Live music and charity fundraising events go together like tea and cakes because everyone loves a good show when it benefits a great cause.
So, if you’d like to forgo the annual dinner for something different or have envisioned a benefit concert all along, read on. We’ve got tips to help you put on a great show that will help your organisation reach its fundraising goals!
6 Steps to Planning Live Music Fundraising Events
Get your benefit concert started on the right note!
1. Resist the fun stuff…at first
Avoid the temptation of diving straightaway into contacting bands. Putting together a benefit concert alone isn’t realistic—there are too many boxes to tick and jobs to do. What you really need first is a great group of people to help you get the job done. To that end, the dream team you assemble must be those you can count on. So, before you recruit all your friends and family to help out, think carefully about who is a team player, has a can-do attitude, and is unlikely to lose interest in helping. Commitment and enthusiasm are key!
2. Lock in a charity concert venue
Even though you are dying to organise performers for your benefit concert, it is better to knock out the venue first. The artists performing will want to know where and when they’re playing. Without a firm answer, it’s unlikely talent will commit if you don’t have a venue. In addition, not having that information has a tendency to make a less-than-professional impression.
Pro tip: When looking at venues, think realistically about the size your charity event will be. Of course, it would be amazing to fill an arena, but only a few big-name performers can pull that off. Consider instead smaller event halls, local parks (outdoors is certainly more COVID-conscious), pubs, or clubs. Not only will you have a greater chance of filling the space, but something more intimate may be better suited to the vibe and crowd.
3. Now for the fun part!
Local artists are the way to go. These performers are easier to get in touch with than Doja Cat, Billie Eilish, or Glass Animals and usually have a loyal following with whom they’ll share concert details via social media and their websites. That’s a huge help as far as marketing to potential attendees goes!
Instead of a straight concert, many Eventgroove customers go for a battle of the bands format, and it’s a great strategy. A variety of performers means your charity concert will appeal to a larger group of potential attendees, not to mention adding a little competition ups the energy and crowd engagement.
Pro tip: To find emerging talent, contact school and university music departments. You can also pop in to record shops, look at who has played at area clubs, and search around on social media. Reddit can be a great resource—you can posit a question about local bands in your region’s sub-Reddit.
4. Figure out ticket price
Break out Google Sheets and list all your expenses—venue, talent, equipment, refreshments, marketing, setup and breakdown, security, and custom T-shirt printing. Don’t forget to include a little cushion—everything always costs more than you imagine it will, and the unforeseen has a way of being spendy. Finally, include how much you’d like to raise for your cause. Come up with a total, then divide by the number of people you hope will come. That amount will give you an idea of the ticket cost. Remember, at the very least, your concert ticket price should cover overhead. Here’s a handy event ticket price calculator to help.
5. Other ways to raise money at your charity concert
- Enable more people to attend by livestreaming your benefit concert. Using Eventgroove, you can livestream your show right within your branded fundraising page and accept donations in real time.
- Set up a crowdfunding page to accept online donations so that people can donate money wherever they are.
- Add a virtual event component! Online auctions and raffles are a fantastic way to raise more money.
- Souvenirs and concessions are a great way to raise money, as is organising sponsorships. You can offer sponsors everything from a shoutout during the show to a logo on the back of printed tickets or displayed on your charity concert’s fundraising page.
- Encourage people to support your cause in real time via text-to-give during the show.
6. Charity concert marketing
Despite a cool lineup of musical performances and a good cause, making ticket sales for your charity concert isn’t as simple as talking it up on social media. You’ve got to use every avenue available to get the word out to potential attendees.
- Tell everyone you meet or know about your cause and the concert you’re putting on in its support.
- Reach out to local media outlets and chambers of commerce. Ask everyone on your team, friends, and everyone you have ever known to share the news through their social networks.
- Print posters and flyers, hang them everywhere, and ask businesses and schools in town if you can display them in store and on campus.
- Set up an online donation site (create one using Eventgroove—it’s free for organisers!). Mention the web address in all social media posts and add a QR code to your printed marketing materials that will lead to your donation page.
Reach out to local media outlets and chambers of commerce. Ask everyone on your team, friends, and everyone you have ever known to share the news through their social networks.</li>
Set up an online donation site—not everyone will be able to attend your show, but they might want to support your cause! Be sure to include your donations page in all your promotional efforts and mention the web address throughout the actual concert and in all social media posts.
Want to see online crowdfunding in action? Check out this sample fundraising page!
Even better, let us show you.
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