National Championships Fundraising

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DCWOODS, Mar 19, 2009.


    DCWOODS Member


    Just wondering what ideas people have to raise the large amount of money thats needed to go to the National Championships.

    I've got the usual bingo, race night, raffle, being sorted but any other ideas people??

  2. QAD

    QAD Member

    Duck racing

    Always a laugh through the summer - find a stream, a load of (wooden) chip forks - plastic are a disaster - and race them down the stream (or Ebbw Vach in your case).
    Also incude a load of beer and food and combine it into a social - basically poo sticks with beer :biggrin:
  3. cornetsquint

    cornetsquint Member

    When we qualified a few years ago someone came up with the idea of a bed push but to make it more musically minded, we pushed a piano around the forest instead. was great fun
  4. 3rdcornetsolo

    3rdcornetsolo Member

    First let me say well done on qualifying for the finals...

    I have been coerced into joining the fund raising team of my local band who qualified out of the 4th section this year (what can I do my wife plays there lol?).

    At our first 'we need money to get to Harrogate' meeting we came up with the following (some of which I know you will have considered already):
    100 club
    Quiz night(s)
    Begging letters for sponsorship from local business'
    Local grants
    Classic car run
    Golf day
    Bag pack at M&S (apparently worth about £600 per day)
    Cheese and Wine night
    A couple of town centre 'busking'/collecting days (street licence required)
    Beetle run
    Football cards
    Table top sales at local Rotary club events

    I hope this helps in your fundraising... and naturally if anyone has any additional ideas they would be very much appreciated!
  5. Ipswich trom

    Ipswich trom Member

    We just started a Lottery Bonus ball club. £1 per week per number, winner takes half, band gets half. Seems to be working a treat. Nobody has won in 3 weeks lol!
  6. brassbandmaestro

    brassbandmaestro Active Member

    Last time we qualified for harrogate9last year, acutally!), some of the members did a sponsored bike ride!! Raised a good amount of money.
  7. HaleStorm

    HaleStorm Member

    you could try writing nice letters to local businesses and shops asking for sponsorship, probably not the most practical idea in the current economical climate but worth a shot.
  8. wittig

    wittig Member

    Someone has already mentioned it but apply to all local supermarkets to do bag-packing. At the bigger supermarkets a day can be worth well over £1000.
  9. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    On the same lines (and reasoning), try asking your employer whether they can entertain sponsoring the band or yourself.
  10. Souter

    Souter Member

    Try to raise the funds by doing what you do best - playing.

    When we were raising funds for the Nationals we did a whole days sponsored March around the old town racecourse. Made it a family day and tried to get most of the town involved. Barbeques, Bar etc (luckily the sun was shining) we also had the town's pipe band and flute band roped in to provide musical entertainment whilst we were marching around the bottom of the course. I think in all we went around the racecourse 5 times and had all the crowd March arms linked behind us for the last time. We raised in excess of 5K which paid for the whole trip in one go. From what I remeber it was a scorcher of a day and a lot of sunstroked bandspersons!
  11. Bag packing is excellent for raising money I've found in the past. I'm sure we made just under £1000 in a day.

    Last year to raise money we had a sponsored 10 mile walk in the Summer. It was torrential rain most of the day and down narrow, muddy tracks along the river. Very sore the next few days afterwards but, well worth the amount of money we raised.

    We also have a patronage scheme in which local people and business can make a donation each year and receive a quartly newsletter and complimentary tickets for one of our concerts. This seems to bring in a lot of money too.

    Another idea is a musicathon - constant music for a length of time and sponsorship. Doesn't have to be the whole band playing all the time just as long as it is kept going.
  12. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    You would not believe the best fundraisers in the US. Non-profits (registered charities) are allowed to do some things to raise money.

    Bingo is the biggie. The other is to sponsor a poker tournament for charity. Each person pays an "entry fee" and the top 5 win cash prizes. One group earned $5000 in one day!

    Not all states allow poker, but most allow bingo, raffles, etc.

  13. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Get publicity to say you've qualified. Last year when we qualified the local paper ran an article saying we'd qualified how we desperately needed to raise the funds to go etc. The local rotary club saw it and gave us a nice donation towards the costs. We also got some money from the local council and it's also worth checking things like the local lions club and any masonic lodges. Often they can help
  14. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    What "large amount of money"? I'm confused as to why people think that huge amounts of fundraising are necessary.

    When we went to the Finals in 2007, we had no sponsorship, and we did no special fundraising. The band membership travelled under their own steam, and paid for their own hotel accomodation, plus eating/drinking money. Nobody complained about this. As far as I remember the only expenses that came out of the band funds were the cost of the music, plus the cost of hiring a rehearsal venue in Harrogate (not a huge expense, thanks to the Harrogate Band :tup )

    Now before anyone starts shouting at me, I do appreciate that whilst Harrogate is not exactly "just down the road" from Northwest Surrey, there are bands that have to travel still further. But, even so, I am somewhat bemused by talk of thousands of pounds in expenses.

    Am I missing something?
  15. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Bus hire - drivers have tachos, and a set number of working hours per day. So there's the possibility of one bus, two drivers for a day, or travelling overnight, or one bus/driver for two days with driver room costs. An overnight stay in Dundee has just cost us over £400 for the bus... 75 miles from Dalkeith. Harrogate is about 180 miles from us, say 5+ hours by bus - depending on timing of the contest, that's potentially two nights or two drivers, so over a grand just for the bus is quite possible. Plus, of course, driver's B&B. As a third section band, we ain't got a spare grand in the bank... :rolleyes:

    Then the band might want to help those players who don't have the spare cash for a night or two in a hotel in the Harrogate area at a notoriously pricey time :wink: - students, schoolkids, unemployed... Soon mounts up!
  16. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    So, like I said, everyone drives themselves. 'Course, some lift-sharing goes on, so the students, etc. get a cheap/free lift ...

    Or, people chip in, and you get a couple of self-drive mini-buses ...

    Im' not being unrealistic, and I know there are costs, but I simply don't get this idea that a band has to rasie thousands of pounds just to go to the finals ...
  17. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    If I remember correctly, the first time St. David's qualified for Harrogate, there were only a handful of players old enough to drive, never mind own cars...

    And then convince parents to entrust their cherubs to someone with no experience of driving that type of vehicle, on a return trip of over 300 miles - or are there no under-18's in your band?

    As far as I can see, previous posters mentioned raising thousands, but no-one has said it necessarily costs thousands.

    What I'm saying is, it's probably beyond the means of many (most?) lower section bands in the 'remoter' parts of the UK to finance a basic trip to Harrogate without extra fund-raising - a basic trip involving a minimum of safe, sensible transport.
  18. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    You talked about your band going "on their own steam". Hence, they did their own "personal" fundraising. Not everyone playing at finals will have the financial wherewithal to fund their own transportation and hotel.

    Not everyone can afford that, especially younger members.

    Travel by coach, hotels (which are often filled) are expensive for members who may not have employment at a high level.

    When I was last a MD of a band, we traveled everywhere under our own steam as you put it. It worked, until we had to go more than 50 miles. That day, I had 10 people show up to play. It was close to a disaster.

    Had we rented a coach and gone together, 35 would have come.

    One way to make money in the US is to buy a coach or two, and lease them when the band is not using them. It pays for itself and you always have a coach and a driver or two at your disposal.

    But that takes a large sum of credit or money.

    Few bands, unless they live close to where their finals are, it would have to take some money. I have worked with drum corps and marching bands that have to take 150 people to a competition. 4 couches, 1 semi for the instrument and uniforms, etc. and a food truck and most have a "souvie truck" to sell souvenirs to make some money. Some top drum corps sells $3000 worth of souvies a night!

    They do quite a lot of fun raising. With the economy the way it is, few raises and high petrol costs (although there is some relief there) it is very difficult to go "on your own steam."

    My son's high school marching band has made state finals each year, and nationals 2 of the 3 years. I have had to come up with $1400 "band fees" to cover the costs each year. I am a pastor (local for now, hopefully fully ordained soon) and my wife is a pastor. With two pastor's salaries, you know how hard $1400 is to come up with? And that was after tons of fund raising and we never left our state (the finals were in our state).

    So I understand it perfectly well. Banding is not a poor man's hobby unless they can depend on the generosity of others. Buying instruments, travel, travel to contests all really add up.

    With some bands having trouble buying "mutes" -- yes I understand.

  19. 3rdcornetsolo

    3rdcornetsolo Member

    The top section band(s) i play for travel to most concerts and contests under their own steam, very rarely stay overnight and none of the player complain, so I fully appreciate your points.

    However, the 4th section band who i am helping raise funds for have not won a contest in 10 years and not qualified for the finals in 16 years so their trip to Harrogate is a real event/celebration.

    They WANT to do it in the right way... to make it special for the older members who remember going to London 16 years ago and make it memorable for the youngsters who have never been.
    So it isnt neccessarily a case of HAVING to raise the funds, perhaps more WANTING to.

    But I think you can forgive a band of limited success for wanting to make their appearance at the Finals an event?

    The band struggle week in week out to get more than 7 or 8 players to a rehearsal and even the week before the Areas had LOTS of empty seats at rehearsals.
    But there is a real feeling that, if done correctly, the Finals weekend could galvanise the band for years to come.

    As for a figures in the thousands being mentioned, I know that the band have secured accommodation at £35 per person per night B&B which, while not an essential part of the fund raising is something the band would like to be able to subsidise, will cost ~£1500.
    Add this to ~£400 for the bus, the obligatory polo shirts, the potential purchase of a new test piece etc etc the band are looking at an outlay of between £2500 and £3000!

    I know there are cheaper ways of doing things but I believe the future value to this band of doing things RIGHT are priceless.
  20. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Absolutely. For some bands, it may be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Other top bands, a regular event.

    I get it. When we raised funds to send out kids to Nationals, we paid for coaches (rather than beat up school buses) a hotel (instead of sleeping on a floor of some nearby high school like many schools did), shirts, photos and extras.

    We raised "scholarship money" for those who could not afford it.

    We wanted it to be a wonderful experience. My son still talks about it.

    If we had done it in a cheap manner, we would have save $500 per kid, the kids would have been beat up from sleeping on the floor of a school for two days. The band paid security guards at each end of the hotel floor to protect the kids (and to keep any from sneaking out).

    It was a fantastic experience. Why should a band who has worked so very hard to qualify not have a great experience for a few extra bob?


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