Your dance studio relies on revenue to power your operations, from running high-energy classes with expert choreographers to providing upkeep for your facility. While your studio will mainly bring in funds from your tuition payments, you might need an extra source of income to supercharge your business. This is where fundraising can help.
A strong fundraising strategy can help your dance studio expand its offerings, attract new students, and keep existing students engaged. Plus, you can use the funds to cover major financial needs, like purchasing new equipment, renovating your studio, or even giving back to your community by establishing scholarships and financial aid programs.
To plan and host successful fundraisers, you need the right strategies. Use these best practices to take your dance studio fundraisers to the next level:
- Host an engaging event.
- Take a peer-to-peer approach.
- Leverage gamification strategies.
- Sell branded merchandise.
The right technology can help streamline your fundraising efforts and reenergize your dance studio operations. Leverage a software solution with dance studio apps so you can plan performances, manage transactions, and communicate important updates with parents about your fundraisers all on the go. Armed with the right dance studio software, you’ll be in great shape to lead a winning fundraiser. Let’s begin!
1. Host an engaging event.
Pulling off a fundraising event can be hard work, but your dance studio will reap plenty of benefits by investing ample time, resources, and energy into your fundraiser. A well-designed fundraising event can help you strengthen relationships with students, increase exposure for your dance studio, and pull in major funds!
For a dance studio looking to raise money from their community and better engage with its members, it’s a good idea to choose a dance-themed event. For example, here are some of our favorite dance-related fundraising ideas that can bring in tons of funding for your studio:
- Dance-a-thon: Encourage students to sign up, set goals, collect pledges from friends and family members, and dance for as long as they can! Adding in a competition element can motivate students to raise as much as possible for your studio.
- Dance workshop: Ask one of your dance teachers or choreographers to lead a specialized class for your students. Then, leverage your dance studio software to sell tickets to students, and reinvest the funds into your dance studio’s growth.
- Talent show, recital, or performance: Performances are a great way for your dancers to showcase the skills they’ve learned and even come up with their own innovative routines. Sell tickets to community members and dance parents to maximize funds.
You can also adapt any fundraising event to take place virtually. For example, you might host your dance-a-thon via a live-streaming platform so participants can comfortably dance from home. This way, you can reach even more people with your fundraiser and bring in more funds, all while making the experience more convenient for participating students.
2. Take a peer-to-peer approach.
According to the OneCause guide to peer-to-peer fundraising, this type of fundraising campaign empowers your community members to take charge of the fundraising process by enlisting help from their personal networks. Typically, supporters of an organization will create their own fundraising campaign pages, set personal fundraising goals, and share their pages widely to build momentum for their campaigns and your studio.
By tapping into peer-to-peer fundraising, your dance studio can reach larger audiences, develop deeper connections with existing students and dance families, and skyrocket your fundraising results.
To lead a strong peer-to-peer campaign, follow these steps:
- Ask supporters to fundraise on your behalf. For a local dance studio fundraiser, these supporters will likely be your dance students (or perhaps their parents, depending on your students’ ages). That’s a huge benefit of hosting a peer-to-peer fundraiser as a dance studio—you already have a built-in group of dedicated fundraisers!
- Equip fundraisers with the resources they’ll need. The most important resource your fundraisers need is their own fundraising pages. Consider investing in a peer-to-peer fundraising platform so your dance families and students can easily develop custom fundraising pages and share them on social media (or send the link to family and friends by text and email.) Alternatively, your studio and its supporters can leverage social media platforms like Facebook that have built-in peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities.
- Launch your campaign and encourage fundraising efforts. Once your students have their fundraising pages ready, it’s time to launch your fundraiser. Encourage students (and their parents) to promote the campaign far and wide. With individual fundraising pages, you can even monitor each student’s progress and offer personalized instruction for fundraisers who need additional support reaching their goals.
Peer-to-peer fundraising immerses your students deeper into your organization by encouraging them to take on a larger role. Your dance students will appreciate being tasked with more responsibility and the opportunity to function as an ambassador for your business. In turn, your studio will receive extra funding from each student’s own personal network of support. It’s a win-win!
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3. Leverage gamification strategies.
Gamification infuses friendly competition into the fundraising process and energizes your community members to push your dance studio past its fundraising goal. Consider adding the following gamification tactics to your next fundraiser:
- Try a fundraising thermometer: Fundraising thermometers visually showcase your progress toward an overall goal and show supporters the real impact of their contributions. Display a fundraising thermometer on your donation page to inspire giving.
- Use a countdown clock: A countdown clock can help create urgency and motivate more donations to come through as your event winds down. Display a countdown clock on a screen at your fundraising event or pair it with your fundraising thermometer on your donation page.
- Offer prizes: High-value prizes like discounted dance classes, free dance recital tickets, or coupons for dance merchandise encourage supporters to give in larger amounts or raise as much money as possible for your studio.
Make sure your community members are aware of any prizes by marketing these opportunities in advance. These prizes can be especially motivating for your peer-to-peer fundraisers, giving them the fuel they need to promote their campaigns widely.
4. Sell branded merchandise.
If your dance studio isn’t already selling branded merchandise for an additional revenue stream, you’re missing out on a huge fundraising opportunity. After all, students (and their proud parents and family members) would love to support your studio in style by making a purchase. Plus, product fundraisers are wildly popular because the supporters actually receive something in return!
To maximize sales (and—by extension—fundraising revenue), be sure to make your branded merchandise available to purchase:
- At your studio
- At various events
To facilitate the online sales of your branded merchandise, you need the right technology. DanceStudio-Pro’s guide to the best apps for dance studios recommends working with software that has an integrated point-of-sale system, allowing you to set up an online store for all of your dance apparel. Your dance families can then securely purchase your branded merchandise on both desktop and mobile devices.
By selling branded merchandise, you have the opportunity to raise both money and awareness for your dance studio. Once your supporters purchase their merchandise (whether that’s a tote bag, t-shirt, or coffee mug), they essentially function as a walking billboard for your business when they wear or use their merchandise in public.
Running a dance studio fundraiser has a lot of moving parts, but with the support of your team and a strong strategy, you’ll be able to boost your funds in no time. Brainstorm fundraising ideas that make the most sense for your dance studio’s audience and promote your campaign or event widely with a multi-channel marketing strategy. Once your fundraiser is over, take time to reflect on your progress and identify areas of improvement to strengthen your overall strategy.