Early band classes for middle school students face unique financial challenges. Many students do not have their own instruments, and most are new to playing in a band or to playing at all. Concerts may not be as supported, and chances to play outside of the classroom are not as frequent. For all these reasons, outside fundraising is an important aspect to keeping early band programs running in middle schools. Here are some fundraising ideas that can help teachers and schools gather needed funds for beginner band.
1. Start in-school "grams" during special occasions.
This can help your band students gain confidence on their instruments. For Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day, offer school students to chance to purchase notes and candy to be delivered to their friends. Your band students can deliver the grams during the usual band practice class and play a short tune upon the delivery to other students. All proceeds will go to help fund the band, and your band students will have the chance to play short songs as solos in front of their peers.
2. Contact local businesses to provide coupons.
Reach outside of school and help promote local business by offering coupons to parents to buy. For example, you might sell a coupon book that offers discounts on local restaurants, mechanic shops, clothing stores, and groceries. Local businesses will see more patrons with coupons, and the coupon books will provide a nice profit for the band. To make the offer sweeter. you might offer business proprietors free tickets to school band concerts as a thank-you gesture for their support.
3. Use school fundraising products in a unique way.
Common school fundraisers use things like cookies, chocolates, cookie dough, or other candy in order to raise money. You can also use fundraising products for a band fundraiser, but make it more appealing for students to meet sales goals. Hold pep rallies where the band plays for a certain length of time based on how many boxes people buy. Enter purchaser names into drawings for high-ticket items. You could even hold a raffle for band goods — for example, if a person buys five boxes of candy, they could receive a band t-shirt or have their child entered into a drawing for a paid trip to school band camp.
4. Use the parents, students, and school sponsors for auctions.
Make fundraising a community event. Have band parents donate goods and services to be auctioned off during band concerts, all proceeds to the band. Your band students could also auction off their work — they might offer services like car washing or baby sitting for auction, and those wanting to support the band can buy what they need.