Read about reasons why should choir directors get their music out there, including fundraising, attracting new choir members and audiences, and more.
One of the most common questions we hear from our choirs is how to fundraise. This blog is a guide to understanding fundraising for your choir.
Let’s start with an understanding of the kinds of choir groups who can fundraise with these ideas, and how to ensure success with fundraising. We then move on to different ways a choir can fundraise.
Most of the ideas in this blog can be applied for any of the choir groups below -
- Community choirs
- School choirs
- Show choirs
- Singing choirs
- Church & Gospel choirs
Ensuring success with fundraising
While deciding on the amount to fundraise, always have a goal in mind to be able to get a better idea of the progress. Also keep in mind the audience you’d like to reach for your choir, because not all ideas may be applicable to all audiences. For example, you can invite community leaders to a formal event like a gala, but for a community gathering, you may want to focus on local businesses and residents. While marketing and reaching out to your audience, ensure that you are utilizing both online and offline ideas. And once you’ve completed the event(s), always thank your audience for participating and donating in any way.
Benefit concerts - You can organize concerts with your best performances to raise money for your choir. These concerts should have a headline performance, and you can raise money by selling tickets, tables, and meet & greet sessions with the choir members. You can also invite guest performers like local community stars to ensure a performance to remember for your audience. If you have a lot of songs, you can also ask the audience beforehand on their favorite songs through polls. The cost of the ticket should also include food and beverages, if possible. If you are able to partner with local organizations for sponsorship, you can raise more money and goodwill, if they are nonprofits. In today’s age, we can also host these as online events (FeelitLIVE Tip: You should offer meet & greet sessions with choir members only if the choir is not very accessible to the community in general).
Raffle - You can host a raffle over dinner to raise money. People who buy tickets to the raffle can win prizes, both monetary and non monetary, like gift certificates and dinners with local celebrities. You can combine benefit concerts with raffles too. By doing this, not only are you raising money, but also marketing your choir. Your audience will also have a performance to listen to, apart from just the dinner. And if you are a show choir, you can even set up space to let the audience dance to your music! (FeelitLIVE Tip: Ensure that you are able to get confirmed RSVPs ahead of time, so as to predict the costs and not incur last minute expenses).
Auctions - An auction can be a fun or a formal event, and is a great way to interact and engage with your audience and community. You can auction personalized performances by the choir, items from local businesses, dinners, spa sessions and even art created by community members. Since auctions require audience participation, ensure that you plan ahead of time, and get a sizable audience who can purchase these items. You can even hire an auctioneer, and add food and drinks to the evening. You can also choose to keep the auction silent, where the winners are not announced, but this is not necessary. To make this event successful, ensure that you have enthusiastic volunteers who can keep the audience excited. Did you know that you can also hold a virtual auction on FeelitLIVE? Check it out here.
Trivia Night - An interesting way to engage with your audience is to host trivia night. You can ask your choir members for trivia from their lives, like their favorite band, stories from their childhood, and other trivia. The audience can guess which choir member the trivia question is for, and win prizes. By pricing the tickets for this night slightly higher, you can also include food and beverages. You can also combine auctions with this event online, to ensure more engagement with your audience (FeelitLIVE Tip: This event will work great for smaller communities where the audience knows the choir members).
Other ways to Fundraise
Merchandise - Selling your choir merchandise is a great way to not just raise funds, but also create awareness. You can offer your choir’s T-shirts, mugs, bottles and other merchandise to the audience, both online and offline. If you are just getting started, customize a small number of merchandise, and you can scale up as per the demand. You can also tie up with local businesses to create personalized merchandise for your choir (FeelitLIVE Tip: Did you know that our new platform also allows you to sell your merchandise directly to the audience? Click here to check it out).
Crowdfunding - One of the best ways to raise funds is crowdfunding. Invite your community to reach out in their circles to raise money for your choir. To incentivize them, you can also offer gifts for every milestone in their fundraising. You can choose to have choir members put up videos thanking the donors, to make the process easier. If your choir has an online presence, please set up a dedicated section on your website allowing donations. Also use social media to spread the word, and ensure that you provide regular updates to the community. This gives them confidence that their donation is in the right hands. If you have email lists, please ensure there are regular updates going to those who have given donations, and different emails going out to those who are yet to donate. You can also ask your community members to donate their Facebook birthday fundraisers to your choir. By choosing crowdfunding, not only are you getting donations from people outside of your community, but you also increase chances of donations because people are more likely to donate to a choir recommended by someone they trust.
You can offer personalized performances for donors around special days like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or even birthdays. This could be in the form of video, or live. This is a great way to connect with your community, and you can even club this with auctions or other offline events where you can offer live performances (FeelitLIVE Tip: Did you know that we offer customized choir performances around special days through Choirgram? Click here to see how you can offer your choir’s performance to audiences).
When asking your community to donate to your choir, you can also ask their employers to see if they can match donations made by their employees. If you are able to make this happen, the fundraising becomes much easier with much less effort. If you are a nonprofit choir, it may be easier to convince larger employers or corporations to match donations.
You should always focus on your community for any fundraising efforts. To quote our latest partner, INTERKULTUR, ‘When choirs start having a positive effect on the people living in their surroundings, they become their fans. These fans eventually turn into sponsors and help the choir out when in need. These choirs then become ambassadors of their hometown, local enterprises, and institutions, which greatly benefits them’.
You should ensure that you send out personalized messages to all donors if possible, or at least those who have donated higher amounts. This holds good for sponsors too.
Do you know that all of the events mentioned can be done online through our platform? We offer features like e-donations, virtual tip jars, e-store (for your choir merchandise), live auctions, ability to set up different ticket categories (including free tickets), Superchats from audience members, and sponsorship. Choirs who have hosted virtual or hybrid events on our platform have seen upto 3x increase in revenues. To know more, click here.