If your business is operating on a limited budget and needs more funds, it’s likely time to create a fundraising plan. Fundraising is an important part of running a sustainable business, allowing your studio to bring in extra revenue to supplement your day-to-day expenses.
While you might immediately associate fundraising with nonprofits, many small businesses leverage fundraising to keep their businesses afloat and improve the quality of their offerings. From hosting peer-to-peer campaigns to leading exciting events like dance-a-thons, your dance studio has plenty of opportunities to engage your entire community in fundraising.
To get started with fundraising, you need a strong outreach strategy to get the word out about your campaigns and maximize your revenue and reach. Use these expert tips to give your fundraising plan the foundation it needs to succeed:
- Leverage a comprehensive app
- Harness the power of social media
- Spotlight fundraising on your website
Putting together the perfect fundraiser is easy when you have the support of your community behind you. By using a variety of outreach and marketing strategies, you’ll be in great shape to rally dance students, parents, alumni, and more around your fundraising goals. Let’s begin.
Leverage a comprehensive app
Your dance studio parents and community members live busy lives, and often, your dance studio isn’t at the top of their minds. To reach community members directly with your fundraising communications and broadcast your upcoming campaigns and events, leverage a comprehensive app built for dance studios.
DanceStudio-Pro recommends investing in a dance studio app with the following key features:
- Studio chat: Create group chats by class and send communications that will reach your dance studio parents directly on their phones, increasing the likelihood of them seeing and acting on your communications.
- Tuition and payments: Empower parents and community members to submit donations and payments right from the app, saving them time and contributing to a positive user experience.
- Weekly student schedules: Parents can stay tapped into everything that’s going on at your studio, from classes to fundraising recitals, no matter where they are—as long as they have their phone in hand.
The right app will not only make it easier for your dance families to stay connected to your studio, but it will also streamline your studio’s operations so running your fundraisers is a breeze.
For instance, if you’re planning to host a product fundraiser and sell dance costumes to your students, you’ll need an online store. Rather than setting up a store from scratch or spending thousands of dollars to pay a web developer, simply use a dance studio app that offers a point-of-sale system. Here, you can list items up for sale with product images and empower parents to click and pay right from their phones.
You should also look for a dance studio app that has a built-in online fundraising system. The right solution will empower your dance studio to create unique campaigns and then share links to these fundraisers on social media in just moments. This way, you can manage your entire fundraiser under one app, simplifying the process for you and your donors.
Harness the power of social media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools at a business’s disposal to help spread the word about their fundraising events and campaigns. Your community members are already constantly scrolling through their feeds, so why not create attention-grabbing content that will put your studio on their minds?
Use these best practices to boost your social media presence:
- Generate engaging content: Help community members understand how the funds raised will be used with quality visuals. For example, you might share photos of your dancers in class to illustrate how donations will be used to improve their dance education. Or, Double the Donation’s guide to fundraising videos recommends creating an impactful video that tells a story about your business, explains your fundraising needs, and ends with a strong call to action to donate. Create a plan for the information you’ll include in your video and how you’ll feature it, whether through interviews with dancers and staff, voiceovers coupled with footage of dancers performing, or appeals from fellow community members themselves.
- Use unique hashtags to expand your reach: Hashtags can help expand the reach of your posts and push your content in front of other dance enthusiasts or people in your community. Tap into your creative side and generate a hashtag that is brief yet memorable. For example, you might use a catchy hashtag like #Dollars4Dancers or #ClevelandDanceFundraiser to tap local supporters. Make sure to include this hashtag in all of your fundraising post captions.
- Host social media contests: Add some friendly competition into the mix and tap your supporters to promote your fundraiser with a fun social media contest! For example, you might ask your older students to repost a graphic that explains your fundraiser on their social media channels and use the accompanying hashtag. Then, you could offer a prize—like discounted classes or free dance studio merchandise—to the student who gets the most engagement on their post.
If you’re posting your content to multiple social media channels, like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, remember to adapt your content as needed to fit the platform’s specifications. For example, if you want to share a video to Instagram Reels, make sure your aspect ratio is between 1.91:1 and 9:16 and you have a minimum resolution of 720 pixels.
Spotlight fundraising on your website
Your website is another great tool to amplify your fundraising efforts and prove that your studio is worthy of donors’ support. Create a landing page on your website that tells visitors everything they need to know about your fundraiser, including:
- Your goal: Let supporters know what your fundraising goal is so they know how much to raise to push you past the fundraising finish line. You might display this with a fundraising thermometer to help gamify the fundraising process and motivate supporters to fill up the thermometer.
- How the funds will be used: Clearly explain how the donations will be used—whether that’s by funding new ballet barres, covering the cost of travel for dance competitions, or funding the renovation of your studio. This will give community members clarity into the purpose of your fundraiser and why they should feel inclined to give.
- A clear call to action on how to get involved: Are you asking your audience to peer-to-peer fundraise, purchase tickets for an upcoming event, or donate directly? Clearly explain the different ways your community members can support your fundraiser. Even if they can’t contribute money, you can invite them to share your landing page with friends or create a personal fundraising page on your behalf.
- Embed donation form to give: Don’t make the donation process difficult for your community members! Embed your campaign’s donation form directly into your landing page so your audience can complete the donation process as soon as they feel inspired (without having to do any digging for your form). Ensure your donation form is short and sweet by only asking community members for the most important information, including their name, contact information, donation amount, and billing details.
Once you’ve designed your landing page, you’ll need to spread it far and wide to boost web traffic. For example, you could spotlight the landing page in your next email newsletter to dance parents, share the link in your dance app communications, or even paste the link in your social media bio.
You’ve already done the hard work in planning an exciting fundraising event or campaign. Now, you just need to get your fundraiser in front of as many people as possible so you can meet and exceed your revenue goals.
A multichannel marketing strategy will empower you to create multiple touchpoints with community members and steward strong relationships. As you roll out your outreach plan, track metrics (like reposts on your social media content and page views on your landing page) so you can make adjustments as needed to optimize your results.