Last week, I held a meeting with my new choir in Branch County, the Branch United Youth Choir, concerning our first-ever fundraiser. We are selling Butter Braid pastries. If you are interested in buying some, please contact a BUYC member or me. This got me thinking about the subject of fundraisers. “Love makes the world go ’round,” as one of my singers in BUYC said a few weeks back. So, why do we need money?
What’s Your Model?
All choirs have operational expenses. We pay for things like music, flyers, rent, and wages. “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages'” (1 Tim. 5:18, ESV). Choirs have to have money for those expenses. If you don’t have enough income to pay for your expenses, then eventually you go under.
My choirs in Battle Creek are the Boychoir and the Girls Chorus. They operate on a tuition-based model. The funding for our programs comes from that, concert tickets, and donations. Fundraisers pay for our Parent Alliance’s expenses, such as parties, uniforms, retreats, etc. They also pay for the children to go on tour. Some of the money the children earn by fundraising goes toward their trips. We’ve traveled to Toronto and northern Italy since I’ve directed the programs. This summer, we will be touring Kentucky and Tennessee. Several very industrious children have paid for their entire tour through fundraising. That’s impressive.
My choir in Coldwater operates under a different model. The singers are not charged anything. There are reasons for this, which I will not go into right now. Consequently, the operating expenses are paid for by donations and fundraising.
What Do We Gain?
Obviously, the organization gains funding for expenses: printing flyers, buying music, wages, etc. Also, the children gain experience in sales and work. And it lets them have some skin in the game, as the old saying goes. They have a personal stake in the program.