In the last decade, a large number of schools have begun struggling with budgeting, meaning that some programs and departments have had funds cut in order to preserve access to necessary academic resources. One program area that commonly has funding withdrawn is anything music related. To help support school music programs, music booster clubs have gained popularity to solicit and help manage funding for various music programs. Students who are active in the music program typically have a huge attachment to the music booster club, as it serves to support a space to develop creatively within a normally academic atmosphere. Starting a music booster club gives your music program a valuable fundraising resource to draw from when encountering financial struggle, while also giving your department the additional support of an organization willing to speak on your behalf during conversations about funding.
DISCUSS THE NEEDS OF THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT WITH ADMINISTRATION AND PARENTS
Before your music booster club can take any action, it’s important that an outline is made of what exactly the program is struggling with. Perhaps the main issue the music program is facing has to do with being unable to repair or replace student’s instruments, or maybe a recurring issue is that student’s cannot pay travel fees for band competitions or other programs hosted by the music department.
Knowing the main financial struggles of the music program will allow your music booster club to lay out a specific and well thought out plan of fundraising strategies, planning events that correspond with needs of the department. Try to organize a meeting where you’ll be able to get the perspectives of teachers, administration, parents, and students alike. This way you can be sure your booster club is providing equal support for all involved within the music department.
FORMALLY ESTABLISH YOUR MUSIC BOOSTER CLUB AS A NONPROFIT, TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATION
In order to effectively support school music programs, your music booster club first has to establish itself as a legitimate organization in the eyes of the law. Booostr.co has plenty of resources that can lead you in the right direction based on what kind of booster club you’re establishing, where you’re established, and what kinds of fundraisers you want to plan for your department. Take a look at the Booostr Booster Club Index to find booster clubs in your area that might be able to give your organization some support in the beginning stages of your booster club. Additionally, Booostr has created articles for each U.S. state outlining the legal requirements of setting up a booster club in that region. Check out Booostr.com for a more in depth look at what you have to do to formally establish your booster club before taking steps to fund school music programs!
BRAINSTORM IDEAS ON SOLICITING FUNDS FOR SCHOOL MUSIC PROGRAMS
A crucial part in the fundraising process is creating fundraisers and events that will engage the community and solicit donations for the music program. Traditional methods of fundraising can be effective, such as the common car wash, bake sale, or collection via slips sent out in the classroom. However, since your music booster club is going to be affiliated with the music program, it’s a good idea to try and come up with fundraising events that not only help you solicit donations, but that also features the work the music department has been developing with students.
Setting up booths at choir and band concerts will let parents and students know of your booster club’s efforts to support school music programs while also informing them of the opportunity to participate and volunteer with the club. Ideas like organizing events such as open mic nights or music showcases are opportunities where additional money can be raised to fund music programs. Not only are you helping fund the music program, but it allows the booster club to showcase the talents and hard work of the students who participate in the music department.
ADVERTISE YOUR MUSIC BOOSTER CLUB TO PARENTS, STUDENTS, AND ADMINISTRATION
A booster club cannot be managed by one person alone. As the saying goes, it takes a village to maintain an organization of this nature and to raise sufficient funds for something as large as a music department. Advertising your booster club on multiple platforms, both within your direct community and online, is crucial to its success in funding school music programs.
Target parents, students, and members of the school administration alike while prompting participation! If they have any pre-existing investment in the music department, you’ll have an easier time engaging with them at events that are hosted by the program. Be transparent about how exactly their donations or volunteer work within the booster club might benefit the music department. For a more thorough outline of how you might advertise your booster club and utilize social media platforms to your benefit, take a look at some articles such as Is Social Media Important For My Booster Club? on Booostr.co!
Music booster clubs are extremely valuable resources that have the primary purpose of supporting school music programs. With the unfortunate trend school systems have adopted of cutting liberal arts department funding, it’s crucial that booster clubs step in to help fund music programs and other such departments. Take steps to engage with the community through advertising and fundraising events in order to solicit funds that will allow for the growth and success of your school’s music program!