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Chapter fundraising in a COVID (or post-COVID) world

Chapter fundraising in a COVID (or post-COVID) world

The traditional means of raising cash are not your only options–try something new!

The pandemic took a big toll on chapter revenue in 2020. Here’s a list of fundraising ideas that you can do virtually or live while distanced.

USE OUR NEW BHS GIVING PLATFORM

Donors can direct up to 85% of a gift to your chapter. Anyone can choose one time or monthly giving, and money is transferred to the chapter in monthly installments. BHS can also offer fundraising support to your chapter by collaborating to create a customized giving webpage for your use.

VIRTUAL TIP JAR

Once you’ve set up your chapter’s fundraising page, showcase your chapter in a live stream or release old show videos and offer the option for your audience to tip. Virtual shows allow your out-of town fans to watch as well as those who can’t leave home or would like to watch later.

Host a trivia night

If local law allows, sell tickets and host a raffle to encourage attendees to purchase multiple tickets. Game styles include general knowledge or music trivia, name that tune with a live quartet, or music bingo.

CREATE MERCHANDISE

This one is a little more time and resource intensive, but it can increase both your revenue and profile. The first option is to mass order the shirts upfront with seed money and sell them via online shows or your social media and web channels.

If you don’t have the money upfront or are not sure what your audience may buy, you can sell pre-orders and then only make what is purchased. Check with suppliers regarding minimum orders and expected turnaround times.

REBATE NIGHTS WITH RESTAURANTS

Restaurants have been hit hard, too, and you can help both them and your chapter by helping them co-sponsor a rebate night fundraiser. Once you have a date and an agreed-upon percentage of profits for the night, get the word out!

LOCAL SPONSORSHIPS

Some donors are more ready to give when they know exactly what your chapter needs and how their money will be used. Do you need a discount on your show programs or dry cleaning for your show uniforms? Could you give the music product codes to someone who can take care of a few pieces for you?

Always be sure to thank these donors in the same way that you would someone who contributes monetarily. Include a mention in social media and as a donor on your website and in show programs.

SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGNS

Chapters with a social media presence may share posts that encourage friends, families, and supporters to give through your website or by using the new BHS fundraising platform. Chapters with a smaller following can still do this, and could also look into doing a few paid ads to promote your shows instead of direct donations.

APPLY FOR A GRANT

Grant applications require a significant amount of time and effort. If your chapter has done thorough research into the eligibility and reporting requirements of a particular grant, this can be a great way to provide additional financial support for programs or operational expenses.

Take time to prepare a quality application and start your grant search locally. Begin your search with city and regional arts councils and then expand based on your chapter’s needs.

About the Author

Allison Barrett is a Customer Service Representative with the Barbershop
Harmony Society, a live music enthusiast, a cat mom, and an active volunteer in the Nashville community.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of the The Harmonizer.