Thursday, April 3, 2008


So, your dance studio or competition team needs to raise money. The first thing you need to do is come up with an idea. Here are some ideas that are beyond the basic fundraiser of selling items to friends and family that they don't need.
There is an everyday opportunity to sell snacks and drinks in the dance studio. Set out a baker's rack in the lobby of your dance studio and possibly a smaller refrigerator. Fill the baker's rack with a variety of snack items and the refrigerator with a variety of bottled drinks. This is cheaper and easier than dealing with vending machines. Use an honor system where the dancers and other family members of dancers can freely choose an item and place the correct amount of money in a container or mailbox. There are many dancers that come to dance class hungry after school or from another activities. They also get thirsty between and after classes. Family members waiting for dancers to finish dance class also can benefit from having snacks and drinks to purchase. Parents also use snacks as a reward for dancers after dance class or as distractions for brothers and sisters waiting in the lobby. The honor system usually works well. This way it is not much work for you or your staff. Have a competition student parent or a rotating system of parents or volunteers that can be in charge of purchasing the snacks and drinks at Sam's Club every other month or so. If you have a teaching assistant student who helps out in the dance studio, make it one of her jobs to restock the snacks and drinks at the beginning of the work day. Use a portion of the profits to go towards purchasing the items and pocket the rest for your competition groups or for the overall cost of your annual dance recital. The only possible drawback is that you will have to deal with crumbs and possible spills in your studio. Limit the food only to the lobby area and not in the actual classrooms. Post signs reminding to keep the studio clean. Provide a garbage can and a hand held vaccuum so dancers and family members can take responsibilty for themselves and suck up their crumbs on the spot. If you provide the materials, they will use it and hopefully not walk away from their messes.
Try creating a fun community event that would provide entertainment and raise some dollars. Try a Pancakes With Santa (or the Easter Bunny) event. Find a church that would donate its kitchen and fellowship hall area. Have dancers and parents whip up pancakes, other easy breakfast food items, and juice, milk, and coffee. Make the event about 3 hours long and allow families to come for breakfast anytime between those hours. Have someone costumed as Santa or the Easter Bunny and let them visit among the guests. Provide a place where kids can have their picture taken with Santa or the Easter Bunny. You could also have some of your dancers perform at various times throughout the breakfast. This would provide more entertainment and would be good advertising for your dance studio.
Another idea for fundraising is to contact the local organizations in your community, such as the Lions Club, the Kiwanis, and the Jaycees. Sometimes these types of organizations will make a donation to your group or pay your dancers if they helped out or worked at their events or functions that they do throughout the year. Most towns also have special events, fairs, and festivals during the year. Sometimes the organizations like the chamber of commerce pays volunteers or groups to help at these events.
Promote your dancers as fun entertainment at local events. There are times when places or events or looking for entertainment and would be willing to pay you or make a donation to your school if you come dance for them. This would also give your dancers extra practice and performance time.
One tip that I have learned is that when you are trying to raise money is that when you ask for a donation, rather then a set price, that you sometimes make more money. Consider asking for donations. Many times people will give more if you leave it up to them. They will also give what they have and feel less likely to ask for change for their bigger bills. Try it. You may be surprised.
Another way to earn money towards fundraising is to rent out your dance studio for birthday parties on days when the studio is empty. Train some of your older students or competition students to be party hosts for people wanting to have birthday parties in the studio. Have them not only be the host, but have them teach a small and fun dance class for the participants. You can pay this student a small fee for their time, even give yourself a small commission, and give the rest towards your fundraising effort. You could also just ask that a donation be made for the use of your studio space. You can rent out your studio for other purposes besides birthday parties. There are often groups, clubs, and other classes that are looking for a place to meet.
Instead of selling merchandise to make money, donate your dance groups services instead. For example, bag groceries for tips at the grocery stores.
Think outside of the box when it comes to fundraising and don't underestimate the power of the donation. - Glitter Graphics

1 comment:

  1. There are a LOT of good ideas here. Another idea I came across was selling recital gifts a few weeks before the recital date or during the actual performance. There are a lot of inexpensive personalized gifts at this website:
    I love their buttons!