The #1 complaint music educators tend to have is the LACK OF FUNDING for their music program. So today I’m sharing with you 5 resources you should be tapping first when you start to feel that same complaint coming to you.
Seriously. Though most PTA’s have some pet-programs already picked out that they are fundraising for. Their entire mission is to get funds for your school. Why not go to the next meeting and let them know what you need. Of course, don’t just say, “I could use some money”…that would be tacky. Have a specific need in mind and ask if they can help.
Do the math on this one. If you have 240 kids in your classes and you charge $3/student for the year/semester, that’s $720-$1440 you could be leaving on the table. It’s unlikely that small of an amount is a financial challenge for even the poorest parents and it could buy you anything from a few sets of new music to a whole new curriculum. Worth. It.
They are out there. You can find them. You can learn to apply for them on your next prep period. This type of fundraising is typically the highest return on your time investment. I mean, think about it…to host a car wash you’re probably looking at 8 hours of your time if you add up planning plus the actual event. You might make $500.
Whereas if you know how to write a grant you could take only 3 hours from start to finish and make $1500+! Last fall I took 30 minutes to write a grant for my foundation and was awarded almost $9000.
No other type of fundraising is more powerful and yet music teachers neglect to even try it. TRY IT! And the knowledge you’ll gain by learning how to write a grant will let you be able to use that knowledge for all kind of other fundraising!
Every fundraiser you do should have a corporate sponsor. Get them to pay for the expenses so that 100% of what you collect is profit. You could even ask businesses to sponsor your concert- $100 in exchange for a logo on the back of the program and they can put up their banner in the foyer as people come in, AND you can thank them over the mic and give them a little sales blurb as well.
Start with businesses who have kids in your program or that you work with regularly [like your local music store]. $100-500 might feel like a lot of money to you, but for a business that’s a drop in the bucket. If you can give them this affordable way to get in front of their target audience then it’s a win-win-win for you, for them, and most of all for your students.
Your concert attendees
Why don’t you have that old tom-tom beheaded and placed in the foyer at your next concert with a sign that says, “Help us go on tour” or “We need a new TUBA! Help us out, yo!”. It’s free money from a captive audience.
I even think you could go so far as to create a powerful message and ask for donations over the mic. If you have the resources to collect donations online you had better have a link to that in your program. And if you can pass out donation envelopes [have your students help] and collect checks and cash that way so that they get a receipt and you get their name so you can send them a ‘thank you’ then EVEN BETTER!
Any way you go, if you need money for your program, your captive audience who are all stakeholders in your program should be the first people you ask.
Your challenge now is to pick one of these 5 funding resources and go after it. Commit to it right now and set a due date. Put it on your calendar. “I will submit a grant for my program by _______” or “I’m going to ask the PTA for money at their next meeting which is on ____________”.
How have you gotten the money you need for your program? Share your ideas in the comments below!
Want to feel comfortable asking for money? Here’s my ‘Power Ask’ cheat sheet. Just enter your email address and download it now: