Successful band programs and performing arts programs often share one thing in common: not only do they produce fine performers, they also prepare young people for what lies ahead in life, and promote growth as successful and contributing adults.
There is always a tempting “easy-way-out” for parents, and sometimes that takes on the form of just doing it for them. This is prevelent in school assignments, completing forms and applications, and doing other legwork that gets assigned by teachers, directors, coaches, etc. Marching band fundraising is not an exception, by the way!
Many of my colleagues that are band directors or educators constantly fight this backslide. Sometimes the pressure to let up on kids and lower expectations is high, and unfortunately from time to time, that pressure wins.
I see this from several angles, as a parent of two daughter that have lots of responsibilities that are academic, athletic, and musical in nature. My wife and I have agreed to try to let our kids take supreme ownership whenever possible, and sometimes if the book report goes unfinished and it’s the night before the due-date, the consequences are realized.
Our system at FansRaise does require a little bit of work on the students’ part, but I believe (and just about every director I’ve spoken with agrees), that the opportunity to studentsd take an active lead role in organizational fundraising is a chance for the kids to ‘stretch’. It’s a chance to have the kids ‘own the process’ and be accountable for their efforts. In fact, it may be a refreshing change to lighten the load on band boosters.
There are marching band fundraisers where the parents will naturally take the lead. Kids are typically not called upon to schlep tickets to the ‘Beef & Beer’, right? And there are cases where the parents do need to take a lead role in the behind the scenes work. Putting together successful band funraisers does not have to mean endless work for the boosters!
My point here is that kids are often much more capable than given credit for, and when the proper urging and motivation is presented, they do tend to step up and assume responsibility. Successful programs often look for those opportunities to hand over to the students as opportunities to grow and mature. And a lot of times, it goes beyond learning and knowing music, choreography, drill, and lines of script.