Fundraising. One of the most substantial challenges facing community choruses today.
When considering how a choral organization can increase its annual revenue, here are seven vital fundraising areas on which to focus.
Donor Management & Marketing
Knowing who your donors are, what gifts they have given, and connecting with them is crucial to growing your fundraising efforts. The first step in managing your donors is to get a donor management platform in place and start tracking your donors, potential donors, and all gifts. Using the information in the system, determine how you want to target your donors. Start to segment out your donors into various lists and develop a strategy for reach outs to them. Utilize your email marketing platform, social media, and website to nurture your donors. Don't forget to add the personal touch - ask you development committee to reach out directly to your large donors!
Applying for grants can be time-consuming, but if choruses do put in the effort, it can pay off in a big way. Put together a volunteer position or committee specifically focused on researching and applying for grant opportunities. Download our Grants Database for Community Choruses to get started!
Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Indiegogo are just a few examples of the many new crowdfunding platforms available online. Choruses can be particularly successful when crowdfunding for special or unique projects. Are you performing a new commission? Bringing in a special celebrity to a performance? Going on an international tour? Putting your most unique project ideas into a crowdfunding campaign can help bring those projects to fruition.
Peer-to-peer fundraising turns your supporters into fundraisers for your organization. If you've ever seen your friends and family post on social media about their upcoming 5K or marathon trying to raise money for a nonprofit, you know what I'm talking about...
Choruses can implement the same fundraising model for their organization by engaging their singers, donors, and audience members. An example is asking your members to create "Facebook fundraisers" for the chorus on a specific date such as Giving Tuesday (Pst... ask me how my chorus raised $16,000 this way!)
Planning fundraising events take a lot of work but a well-planned event can also bring in some serious dough for your chorus. Consider having an events sub-committee on your development committee to help plan your annual fundraising events.
Event types include:
- Online or live auctions
- Gala events
- Pre- and post-concert donor receptions
- Walks for music/choral arts
- Benefit concerts
- Activity nights and/or competitions
This one seems obvious and yet, still, some choruses do not offer a way for donors to give online. According to Donorbox, "Online giving grew 7.9% in 2016 and has seen consistent year over year growth." To take advantage of online giving, make sure that your chorus has enabled at least one online giving option.
- A donation page on your chorus's website and a "donate" button in your menu (here are a few examples of great donation pages)
- Network for Good
- Amazon Smile
- Facebook Donations Tools
With mobile traffic taking up more than half of all internet traffic, it's no surprise that mobile giving is growing. Choruses can use a variety of mobile giving platforms now to raise money for their chorus.
Tori Cook is the former Director of Sales & Marketing at Chorus Connection. She sings with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and is a board member of the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. In a past life, she was the Music Director of the Harborlight Show Chorus and President of Chorus pro Musica in Boston. When not making music, she daydreams about adopting a golden retriever puppy and scuba diving to exotic locations around the world.