Friday FansRaise Tip – Use the Jedi Mind Trick in Marching Band Fundraising


If you remember the original “Star Wars”, there’s a scene where Obi-Wan uses a mind technique to pass through a group of Imperial bad guys.

I am not an educator that believes that playing “mind tricks” on kids is an effective teaching strategy. In fact, I think kids are pretty gifted to see right through teaching approaches that involve subterfuge, trickery, or any kind of manipulation.

I WILL say, that mindset and attitude mean EVERYTHING when working with kids of a certain age-level, and the ability to create positive mindsets in students might be the one key factor that takes programs from good to great.


Today’s Friday Tip – 

Gaining the support, trust, and energy of your students or members is a surefire way to make sure your campaign reaches full-potential.

When you first broach the topic of running a FansRaise campaign to your members, bring it to them in a way that almost makes them think THEY thought of it…



Band Director (speaking to a group of drum majors, captains, section leaders):

“Hey gang. You all know that the boosters have been working their tails off trying to raise money. I just heard about a way that bands are raising tons of money using an online system. The difference is that YOU have a chance to run this.”

{{Students’ attention perks up – sits forward on chairs}}

“I found this online fundraising system called “FansRaise”. It’s built just for performing ensembles like ours. All of the other fundraisers we do throughout the year are great, but this one would be different.”

{{Reviews how it works – 20 emails per member, real people that they know, enter them into the website, talks about the DCI Corps that raised almost $24K, reviews Member StartUp Guide, etc}}

“Here’s what I need to know – if we do this, would you guys LEAD THIS? I mean, will you (a) set the example, (b) help your sections that need a little encouragement, and (c) work together as a leadership team to create some buzz about this?”


Questions from the leadership:

What happens if we don’t meet our goal? (“Even if we fall a little short of our goal, it’s still EASY money we hardly have to work for…)

How many messages get sent to our contacts? (“Approximately one per week for a few weeks. Your contacts can easily opt-out of the messages regardless of whether they donate or not.”)

Do we have to come up with the message text? (“Nope, FansRaise creates the messages for us, but I’ll insert some things about our goal and our Org, and maybe a little bit about how our season is going.”)

Do all members need to participate? (“We can’t make any fundraiser 100% mandatory, but with the right positive influence you guys will be able to inspire your section-mates to something close to 100%.”)

Can we personalize the campaign page? (“Right now you can’t version it as your own public profile page, but I’d love to put together a quick 2 minute video and have some images present on the page – those are things you guys can help with.”)

…and on and on…


The student reception of a FansRaise campaign can be/should be a warm one. Forcing it down the kids’ throats is never a recipe for a positive experience, but gaining their trust, relying on (and expecting) their leadership, and expecting their best effort are all things that even developing ensembles can do.


Thinking about marching band fundraising and a campaign? We’ve written the “DrillBook” for you, walking you through all of the steps to ensure you get the most mileage form your FansRaise Campaign!






Leave a Comment