Indoor Guard and Percussion Ensembles Struggling For Funding

This is the time of year when indoor winter guard and percussion ensembles are auditioning, setting their member roster, and beginning the competitive season.


Indoor guard and percussion ensembles typically struggle for funding for a variety of reasons:

  1. Scholastic ensembles typically play “2nd Fiddle” to the school’s marching band, which oftentimes gobbles up the majority of available budget in the music department.
  2. In some programs, indoor groups are very “under-funded”, and the students are forced to vigorously fundraise and/or pay high activity fees in order to participate.
  3. Independent indoor ensembles, in order to remain viable and competitive, carry large instructional and design staffs. These groups often travel regionally to WGI shows, and frequent overnight stays are typical.
  4. At the highest levels of winter guard competition, costuming, equipment variety (meaning, LOTS of weapons and flags!), and props are common, and frankly expected.
  5. The same is true in the percussion world – electronics, large equipment inventories, props and effects quickly run-up the bill.


While much of the indoor activity remains:  How well do you play/spin/march/move/communicate? – the other factors DO figure into the equation in significant ways.


Here are some of the reasons why CROWDFUNDING via FansRaise remains one of the best ways your ensemble can make the budget work: 

  • With a smaller ensemble (as compared to a full marching band), you can expect greater participation levels across your membership.
  • Sometimes, the indoor activity takes a backseat to the more well-known outdoor marching program, so a crowdfunding campaign can help raise important awareness across your community.
  • Pound-for-pound, a crowdfunding campaign can find contributions from donors that you may not otherwise engage with, and those donors can again be re-engaged again for other ensembles (in other words – your indoor fundraising can help stoke the fire for next season’s marching band fundraising by developing new donors).



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