone will want to buy into.
2. Hit up your school peeps. Go first to your administration- get approval for everything. Let them know what you’re thinking. Tell them what you need, why you need it, and what it will cost. Then go to your PTA, boosters, parent organizations, etc.
3. Use your concert platform to ask for donations from parents and stakeholders.Collect ‘suggested donations’. Use envelopes.
4. Go after local grants from local organizations and local businesses. Service organizations, foundations, etc.
5. Use businesses donation programs: shopping with scripts, Amazon Smile, then fundraising nights at local businesses like Chili’s, Applebees, or your own local stores and restaurants.
6. Collect donations online. Use your own website before you use a crowdfunding site: you’ll have more control and make more money.
7. Host a fundraiser. The wise teacher will do a fundraiser that also helps fulfill their mission: like a sing-off, talent show, Christmas Caroling, or any number of holiday-themed performances. The smart music teacher will sell things that are donated, like a yard sale, or a silent auction for items that local businesses donate.
Your very last resort should be having your students sell stuff. Why why why would you do that? Parents hate that. Students, mostly, hate that. If you’re going to put your students to work, get them to “sell” your need to local businesses for donations.
Elisa Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. She is the voice of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast and is a presenter at the NAfME National Conference 2017.
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