Fundraising: The Necessary Evil of Band Trips
An essential part of planning a successful student travel opportunity is fundraising and promoting your band trip. Fundraising is often referred to as the necessary evil of travel! Here are some suggestions to make the process less stressful and more successful:
Select a fundraising chairperson to organize a committee and schedule appropriate projects that will coincide with your trip payment schedule. Choose projects that your students, their parents and your community can get excited about and whose sales will provide a good profit margin for the students. For each project assign a person to organize the sale, provide information to the band families, collect orders, count money, coordinate help for product distribution and track student sales and profit. A project summary listing individual student profit should then be given to the person in charge of recording all student account information.
You can provide parents with account information online by creating an Excel spreadsheet and in place of student names assigning a unique four digit id number to each student in the band. With their id number they can find their account in the spreadsheet and check their trip account balance. It’s also a good idea to periodically provide parents with an individual account printout to verify that all funds have been properly accounted for.
Encore Tours offers a free fundraiser to its groups – either two domestic airline tickets or a 5-day trip for two to Paris or London. Bands can sell tickets to win these prizes and keep all the proceeds. Here are some other fundraising ideas:
- Product sales – hoagies, pizza, pepperoni rolls, cookie dough, candles, fruit, flowers, magazine subscriptions, frozen food, pies, discount coupon books, discount cards
- Ticket drawings – 50/50, gas card, electronics, automobile, pro sport team tickets, theater or concert tickets, an opportunity to conduct the band
- Sponsor an event – Marching band shows/competitions, DCI shows, concerts, auctions, Bingo, carnival, bake sale, car wash, spaghetti dinners, pancake breakfasts, cow patty bingo
- Solicit corporate and individual donations – read more about Encore Tours' Personal Fundraising Pages
- Apply for grants
Promoting Your Trip
Once you’ve finalized your plans, received approval and met with your parents, it’s time to get the word out to the public. If you don’t promote your program no one else will. Send out a press release to your local newspapers and radio/television stations to spread the good news about your trip and performance. Sharing your story with the community will give your students a sense of pride and accomplishment and reinforce the positive things going on in your school.
Thanks to our guest blogger, former band director Andrew M. Yaracs! Yaracs is the Author of “Travel 101: A Band Director’s Guide for Planning Student Travel.” Stay tuned for his guest blog series featuring excerpts from his book. His book is available for sale on Amazon. Find out more at www.bandtravel101.com!
About the Author
After fifteen years of successful travel throughout the United States and Canada with the Butler Golden Tornado Band, Mr. Yaracs shares his knowledge and advice for planning safe student travel opportunities. The band has appeared in some of the most prestigious events in our country and has been seen by millions on both national and global television. He has been an adjudicator at band and drum and bugle corps competitions for more than thirty-five years. Mr. Yaracs has been nominated by his students multiple times and is listed in Who’s Who among Americas Teachers. His professional affiliations include the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Professional Men’s Music Fraternity and Phi Beta Mu Band Directors Fraternity, PSEA and NEA. Visit his website at www.bandtravel101.com.More Content by Andrew Yaracs