We simply ADORE marching band as an activity. There is no other activity that combines the artistic, physical, and creative elements with the extreme teamwork and coordination required. Students wrestle with a 11-ish minute show for the better part of 6 months, dedicating countless hours to the pursuit of excellence.
For the uninitiated, marching programs customarily are required to raise money in truckloads. Show design, scenery and props, arranging, uniforms, and costuming are customized to a large degree. The instruments and equipment used are also highly specialized and expensive (snare drums start at $500, and a decent marching tuba can run in excess of $6,000). Add in travel and accommodations (some groups travel regionally out-of-state on overnights to compete during the fall), electronics and sound engineering for the front ensemble, and the truck/trailer to transport it all, and you're looking at a large enterprise needed to make it all happen.
Marching band teaches students a great deal about life. The skills developed and the benefits of participating in the marching activities will follow kids into adulthood long after they hang-up their marching shoes.
The worst part - how to fund all of it...
Many programs have parent associations charged with supporting these programs. Booster organizations are typically responsible with raising MANY TIMES the amount of funding available from the school district's budget. It is not uncommon to see a program that NEEDS $100K to function, with 80% coming from the boosters and the remaining 20% from the school district.
The pressure that this places on the parents puts the focus on finding a set number of FUNDRAISERS that will generate the necessary dollars. These fundraisers take a toll on the organization as they normally involve a lot of volunteer hours to plan and execute.
Holding events such as carnivals, auctions, beef-n-beers, casino nights do hold a potential for higher upside dollars, however these affairs require:
- Facilities, and all of the logistics required
- Food and hospitality
- Advertisement and promotion (to do it right you might need to pay)
- Rain-or-shine liability
- Hours of stress and planning
The sale of various and sundry items such as candy, candles, pies, flowers, wrapping paper, etc, can be effective incrementally, but consider:
- Some schools have a policy prohibiting candy in school, and any type of door-to-door sales (which is a GOOD thing)
- Profitability tends to be very low and up-front deposits are sometimes required
- Endless stream of "stuff" (some would say "JUNK") to purchase and sell fatigues families
- Distribution issues on the back end cause untold stress on boosters and the director, who's band office quickly turns into a "distribution warehouse"
- Money collection - UGH
There is now a better way...
While we understand that any good budgetary plan will involve a COMBINATION of the above, finding new/different ways to raise money without residual stress and extra work is KEY.
Many groups around the United States are using a new service called FansRaise to raise CHUNKS of new revenue. FansRaise is a guided and structured crowdfunding platform designed to create a crowdfunding campaign experience for your students that:
- Eases parent booster stress
- Places the students in an "ownership and accountability" role, which is always a good thing
- Leverages the relationships of families in your program to wide-broadcast your campaign
- Nothing to pre-order, nothing to sell, nothing to deliver
- Plan and execute a campaign quickly
- Everything is completely online, no money to handle
- Highly profitable with tremendous potential upside
Highly successful programs are using FansRaise to raise more money faster, regardless of the size of your ensemble, the area you live in, or the level of performers. For more detail around how FansRaise works, you might want to download our free $10,000 Blueprint below. Your director and/or boosters will thank you if you do!