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Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

What do successful fundraisers have in common? Find out here as FutureFund breaks down the anatomy of a fundraising campaign that works. Learn what elements to include in your campaign so that you can meet your school group’s goals.

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

Published on April 5, 2022

24 Fundraising Ideas for School Bands

Hold a homerun-a-thon, have a coin war, and more with this fun yet unique list of effective fundraising ideas for any school group. Our team at FutureFund is here to help you reach your fundraising goals for your school band this year!
24 Fundraising Ideas for School Bands

Here’s a list of 24 ways you can fundraise for your school’s band! From hosting a battle of the bands to running a March-A-Thon, these ideas will help you support the young musicians at your school and reach your fundraising goals.

Run Your School Band Fundraiser with FutureFund

Our platform comes with powerful tools that can help you fundraise for your school band more effectively before competition season arrives. These include:

  • Ready-to-go campaign templates so you can sell tickets or items for different events.
  • A built-in messaging system you can use to announce your fundraisers and provide details.
  • Opportunity to create volunteer sign-up lists to optimize parent and community involvement.
  • Powerful financial reporting tools to help you track your earnings, stay compliant, and plan future fundraisers more effectively.

Get started with FutureFund today or book a demo to see how it can work for you.

Donation Campaigns

These campaigns encourage parents and volunteers to donate directly to your school group. FutureFund makes it easy to collect money online during the campaign, but you can also include an in-person event with a specific theme, such as something music-related for the band,  if you want to make your fundraiser more meaningful.

Learn how to run a donation campaign with FutureFund here.

Tip: Use FutureFund’s messaging system to announce the fundraiser and include a link to the online campaign so that people can still donate even if they can’t attend the event.

Jar of pennies from pennies for players fundraising event

Direct Donation Drives

These are a great way to organize a fundraiser that doesn’t require a lot of volunteers or an event location. Donors can send their contributions directly to your FutureFund campaign, and then you can access them for your needs. Be sure to explain precisely what the money will go towards for the band—new instruments, equipment, travel costs, etc. 

Band Boosters

If your school doesn’t already have a Band Boosters program, consider starting one. Band Boosters are a collaborative effort between teachers and parents in support of the school’s band programs. A group of dedicated, involved parents can really change what’s possible for a school band. They can create different donation ideas and use our platform to secure the funds.

Pennies for the Players

Ask contributors to donate coins of any denomination throughout a month-long period. Different grades can compete with each other, or you could have students compete with teachers. In order to execute this option, you’d require a few volunteers, a location, but very little capital.

Alongside a physical penny jar, you can set up a donation campaign through FutureFund for parents and others throughout the community to donate various amounts in tandem with the competition at school.

Email Campaign

This is a low-venue, low-volunteer, low-capital fundraising option. Similar to the Direct Donation campaign above, you could organize this fundraiser through a series of email blasts that span a month or two. Donors can contribute to different causes as they desire. You can even set up a competitive angle by grouping grades or creating teams of donors.

Social media icons to represent promoting band fundraiser campaigns

Go Viral

Why not host a Go Viral campaign for your school’s fundraising goals? Have students, teachers, and family members upload videos based on a particular theme, then provide prizes for videos or pictures that get the most traction and attention. Donors can help fund through our platform. Regardless of whether you go viral or not, there will be a lot of memories to look back on digitally!

Purchase Campaigns

Any kind of fundraiser where you sell physical items or event tickets is a Purchase campaign. Add each item type to your school band’s online store in FutureFund by creating a specific Purchase campaign for it.

Learn how to run a purchase campaign here.

Tip: Always run Purchase campaigns alongside physical events like school spirit wear sales, since this allows you to make sales 24/7 and lets people make purchases even if they can’t attend the event.

School band member playing tuba as part of live movie music night fundraiser

Live Movie Music Night

Make magic with a live movie music night! Use FutureFund to sell tickets to an event where the band can play the soundtrack to a classic movie as you screen it for the audience. These nights can easily coincide with holidays to make it a seasonal event—such as playing alongside The Nightmare Before Christmas during October for Halloween, or the classic Home Alone near Christmastime.

See Also: 15 Halloween Fundraising Ideas for Schools


This is another event that you can sell tickets for in advance and sign-up volunteers on our platform to really make the experience run smoothly. Host an outdoor picnic for your guests in a memorable location and have the band play outdoors!

Battle of the Bands

If your school is more interested in contemporary music, host a Battle of the Bands! This option requires a venue, volunteers, and advanced ticket sales that can be sold online. Promote the event early to allow people to assemble their bands and practice for the big day.

Attendees can pay a fee to attend the event or can sponsor different bands. Watch the funds rock and roll in!

Tutor Young Musicians

Everyone has a dream—for some young musicians, their dream needs a little nudge and support from someone who is further along in their journey.

Promote short sessions or classes taught by high-school musicians to a group of elementary school children who are just beginning their musical journey. Sessions can be short and purchased through your online store. Parents pay for the lessons as a fundraising effort for the school district and even sign up for certain time slots.

Talent Contest

A similar option to Battle of the Bands, a school-wide Talent Contest is a great opportunity for students to show off their skills and abilities while improving parent engagement! Have volunteers sign-up online within our platform to help the event run smoothly and sell tickets beforehand as well. Make sure to promote the event early through social media and use our shareable links to get the most attendance!

Golf Tournament 

An unconventional option, hosting a golf tournament is a great way to get everyone outdoors while raising funds for your school! More players may even come out of the woodwork from the community to play, raising additional money for your school band.

Participants can pay a registration fee to compete in the tournament and you can have onlookers buy a ticket to attend as well. During the award ceremony, the band could even play in order to add more excitement and purpose to the event!

Local musicians playing at music festival fundraiser for school band

Music Festival

While this idea is similar to the Battle of the Bands idea, you could take this opportunity to reach out to local bands who would be interested in supporting their local schools. Secure a location, volunteers, and sell tickets for the experience in advance. You could even have different ticket options. You can sell tickets for each band’s set and then also offer an all-day ticket option for a heftier price.

Allow your school band to perform as well, giving parents a chance to enjoy their children’s accomplishments. This event could be as grand or intimate as your school desires!

Candy Sales

Food-based fundraisers are a classic option—so why not continue the tradition? Have families make homemade candies and sweets to sell online. Buyers can pre-purchase treats so no one wastes ingredients and then delivery can happen at the school or through the students themselves. You can post your items in your school band’s store through FutureFund and advertise the options!

Consider hosting it around a holiday, like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. The most delicious surprise will be your bottom line!

Wine & Paint Night

Raising funds doesn’t have to be stressful! A Wine and Paint Night offers attendees a chance to sip, unwind, and create while also supporting a cause they care about.

Add in your school band to the event to make it even more magical—some light jazz music would be a perfect backdrop for this memorable evening! Sell tickets in advance and have volunteers run the experience!

Video Game Brawl

A lot of students play video games these days! So why not set up a live Video Game Brawl that students will be excited to attend? Retro games from the parents’ generation can also be offered at the event. Sell tickets for the event and make sure to advertise throughout the school’s social media platforms.

Additionally, the school band can play video game music to round out the evening. Nothing like a little competition to get everyone hooked and laughing.

Game Night

Another option where your band can play live music is a Game Night! However, the dancing, merriment, and excitement from this event will have people talking for a while! Plan the event with the help of volunteers and pay a fee to come to the event—ticket sales!

Have a photo-booth, themed snacks, and a dress code to make the event pop even more! And those themed-snacks can be sold for a small prize—with vouchers sold through your online store.

Community Car Wash

Sometimes you don’t have to look any further than a classic option—a Community Car Wash! Get everyone excited about getting their car cleaned by posting ahead of time on social media and selling vouchers for a wash online. This option requires a location and the band members to do the washing, or parents can wash while the members play songs to hype the experience.

A-Thons (Pledge Campaigns)

An “A-Thon” fundraiser is a special kind of pledge campaign you can run in FutureFund. Once you create the campaign for the event, students who sign up to participate each get a link they can use to collect donations from family and friends.

Find step-by-step instructions for successful pledge campaigns here.

Tip: The link you’ll share when you create the campaign is what you’ll use to sign up student participants. When they register for the event, they’ll each get their own unique link that they can use to raise money from members of the school community.

Baseball player sliding into base during a fundraiser

Baseball Hit-A-Thon

Keep the bases loaded with an unforgettable sports event that’ll wow your attendees and your competitors! An event like this should be held in person; it’ll require a venue, volunteers, and some start-up capital. However, the memories made and laughs will be well worth the effort. For additional dramatic effect, the band could play during the event during a baseball hit a-thon or free-throw-a-thon as well! There are a lot of options when it comes to sports as well so you can really brainstorm a lot of great ideas. 


If your band is up for it, you could also host a Practice-A-Thon! This fundraising event idea would require a location and a few volunteers. Have students sign up for different portions of a song; they can tap in when they’re ready to play and tap out when they need a break. Make sure to encourage students to get their donation sponsors early and register online. Pair this with the picnic (see idea above) for a full day of fun!


A classic option for any school band is to host a march! However, why not make it slightly competitive and fun by turning it into a March-A-Thon? Attendees can walk certain segments of the march. The band can play alongside the marchers for certain time periods, providing them with uplifting music and energy. Registration can occur online while band members hustle for sponsorships.

Participant in color run for school band fundraiser

Color Run

Give attendees an opportunity to work on their fitness while also working on your bottom line! Organize a fun Color Run for competitors and run it like an a-thon where participants can register beforehand and grab donations for their work at the event!

Make sure you have prizes ready for the winners. Your school band can also play during this event, making it even more jazzy.

Want more inspiration? Explore our whole list of A-Thon fundraisers.

Other Fundraising Ideas

Restaurant Fundraiser

While you will need a restaurant who is willing to partner with you, this option will be easy to execute. Let the attendees know ahead of time about which days they should visit the establishment and make arrangements with the restaurant to receive a portion of their profits. If the restaurant has a stage, consider having your school band play and accept donations online for those who cannot make it in person.

Grocery Store Partnership

Reach out to a local grocery store and see if they’re interested in partnering with your school for a fundraiser. This mutually-beneficial option will drive traffic to their store while also benefiting your school when you receive a percentage of their revenue. Similar to the restaurant fundraiser idea above, you can accept direct donations online as well by advertising to guests.

Auctions or Raffles

By using a site like Future Fund, you can organize an auction or raffle for your school! Source donations from various businesses or private individuals and then use our messaging system to help communicate and coordinate the event.

Then, list items online and have people bid for the item! Participants love a chance to win something and your school will be the ultimate winner!

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I use FutureFund’s messaging system to promote my fundraiser?

FutureFund’s messaging system lets you:

  • Send messages to every parent in your school community or filter your audience to reach specific groups.
  • Create unique sender profiles to make sure the message is always coming from the appropriate party.
  • Use customizable message templates to save time when broadcasting updates or announcements.

Should my school band fundraiser be a Purchase or a Donation campaign?

Use Purchase campaigns to sell event tickets or physical items (like baked goods, merchandise, or arts and crafts).

Use Donation campaigns to collect money from community members in support of a specific goal or cause (like a food drive).

The great thing about a Christmas fundraiser is you can leverage the spirit of the holidays to market the event or campaign with even more appeal to the community.

How do I sell sponsorships with FutureFund?

FutureFund displays sponsors on your school group’s online directory once they have agreed to make a contribution. You’ll be able to set the price for sponsorships on your own—but our team can provide guidance and support if you’re not sure what to charge.

How can I use FutureFund to track my fundraiser’s success?

FutureFund gives you the ability to generate financial reports for fundraising campaigns in just a few clicks. To do this, navigate to Store and click the Reports tab near the top of your screen. Then choose Campaign Summary from the drop-down menu and click Generate Report.

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