How to Maximize Your Fundraising Efforts

NOTE: Please submit the Sponsorship form or Adopt-A-Student form with any donations so your sponsors are acknowledged by the JHS Band!

Write out the names of at least 50 people you know (family, friends, coworkers, former/current instructors, fellow students, business owners).  If you find yourself with a list of 75 or 100 – GREAT!  Spend an afternoon creating a personal, and personable, letter (even a few paragraphs) that you can text/email/Facebook/snail mail to these people.  Send all of these letters out into the world.  You can even include some images of you performing!  Be creative.  You making an effort and sending out something substantial and real will make things start to happen for you.  Committed energy creates an opening for more energy to arrive in support of you.

Keep everyone in mind as a possible sponsor.  Teachers (past and present), business people who you see on a daily basis (i.e. hairstylists, shopkeepers, coffee barista), relatives, neighbors, friends, family, people you’ve marched with before who have aged out, people in your band circuit, your fellow students on campus.  The more letters you send out, the better chance you have.  You never know who will step up in your life to help you, you might be surprised.  You WILL be surprised.

Personalize the letters that you send out to prospective donor/sponsors.  BE REAL!  Write personal notes to attach to your form letter, or completely personalize the letter with your own words.  People who care about you WANT to hear your words, your passion.  What does being in band mean to you? What has band done for your life?  Make your letter requests an enthusiastic conversation with YOU.  If you start a Facebook group inviting others to help you raise money, make sure you post a message from you every once in a while (once a week is perfect), or share a story from your band experience past or present.

Don’t just post a Fundraising Link and go on with your day.  MAKE IT PERSONAL.  People like to hear about how you are doing, or how your experience was at an event, or if you got excited about something band-related – like auditions, meeting staff or other members, meeting alumni – just reach out to your possible sponsor peeps once in a while to remind them that you are there and still open to receiving.  You can even make a video/photo collage of you talking about drum band, explaining why you want to be there, and send out a link to people so they can actually see and hear your passion “live!”

A few years ago, I taught a pair of sisters (twins!) –so, they had the challenge of raising twice the funds within the same family and friend circle. They made a short, charming, personality-filled, video talking about why they loved drum corps and how they had benefited from marching in the summer. They also told stories and really shared themselves completely. They sent the video link to EVERYONE they knew, and were able to raise a large chunk of their funds through this FUN video sharing.

Put time and effort into contacting people.  Fundraise for yourself by taking on even a small odd job like pet sitting, weeding, babysitting, errand-running, house sitting, plant-watering, housecleaning.  Tell yourself that the money for that particular small odd job will go directly to your band fees.  Send out an email or Facebook plea, or print up a really fun flyer to hand to EVERYONE you know.  Ask people if they need any assistance with anything, or any job done.  It works!  People don’t know that they need help, or even want something done sometimes, unless someone asks and plants the seed in their head.  Or, they may not need help themselves, but they come across a friend who needs extra help and they pass on your name.  Start an “odd-jobs-on-the-side-business.”

$10, $20, $50…any amount helps and it all adds up.  Encourage your sponsors to contribute any amount.  This also enables your friends to help you out with just the amount they would spend on their Starbucks that day.  Approach your friends, family, co-workers with a small and specific amount.  Sometimes people respond better if you give them an exact and smaller/achievable amount rather than a general plea.  Often, if you ask people for $25, they will say, “You know what? I can give you $50, or more.”

Consider rallying hard for one week with a “$25 campaign” which focuses completely on getting AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE to donate $25 in a week. Make a cool and colorful artistic flier that can be posted to Facebook and emailed and texted to friends and family.  Positive, focused, incremental action really creates a flood of results.

Call or email a few weeks after you send the letter and simply say, “Hey _____, did you happen to get the letter about my band activities?”  Don’t feel bad about asking, some people plan on sponsoring and simply lose the letter, or forget.  Also, you can ask, “Would you like to see a video, or some photos of what I do?  Do you want to hear more about band?  Do you have any questions about the letter I sent?”  Encourage a conversation with you, if you can get them talking to you, they will be affected by your passion and be more likely to donate.  Schedule a certain day and time, every week, to make follow up phone calls to people – mark it on your calendar like an appointment with your future.  Keep on them (politely) until you get a “no.”

Make a special calendar, solely assigned to record your fundraising.  Assign a goal of $50 or $100 or $200 per week or perhaps $400 or $500 per month.  Plan to make several calls, or send several letters a week.  Write down which day(s) you will work on fundraising for yourself ON THE CALENDAR.  Example: Monday send 10 emails, Tuesday make three phone calls, Wednesday talk to one alumni, Thursday/Friday follow up day, Saturday/Sunday pick up one odd job to make extra money.

*** Send in money whenever you can.  This will make you feel INCREDIBLE, and it makes your Director/Band feel connected and confident about you.

Forward motion, and fully-actioned intention, matters.

Period.  Use your energy, in service of your dreams.

Your Director/Instructors care about you HUGELY, so communicate with them THE MOMENT you have problems.  Don’t wait until you’re feeling down in the dumps, reach out for support from them.  Contact people you know who have done band activities before.  Ask for advice on how they got sponsored, and how they raised money.  Also, you can ask people who have graduated to give back, or ask them who they had for sponsors.  Maybe those people would be willing to sponsor someone new.

Stay Positive, Focused and Determined.  Why not believe in yourself?!!  Don’t get frustrated.  Fight for yourself.  You’re worth fighting for.  Don’t feel weird about approaching people and asking for what you need.  That’s what the world is out there for.  Start writing or saying daily statements to yourself, “I AM doing <insert band activity> this year.  I AM raising the money I need,” “I am finding ways to make money to pay my Fair Share.”  Go get that Universal Energy snowball rolling!!!  Place love and energy into your desires and needs and focus your energy on making this happen for yourself.  Positive statements and your positive attitude and belief in yourself help!

Ask for help, advice, counsel OFTEN!!!!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructors when you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or negative.

Do not isolate. Do not stay in your head with only your own thoughts for company.

Connect with Community, Friends, Family.