It’s likely your school has its fair share of budding musicians. Showcasing that talent can be a rewarding way to raise money while celebrating the school’s young performers. In fact, music events are often the most feel-good fundraisers of all, so whilst they can take some effort, they’re totally worth it. Read our essential tips and ideas for successful school music events.
Your best bet with a musical fundraising event is to get dedicated parents heavily involved from the start. In fact, you might even find some wannabe performers amongst them to add to the entertainment!
Whatever you decide to do, make your musical fundraiser child-friendly, with additional attractions for little ones. That way whole families can attend and support their young performer, and the school.
Musical fundraising events are easy to stage:
- School recital/concert: Instead of inviting parents to see their children perform in the Christmas or summer concert, ask them to make a small donation to attend. Make an evening of it by selling refreshments before, and having a celebration for excited performers after the concert. (Check out our helpful advice on selling alcohol here [INSERT LINK]). Let proud parents bask in the glow of their budding Beethovens’ triumph as they support the school.
- Busking: Let students busk around campus at school open days or other charity activities. Or get a busking license and let them perform in public.
- Musical soirée: hold a cheese and wine evening with various performances from the students
- Coffee and carols: Invite parents to a morning of coffee and mince pies hosted by the school choir as part of the Christmas celebrations.
- Hire an entertainer: If your music groups are good enough, why not hire them out to perform at private events?
Pushing the boat (or the trombone!) out to raise the cash:
- Marchathon: if your secondary school or college has a marching band, send them out on an all-day march. Get some volunteers to shake a tin as they play their way round your local town. You may need to get some permissions for this.
- Battle of the bands: easy to stage with a few props, and guaranteed to be entertaining, either for great music, or humour!
- X Factor: just like the bands competition, but with singing. Find your sassiest, your kindest, and your meanest teachers to be the judges, and throw in a few teacher auditions just for laughs!
- Show in a day: Hold an orchestra, band, or musical theatre rehearsal that lasts all day. Get parents to come in and cook pasta for hungry students while they work. Sell tickets for the resulting show at the end of the day. This is a fun way to improve on skills, and turn practice into a social event, as well as raising money.
- Call and Reply-a-thon: pit students against parents or teachers in a Pitch Perfect style battle. This can be the school choirs, bands, or solo performers. Sell tickets in the local area, and ask people to donate an amount for every minute that the competition continues. See if you can keep it going for a whole night.
- Hold a music festival: this is a big one, but the rewards are also huge, so it’s worth serious consideration. Secondary schools will have fantastic musicians who can do a set, from bands and rock singers, to classical cellists and jazz groups. You may find that you have some brilliant performers amongst the parents too, and even some closet ukulele stars who could put together a Dad band. Be inspired by the success Kingham Primary School Association have had.
Create a festival committee that includes teachers, parents and students, and if you can find someone in the local community with music promotion links, even better.
You’ll probably also be able to sell it as an extra-curricular CV addition to some of the older music or business students, who’ll have the energy and ideas to make it really exciting. Although this is a big event to organise, think about how much fun it will be when you pull it off, as well as the fundraising benefit.
If you don’t have enough musicians for a full festival, why not add an evening of music to the school summer fête? It keeps people there longer, and gives you an opportunity to serve food and hold a bar for a great social event in the school’s calendar. For more ideas have a look at how one school did it.
- Fireworks Proms: Be inspired by something like the Chelsea Fireworks Proms. Another big event, and you’ll need insurance for it, but it’s so special that you can really charge, and deliver a great experience whilst raising lots of money for the school. Teach the school orchestra some real show-stoppers, and hire a fireworks display company to set a show in the background.
Don’t forget to sign up as a cause to easyfundraising, and share your link with the rest of the school. That way when you buy supplies for your musical fundraiser you’ll be earning free donations every time you shop online. Whether it’s costumes, popcorn machines, or programmes, you’ll find an easyfundraising partner to buy from that will boost your funds, simply by shopping!
Let us know in the comments if you’ve run a great fundraising music event at your school.
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