Student Musician Fundraising


A great way to get students to fundraise is to make the activity appealing to them. Combine a cause that excites them with a personal interest and you’ve got their attention. Add a little exposure for budding artists and this becomes a win-win situation for  arts students.

Meet Anya Parker a 16 year old musician who has come up with a great list to help market both a cause and young musicians.  I think she has fantastic  marketing ideas for anyone looking for more publicity. Here are a few of tips she shares:

1. Write a song for the cause. You can directly raise money to support fundraising by publishing the song as a single and selling downloads to your friends, at a local coffee shop — anywhere! Don’t forget to advertise the song along with what it is supporting. If people like the song, they will be intrigued and more likely to check out the cause. It’s all about spreading the word, right?

2. Speaking of spreading the word, sometimes that’s all it takes! If you don’t want to sell a song, post a link to it for free! The more you send it around, and encourage others to pass it on, you can increase awareness drastically just by getting people interested with a cool tune. Include a description or link to the cause with the song so people are inspired to click, read, and support.

3. Send newsletters including ways to support, as well as a link to a song pertaining to the cause. Even if it is not your song, you can still inspire people to help by capturing their attention through song.

4. Put on a show! Find a few local bands or solo acts willing to do a festival or a concert event and sell tickets to raise money. The artists get to show their skills and have the opportunity to increase their fan base, while playing a fun show that benefits a cause.

5. Create a song writing contest for students (or friends!) to compete in. Encourage people to write and submit a song for the cause. You can even take it a step further and set up a ‘talent show’ type concert where each song is performed and the winner is announced. You can sell tickets to support the cause. There can be a prize for the winner and the added benefit is increasing awareness for the cause through the mere interest and buzz about the contest.

I’d also throw in using social media pages like YouTube to the mix. It helps mention the fundraiser and puts a face to the name for the artist. Great grassroots fundraisers like this are catching on as people support new talent and worth causes.

What other tips could you musicians or artists add to this list? Add your comments, we’d like to see what you come  up with. Also feel free to share this with the young artist in your life. They are probably looking for way to get noticed!

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Addressing Unfair School Fundraising


I read this great post from Colorlines /  The Indypendant, which talks about the huge discrepency between fundraising in different school districts. Read the article Parent Fundraising Deepens Inequality in the New Public School Economy.  There are a lot of great points in the article about have and have not funding for students.

… reignited a decades old debate about persistent educational inequities and the role parents play in their children’s schools. With public school budgets facing continual cuts, individual communities face even more pressure to help sustain their neighborhood schools. Parents in wealthy neighborhoods can afford to backfill those shortfalls but parents in poorer neighborhoods, some of whom are just scraping by themselves, can’t always dip into their own pockets to help furnish their schools with extra amenities or even the bare basics.

It’s a tough situation in some parts of the nation. I wanted to add this to our own blog to see if our readers wanted to add their thoughts to this issue.

Do you see a school fundraising board doling out a percentage of funding to all schools? How would you adjust the funding gap? Would you even see it as fair to adjust it, taking money from those who raised more?

Yes I understand it is the end of the school year and the kids are almost done for another year. I understand that it would be simpler to just let this go and that I should just drop it…

But I won’t.

Drop a comment and tell us how you see a better solution to this.

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Empty Bowl School Fundraising Event

School fundraising events can be a powerful tool. Not just for the money raised for their own needs but as a volunteer force for the good of the community. Recently students and teachers in Ohio put together an empty bowl school fundraiser for the hungry.

Teachers and students created over 100 handcrafted bowls individually shaped and colored by the students. On the day of sales people get to peruse for their favorite. For $10 they get to pick an empty bowl an soup donated for the event from local groups. The event was also a tie in to The Southwest Licking Arts Fest, so everyone got to express creativity and charity.

The Empty Bowls idea was created by the Imagine Render Group a non profit organization looking to make lasting positive change through arts, education and community building.  Their focus on the empty bowls concept has been to address the issue of hunger at the community level.

 The basic premise is simple:  Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the  community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple  meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are  asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.  The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and  food insecurity.

Since inception Empty Bowls fundraising events have spread throughout the US and Canada and  a dozen more international countries.

As we’ve mentioned on the blog in past posts like Matt Damon’s Feeding America, the issue of food poverty is critical. Empty Bowls is a great idea with lots of untapped potential. Used with school fundraising events is also gives kids a creative outlet so it’s a win win situation.

If your looking to help fight hunger contact either  empty bowls or us for fundraising ideas.

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Rock and Roll Art Show

Over the years we’ve covered a lot of fundraising and charity events that have had a musical side to them. It’s part of my passion and a great way for Charities to entertain and generate income for their causes. We’ve been very supportive of these activities and it’s through this effort we were contacted to give a little shout out to another worthy event.

There’s another great event coming up in May that combines live music and a great cause.

I’ll let Jennifer from the  Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation take it from here:

On Saturday, May 12th, 2012,in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Ed Boulter, photographer and philanthropist is hosting the inaugural Rock and Roll Art Show in support of the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation. Funds raised ( all profits) will go towards building a school in Africa. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire hope through philanthropy, empower the disengaged while being a conduit for accountability. Their vision is to quicken academic excellence, infuse depth of character, promote health and vitality, and inspire generosity in our youth. They have made a commitment to build 131 schools for marginalized children in 7 under resourced countries through Free the Children’s adopt a village Development Program. This incredible effort will provide access to education, clean water, health, sanitation, and alternative income programming while creating a sustainable existence. Feel free to go to Pinball’s website and click on “who we support” for more info.

Two short years ago, Ed and his wife Lisa experienced a catastrophic loss after their son Thackery passed away at the tender age of three weeks old. Throughout this unfortunate ordeal, Ed and Lisa have created a bond that will never be broken. Their love of children, all children, is strong and with this strength they have made a commitment to give back to those less fortunate. Their goal at the Rock and Roll Art Show is to raise $8,500 to build a school in their son Thackery’s name. This school will carry on and educate children for many years to come.

Jennifer Branco

Executive Director
Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundation

Sounds like a great cause to support! The events originator, Ed Boulter fleshes out the details of the event:

In order to help reach our goal we are humbly asking that you join us to support this evening of charity, art and the passion we have in common – music. Your presence will help bring awareness to the event and in the end help us reach our goal.  On May 12th let’s celebrate Life, Art and Rock and Roll at The Resolutes Club, 5461 Inglis Street Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Some items and activities taking place during the event will be pictures of paintings, (music related), pictures of musical instruments, a “silent Auction”, a donation jar, and “live” painting to be auctioned off when finished. Also, there will be art for sale, all prints will be on canvas. Tax receipts will be available for any donations made of more than $20.00.

The Rock and Roll Art Show will have great east coast live music, featuring E.B. Anderson & The Resolutes, Donni Donohue, Carson Downey, and John Campbelljohn.  For questions on the inaugral Rock and Roll Art Show contact Ed Boutler at his website.

Here’s a taste of some of the music you’ll get at The Rock and Roll Art Show:

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Fundraising for Kenyan Orphanage

Paul McWhorter’s math class might go down in history as the coolest ever. Several of his students were looking for a service learning project and boy did they come to the right math teacher! Paul’s  daughter Elizabeth is currently working as a missionary nurse for an orphanage in Kenya. During a web chat with student juniors Austin Stapp, Blaine Mitchell, Alex McMayon, Mary Lou Martinez, Ryan Espinosa and Lane Griffin a plan was developed to help the orphanage kids.

“The children at Mattaw receive a well-balanced diet and are well-nourished,” McWhorter said recently in an email from Kenya. “However, when we rescue orphaned or abandoned children off the streets, they are often very malnourished and suffer from a number of health challenges.

“I mentioned (to the students) that vitamin supplements would be a good thing for all the children, but in particular would be beneficial for those children just rescued, and those with more serious medical conditions.”

The Eldorado Texas students have developed a Web-based project called Cards for Kenya that raises money to buy vitamins for children.

But before we get into that we have to meet another player in this. His name is Peter and he’s a budding photographer. Peter is one of the children at the orphanage and one day he became fascinated with a camera. Since then he’s been chronicling his friends and experiences at the orphanage. The idea of selling his photos came to the Eldorado students and it seems like a great exchange for everyone!

The project has raised more than $900, and with part of that they bought a three months’ supply of multivitamins. Paul McWhorter visited his daughter over the Christmas holidays and took the vitamins with him to save on shipping costs. The students will soon be sending another shipment.

Since then the high school students have received their fare share of exposure. They have done interviews for local lions clubs and radio stations and today their blog was updated with a front page article on them!

Check out their website and I think you’ll find these are cool kids fundraising for a great cause. These students show us that school fundraising isn’t just about raising money for the campus but helping those in need. Great school spirit if you ask us!

If you like Peters pictures or just want to support the cause, purchase a print on their site.

Fundraising group Cards for Kenya

Now you tell us, how is your school or charity project taking action and getting involved this year?

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Even Batman is Fundraising Everybodies favorite Dark Knight is now fighting Hunger.  DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers announced that it will create a fundraising campaign to fight hunger and drought in the Horn of Africa.

The We Can Be Heroes Campaign will generate the funds for Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps with its 100 percent gift-matching campaign and specially branded merchandise.

“We are a global company, and this is a global issue,” Warner Bros., Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer said in a statement. “By marshalling our expertise in consumer and fan engagement and creating global awareness, we hope we’re able to inspire others to join us in becoming ‘heroes’ and make a difference.

Check out the video that’s been produced for the campaign:

Help Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg fight huger in the Horn of Africa by buying a shirt, mug or thermos or ipod case.

While doing some research for this post I’ve read a lot of comments about what governments should be doing and who isn’t doing what. People have even dropped comments about not supporting these campaigns in an act to force govenments to help out. While in theory there might be something to this, in the meantime cutting off the funding for this campaign is only hurting those who need it the most.

Please contribute by spreading the word about this by clicking on our social media icons.

Comments appreciated.

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Matt Damon's Fundraising for Feeding America 


 Ya know it’s been awhile since we’ve covered anything from our buddy Matt. Never one to back down from a good fundraising event Matt Damon is active promoting Hunger Action Month.

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Taye Diggs have done PSA’s for Feeding America and this month, the charitable organization is running a campaign to raise awareness for domestic hunger relief.

 Vivki Escarra, President and CEO Feeding America: “The insidious effects of hunger expand well beyond the individual who struggles daily for his or her next nutritious meal. Hunger significantly impacts our nation’s economy, education, healthcare, and ultimately, workforce productivity. Feeding America encourages everyone to play a role throughout September in raising awareness around the issue of hunger.


 Feeding America has put together an in depth and content rich page detailing every aspect of the war against hunger. Check out the Map the MealGap page where food shortages are detailed by state. The website also has  food pantry listings. 

 Feeding America is looking to spread the word about hunger and asking for your help. They would like to hit 1 million video views by the end of Sept. This will encourage more people to donate or vounteer for this cause.  The videos can be easily shared through twitter , facebook or any other social media source. It’s a pressing need nationwide and I understand why they’re using every available means to get the message out.

For those looking to get involved to help check out these Feeding America Volunteer Opportunties

Thanks Matt and everyone involved with Feeding America.  Job well done guys!

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High School Sports Fundraiser

   Just like a lot of school sports in North America, Florida’s Duvall County school sports have been on the line this year. The difference this year as all years has been their community fundraising efforts. The teams did the usual school fundraising activities and combined them with corporate sponsorship. Once the work got out into the community corporate and personal donations started to roll in.

One donor alone contributed over 24,000 for the tennis program and Florida Blue, with the cooperation of the Gator Bowl Association and others, raised $50,000 for cross-country during a 5K run held at EverBank Field earlier in August.

VARSITY SPORTS      Students Participating
Cross-country                  190 boys, 219 girls
Golf                                          102 boys, 83 girls
Slow-pitch softball                               257 girls
Wrestling                                                 252 boys
Lacrosse                              194 boys, 176 girls
Tennis                                   134 boys, 175 girls

School officials said $43,724 was raised for each sport to keep them alive. There are four remaining sports programs that are continuing to raise the money needed to continue their sport. Those include slow-pitch softball, wrestling, lacrosse and boys junior varsity soccer. About $40,000-$45,000 is needed for these four programs to be offered this school year.

The story isn’t new for many school sports programs. Fundraising has been a long term contributor to keeping these sports going annually. If your school is in the same financial situation, contact a professional fundraising company to  keep your high school sports teams going.

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Fundraising for water without Water

Well the event is over for this year so your off the hook for participating. However you can still donate.

I want to draw your attention to a few brave souls who took a week off showering in the summer. Showerstrike participants in the US the UK, Australia, Canada, Kenya went without their shower July 24th- 31 to raise money for clean wells. Participants vowed not to shower until they had raised $1000 for their well.

The event is the idea of  Well Aware who have been active in African clean water since 2006. Showerstike participants created their own fundraising page ( with some impressive totals! ) but some have fallen short of their $1000 mark. Consider making a donation to help them out. Each donation multiplies by giving clean water to a thirsty village. 

Here are some facts underlying why all the dire need for clean water and why people have skipped showering for a week to raise awareness for the cause:

  • 1 in 6 people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water.
  • In rural Africa, children walk all day to return with only unsanitary water, preventing them from going to school.
  • Every 15 seconds, a child in Africa dies from water-born disease.
  • For children under 5 years old, illness from unsanitary water is the leading cause of death.
  • 88% of all disease in Africa results from unsafe drinking water.
  • Girls as young as 8 years old are sold into marriage in exchange for food and water so their families can survive.
  • The Kenyan government has declared a state of emergency but has yet to implement any relief.

 For more information check out their powerful video and learn what a $20 donation can do.

If you would like to help fundraise for clean water contact us for ideas you or your organization can use to help.

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Star Wars Fundraising, Stormtrooper charityI know, I know ANOTHER star wars fund raising story. I can’t help it but these guys are busy people in the community service department!  This is pretty big news so in case you haven’t heard it here’s a nice piece that’s happening now in Australia.

Jacob French has just started walking across Australia — from Perth to Sydney (4100km) — in a Stormtrooper outfit to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.

As many of you know, the Starlight Foundation helps the lives on seriously ill children. Jacob hopes to raise money by averaging about 40km a day for five days a week (which means he’ll probably get to Sydney around half a year from now).

Starting in July 2011 I aim to walk from Perth (Western Australia) to Sydney (New South Wales). Over the course of the trek I will cross 4 states and cover approximately 5000km’s in modified stormtrooper armour. The plan for now is to push a lightweight buggy with needed supplies an average distance of 35-40km’s for 5 days a week until the trek is complete.

I am a member of the worldwide “501st Legion”, a volunteer organisation that wears quality star wars outfits for Star Wars related events and as a means to contribute to their local communities through charity work.

Couldn’t imagine walking through Australia in a stormtrooper suit. I hope that thing breathes.

You can find Jocob’s page on everydayhero. Consider donating to him and the Starlight Foundation. It’s a unique gimmick for a worthwhile cause.  


For more awesome images of Jacob’s walk click here .

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