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Fundraising: Fund-Raising suggestions

From: (W. Scott Ponzani)
Date: 95-09-29 17:00:15 EDT

>The collegiate choir I perform in is planning a Europe tour for next summer.
>We are hoping to raise at least $50K and are currently organizing our
>resources and mapping out a blueprint for a fundraising drive. We have ruled
>out bake sales and candy bars, looking instead for more large-scale
>initiatives. If any of you have some ideas which you have found to be
>successful, I would greatly appreciate the help! Please send responses to my
>address and not the list. Many thanks in advance!

Yes! My choir sold Sally Foster gift wrap. The stuff is great--sells
itself. And the quality is unsorpassed. Their located in one of the
Carolina's. I know that's not much help, but I'll check around for more.

Oh, you could email my former director:

He'll know the number and be able to give you more details.

Scott Ponzani

Forwarded message:
From: (John R. Hall)
Date: 95-09-29 10:53:41 EDT

This will be a self-serving response since I deliver the services I propose
to you. However, my experience has been that this is something you should
consider, whether I get to help you or not.

Audio recordings of your choral group. For fourteen years I conducted a
chorus. The school could fund us to the tune of 1500 a year. We negotiated
with the administration to let us make recordings and keep the profits for
the program. Since I also was incharge of the campus educational FM radio
station, we had free access to professional recording gear.

After years of higher education administration, it became clear to
me that I could help others. You can make recordings, produce CD's and
cassettes and sell them to support your program. Fruit and candy
don't last long. Recordings have a long shelf life.

Send me your address and I'll send you some of my stuff. If you are
too far away for it to be cost-effective for me to help you, I can
put you in touch with others who can. You should make about 85-90% profit
on your recordings if you sell them at the "going rate" of 11 or 12 for
cassettes and 15-18 for CD's

I did a CD for a family classical quintet in '94. This summer they went
to Europe for five weeks with the profits from those sales, and they sold
recordings there.

A High school chorus in my area is releasing a project this fall for their
BIG tour next spring.

Also, check the foundation directory in your local university library of
fund raising office for foundations in your area that support the arts; seek
corporate grants and support. [handle it much like a racing car team, or
The America's Cup--get local business to support your efforts.

John R. Hall
JRH & Associates
5021 Stonemeade Drive
Nashville, TN 37221
Voice Mail 615-664-3760
FAX 615-646-2778

Forwarded message:
From: (Monica J. Hubbard)
Date: 95-09-29 11:22:47 EDT

Dear Randy-
You don't say where you are located or give us any clues as to what might
work for your particular donor base, but in our neck of the woods the
"stay at home" event has been successful since Pasadena is loaded with
philanthropic organizations all with their hand out. Those who are on
the "charity circuit" are often grateful not to have to dress up and go
out! (Except to our concerts, of course!)

The stay at home tea, complete with "formal" invitation or clever poem
and an enclosed tea bag worked well for us when we were going to Boston.

A stay at home dinner, with cleverly named musical courses, netted good
results for another musical organization near us.

Be sure to let your donors know that their names will be listed on your
concert programs and be sure to get any new names in to your Friends of
the XXXXX Chorus support data base.

The singing valentines in February can net $$ if you have enough
quartets, trios, etc. free during the day to "deliver" them to
businesses, etc.

Best wishes,
Monica Hubbard
California Institute of Technology MSC2-58
Pasadena, CA 91125

Forwarded message:
From: (Jan Michael Kliewer)
Date: 95-09-29 12:55:43 EDT


The Foreign Candy Company has chocolate advent calenders for fundraising
that sell very well. I used them to take a group to Europe two years ago.
I don't usually like to sell stuff, but these were easy!

The Foreign Candy Company
451 Black Forest Rd.
Hull, IA 51239

Forwarded message:
From: (Robert Prowse)
Date: 95-09-29 16:57:33 EDT

To raise that kind of money, you need to identify people in the public
eye who like to make charitable donations. Throw a $50-a-plate dinner
(that costs $20-a-plate). Have the group perform at the dinner. Find
other events that invite large charitable donations!

Bob Prowse
University of North Alabama

Forwarded message:
From: (Mr. President)
Sender: (Mr. President)
Reply-to: (Mr. President)
Date: 95-09-29 19:08:59 EDT

My choir director forwarded your plea to me. As a fifth year
member of the University Singers at the University of Portland in
Portland, Oregon, I have been looking forward to a European tour for some
years. In January I had the chance to begin looking into a tour for the
Singers. We organized and began looking into fundraising plans.
This is when we ran into a spot of trouble. We, as a committee,
planned to base the bulk of our fundraising on donations, from parents
and church communities on up to foundations and corporations. Well, we
ran into a few troubles in the initial stages and had to postpone our
tour to December of 1996. At present, we are rebuilding and looking at
new options.
Here are a few of the options which have come to mind so far:
Raffle off a pickup and/or trailer from a local dealer. The
dealer appreciates the advertising, and, depending on affiliation, will
donate all or part of the pickup. The choir would have to make up the
difference. Tickets would be 20 dollars - selling 2000.
Record and market a CD of the group. We recorded a CD of
Christmas music this May and are going to make several dollars profit
from the sale of each CD. This should end up being 4-6000 dollars. And
this also helps for community awareness and good will for the choir.
My high school sponsors a poinsettia sale each November which
raises up to 4000 dollars. The students act as middle-men and do all of
the legwork, and get paid pretty well for it.
Of course, successful auctions are a big boon for any cause. My
high school, again, runs an annual auction which raises approximately
125,000 dollars per year. It is a major undertaking, but raises a good
deal of revenue.

It is really very hard to find the perfect fundraiser. I wish
you luck in your endeavor. And, if I may, I would like to request that
you forward a few ideas back our way. We, too, are looking for new ways
to raise money. Thanks, and Good luck.

* Dan Parrish 775 West Hills Way NW *
* President, ASUP Salem OR 97304 *
* (503) 283-7471 (ASUP) *
* (503) 585-6373 (Home) <<<>>> *

Forwarded message:
Date: 95-09-29 21:30:21 EDT

I have two suggestions. One has worked for me. I've not tried the
other yet.
1. Try a jog-a-thon/skate-a-thon, or whatever type ...a-thon you want.
I've raised 5-6,000 in one shot. the idea is to get the students to
obtain sponsors to put up a certain amount for each lap they run or
skate or per pin they knock down while bowling. Depending on the size
of the group and their energy, you can raise quite a bit. The big
drawback here is the record keeping, but a few students could handle
that, also.
2. Form a chorus booster club, made up of former chorus members. You
can come up with quite a list if records have been kept. Let them know
what you plan and enlist their aid. Perhaps you have an alumnus with
really deep pockets or with acquaintance with an angel.
Good luck. I'm looking into similar possibilities next year.
Tony Mowrer
Faulkner University
Montgomer, AL

Forwarded message:
Date: 95-09-29 21:33:53 EDT

Have you thought about putting on a madrigal dinner?
Get the support of your university alumni association to help with
logistics (ticket sales, advertising) and run it for 3-4 days. It
doesn't have to be a Christmas theme, I did one around Valentine's that
was a great success. Good luck.

Forwarded message:
Date: 95-09-30 08:50:12 EDT

Our annual fundraiser has been lucrative and relatively easy for us. Letters
are mailed to parents of all students living in the dorms -- asking them to
a fruit basket or "support basket" (fruit, nuts, any, crackers, etc.) to be
delivered to their on-campus students just before final exams. The company
work with does most of the assembly of the baskets -- all we have to do is
initial mailing and the on-campus delivery (two nights' work for the choir),
plus data entry and order processing which is done by two people. I know you
said no candy sales, but our unit price for the baskets is in the $13-16
We solicit 7000 parents, get about 1500 orders, and make about $6000 for 2
nights work. If you'd like more information, let me know.
Clayton Parr
Miami University Men's Glee Club
Oxford, OH

Forwarded message:
From: (Amy Fogerson)
Date: 95-09-30 11:57:28 EDT

Singing valentines were very popular on our campus. The entire choir
would learn a few SATB arrangements appropriate for Valentine's Day, such
as "My Funny Valentine," "Come Again Sweet Love," "My Wild Irish Rose,"
etc. Then students, faculty and staff would purchase them and we'd send
a quartet out to "deliver" the Valentine. Sometimes we'd do it in class
after receiving approval from the professor. This made us lots of money
for our yearly tour, but it does require publicity (a couple of years we
even advertised in the community) and organization. I was in charge of
them one year, and it takes a lot of time for advertising, assigning
quartets, keeping the schedule, etc.

Amy Fogerson

Forwarded message:
From: (Steve Parker)
Date: 95-09-30 13:57:15 EDT

Randy, I would appreciate any/all suggestions you receive. I am taking
my choir to Great Britain in May and the officers are setting up
fund-raising activities now. This will be our university choir's 5th
European tour since 1981. Our school lets us use our yearly allotment
for touring to offset some of the cost; and we got permission to put
$2500 a year in savings for four years to add to the tour monies (all
comes from students activity fees). So we are able to give our students
approximately $500-600 toward the cost of the trip. With the 15-day tour
costing $2300 the students try to raise another $500-$600 to get the cost
down close to $1000.

Our first fund-raiser is going to be a . The bowling alley
is donating the lanes for a Sat. afternoon and the students will bowl 7
games and get pledges for total pins, i.e., penny a pin. They also plan
an auction, with everyone bringing something from their hometowns to auction.
One student's parents will do the autioneering. We are working on
getting a car donated by a local dealer to raffle off. I was able to
several years ago because the owner's daughter was in the group. It was
a used car but brought in about $5000.

All monies raised by the indiviual goes under their name and they get
that money when the last payment is due.


Forwarded message:
Date: 95-09-30 10:07:02 EDT

Fund raising is something that we all have to deal with. When I first
read your message I started to reply not to make suggestions, but because
of my lack of suggestions, I wanted to see the list that you were going
to come up with. Most of all, since this is such a big issue I think you
have somewhat of an obligation to post the information that you come up
with. Three quarters of the glory of these listservers is not the
opportunity to ask the question, but to be able to hear the responses. I
learn more from those than I do from books. So off my box, if you wwon't
post your responses publically, then would you share them with me? I'd
like to know some new fund raising ideas.

First, contact J.W.Pepper, the easiest way is

and find a copy of the fundraising book that is so popular. They
advertise it in the catalogs all the time.

the next items are not my own but suggested to me when I asked Bill
Trego, former director of the Princeton H.S. Choir, Princeton NJ

Do something that requires no expenditures, that way everything you take
in is 100% profit. Some examples are: advertising the services of choir
members for $10 an hour, it could be pulling weeds, it could be climbing
up to the attic for an elderly person, it could be anything. And, that
is the way that it must be advertised...will do almost anything for $10
an hour donation. Have a single person coordinate the jobs, receives the
calls and decide who is going to do what, finding out ho much money was
collected for how many hours, then in charge of collecting the check
afterwards , most of all, keeping track of who's doig what, and who's no
doing as much.

Do the parents of someone in the choir own a restaurant? Have a wine
tasting, Have someone else donate the wine, someone donates the space,
the kids in the choir are the help and entertainment.

Rent-out chamber ensembles for parties, meetings, openings of new Macdonalds

I hope to see that you published your information.

John Crever
Westminster Choir College
Princeton, NJ

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 19:40:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Lynn L. Whitescarver"
Subject: Fund Raising Compilation

Dear Choral Listers,

This summer I had asked for a list of innovative fund raisers. Below is a
compilation of what I received. Thank you all for your wonderful ideas!

Lynn Whitescarver
Montgomery County Boychoir

We have both adult and boy choirs. Both raise money once a year to
support concerts. A letter writing campaign gets us some of it (listing
people in the program as donors, sponsors, etc). The other two major
items are sales of tapes of previous concerts as well as a baked goods
sale (in your case, the parents of the boychoir would do the baking).
The bake sales regularly net $800 or so every time we do one.

Jim Swist
Cambridge MA

Auction of promises (you know the sort of thing - get the parents to
make something, offer a service of some kind, sponsor a lot of some
description. The kids could offer to wash cars, for example. Then
have an evening when you auction it all off. They're actually quite
fun. Charge a nominal sum on the door to cover refreshments, put a
bucket at the back for people who don't buy anything but still want
to donate etc etc). We did it when I was accompanist of a boys' choir
in Bristol, UK, and held it after a shortened rehearsal one night.
You can also get the boys to perform... always goes down well with
the parents!
Jonathan Maidstone

The advice I got from a musically dynamite and financially strapped minority
chorus was to ask individuals in the audience at a concert to pledge to bring
in $10 from each of ten sponsors. Sounds like nickels and dimes, but if 100
people stand up at that concert, that's $10,000.
Mary Lycan
Treble Clef Music Press

You might want to try a "Choral-a-thon" with your boys. Have them get
pledges from family, friends, etc. and sing for so many hours. I have
seen this done with a high school orchestra and it worked great. Of course
they didn't go a full 24 hours. They did go all night but took breaks
for naps, volleyball, bathroom, etc. Good luck with your trip.
Craig Hawkins

A pyramid of patrons always works for us:
Level One- Patron $500
Of 25 boys, it may be possible to get 10 whose parents or relatives or
businessassociate of parents or relatives can donate this amount.
Patron Party- 2 Tickets to Patron concert, name in program. certificate of
appreciation and two admissions to party. Try to have a local celebrity be
the guest of honor (someone people will want to come out and see.
Offer a patron/benefactor concert for donations of $ 1000 or more. Have the
boys perform for a party for any one who makes the contribution. This can be
done during holiday season when parties are abundant and you already have the
repertoire learned.
Level Two Sponsor $250
Two tickets to Patron Concert and name in program and certificate of
Level Three - Donor $ 100
One ticket to Patron concert, name in program and certificate of
Level Four - Friend $ 10 - $ 99
Name in program

This program is designed to ease the burden of fund raising on the
organization, provide benefits for the donors and make it easy to contribute.

If you have 10 patrons from the community at $500 each, ffifteen Sponsors at
$250 each, thirty Donors at $100 each and 50 friends at $50 each, you wil
have raised $ 37,800 and can probably sell additional tickets to the
concert at $5.00 each.
Larry Phillips, Choral Musician
New Orleans, LA

A fund raiser we have used very successfully is a huge garage sale but not
in the manner you are perhaps thinking. Ask all your families to put items
together for a garage sale. Find an indoor space, a school gymnasium,
armory, etc. and have each family set up their own booths for their sale.
Advertise it as a 30 family (or whatever) garage sale and you will be amazed
at the response. What each family sells, they then use towards the trip.
When the sale is over, the family takes their stuff home so you have no
cleanup to worry about.
Also, you don't have to have parents come in and price everything as the
families do it themselves.
Bruce Phelps

How about a concert w/desserts? We have tried madrigal dinners and
madrigal/desserts, and we end up with about the same amount raised. The
dessert option is a whole lot easier.
Marjorie Drysdale

Many people suggested selling raffle tickets too.

on August 5, 2002 10:00pm
Oh no! Not the carwash!
Actually with about 100 can make over $10,000 in one afternoon. The week prior to the carwash, students each get 10 pledges for 1 penny a car. Tell everyone you know to bring their car out to be washed. Students are at 10 separate locations...(10 at each). Each location needs to wash 100 cars for donation only (you actually make more this way). 100 cars x your ten locations equals 1000 cars washed. Each student then collects $10.00 from each sponsor...totaling 100 dollars per student. That's how you get 10,000 dollars, and then you add about another 1000+ for see, it doesn't matter if the people just need the cars. It worked really well for me.