Five Rules to Out-of-the-Box Fundraising (Part 3)

Jul 7, 2015

Travel Notes

Fundraising for a student performance tour by yourself is like playing a one man band; it can be done, but you’ll run yourself ragged and look foolish. Fortunately, you have an army of allies at the ready: your students’ parents. Here are some tips for involving parents and improving your fundraising efforts.

Rule Three: Your Student’s Parents are Your Greatest Allies

Strategy Session

You can only come up with so many fundraising ideas on your own. To garner more ideas, hold a strategy session one night with the parents of your students. Many of them will have years of experience with fundraising from siblings, other school events, Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, and sports clubs. Start the meeting by gathering many ideas, then narrow the list down to those which maximize your group’s talents, and give you the greatest return.


You want to focus as much as possible on the music and your students. To help make this possible, recruit a few trustworthy parents to manage your fundraising efforts. We recommend placing one parent in charge of each fundraising campaign, as well as having another parent oversee all of the fundraising efforts. Just make sure everyone understands you still have final say on any decisions that are made.

Community Connections

Through the connections of your parents, your group likely has tremendous reach in the community. Some may have connections at media outlets like TV stations, newspapers and local magazines, which can be used to get the word out about your group’s trip and the need for fundraising support. Many others will have close connections to (or even own) local businesses, which you can partner with to improve your results. Finally, all will have friends and family who will likely be willing to donate toward your group’s cause.


The parents in your group work hard throughout the year to support your fundraising efforts, and you want to keep them on your team for future years. A simple gift from your trip’s destination, a card signed by those in the ensemble, or recognition at an end of the year banquet goes a long way.

Assistance from your students’ parents allows you as the director to focus more on creating amazing music with your students, and less on administration. For more fundraising ideas, take a look at the first two parts in this series, focusing on maximizing profit and business partnerships, and watch for part four next month.

Back to Part 2 – Local business partners | Forward to Part 4 – Leveraging student talent

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