Marching Band Student Empowerment: Using Fundraising to Emphasize Student Ownership

FansRaise is quickly approaching our one year anniversary, and it’s hard to believe that in less than a full year, we have self-developed, tested and re-tested, tweaked, tuned and launched a highly effective crowdfunding platform and payment processing solution.

This stage of our business lifecycle, coupled with our unique niche and the many ways we’re ‘different’ – requires us to answer questions and inquiries on our business and our model. A lot of inquiries! 

But this is AWESOME – mainly because in these several dozen conversations we have from all KINDS of performing ensembles – we learn. We learn about what orgs are facing and the multitude of challenges and opportunities that we can help overcome, especially in the world of marching band fundraising.

One of these learning moments happened yesterday. I was sharing the gist of the FansRaise model with a band booster leader form a program that hails from out west. After hearing about the process, she latched onto the fact that our model can largely be, in her words, “Student-Driven”. Her immediate plans were to have the campaign created by the grown-ups, and then have all of the ongoing work be produced by the students, led by Captains, Section Leaders, and the Drum Major.

I love this for a lot of reasons:

  1. Ownership – kids need to learn how to handle large and complex tasks, delegate, and positively support each other. 
  2. Authenticity – if it becomes widely known that the upcoming crowdfunding campaign is being driven ‘solely’ by the students – the request for donations and the message becomes much more real and authentic.
  3. Logistics – with a little parent oversight, you now have a campaign that runs with very little human intervention, bringing in incremental revenue in the background.
  4. Team-building – if done correctly, accomplishing a fundraising goal can bring a group together on and off the field.

marching band fundraising

In our recent success story report, the Genesis Drum and Bugle Corps primarily relied on the student members of the corps to generate almost $24K. In the words of their drum major Cameron Wilson: 

“We had a leadership council meeting where we had a chance to learn about FansRaise and about the campaign. As a leadership team, we decided that we would work together to ensure maximum participation, and that the success of the campaign was on us.”


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