Fundraising!

said: Apr 25, 2006
 103 posts

Hi everyone,

I possibly should have this topic in general, but I’m not sure! I’d be happy to hear from anyone on this subject.

Have any of you done anything to raise funds towards things like having your students go to institute? I find that most of my parents tend to think that Institute’s are expensive—which I agree with. However I believe they are extreemly valuable and motivational which out weighs the cost.

I thought that if I came to my parents this year with some fundraising idea’s to do as a group or individually it may appeal more. Maybe we could do a bottle drive? Or have them play some pieces door to door (like caroling)? or go busking somewhere? But where?

Have any of you had experience in this? My 3 students who could participate in an institute range from Book 1—beginning of Book 2.
Thanks!

said: Apr 25, 2006
 122 posts

I’m surprised you think institutes are expensive. The institutes in my area charge so little they can’t even pay a rate that comes close to the institute’s home studio rate. They charge less than half the rate of any day camp in the area.

I think fundraising is a great idea as long as it is parent led-there’s no reason a teacher should lead fundraising to save a parent money. Try practice-a-thons, play-a-thongs, selling wrapping paper/candles/candy.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Nobuaki said: Apr 26, 2006
Nobuaki TanakaViolin, Viola
Chicago, IL
115 posts

Most students in my studio can’t attend an institue also. The fee is too expensive for them. So only 3 or 4 families will attend this year. I need to find the way i can find money for people who want to attend institute. Wish the institute is much cheaper. So many students from my studio can attend.

Mariam said: Apr 26, 2006
Mariam GregorianViolin
Ashburn, VA
34 posts

In my studio, the bigger obstacle to overcome in getting people to sign up for institute is the amount of time involved. If both parents work, one of them has to take off work for a week. It’s hard to explain how amazing institutes are to someone who has not yet experienced it. I’m in the process of trying to convince ALL of my families to do it this year.

In the past, one family did express that cost was an issue. I told them that I would rather see them do institute and not have lessons for several weeks with me. The funny thing is, this family did end up doing institute AND did not miss any lessons with me!

said: Apr 26, 2006
 122 posts

Institutes in general pay UNDER the hourly rate a teacher gets at their home studio. If I worked at my local institute I would be taking a $15 per hour pay cut! Most institute director’s receive a small stipend that doesn’t even begin to cover their hours they worked. My point is, institutes in general are not a money making business. There are high costs for printing/website costs, renting space and paying the teachers, accompanists, and administrators. I’m surprised teachers find it expensive-what would you charge for a student getting 3-5 classes a day for 5 days and recitals every night? I added up what I think would be a reasonable charge ($15 per class, plus nightly concert tickets for parent and child) and the result came up to over $400. My local institute charges less than $300. Most day camps in my area charge twice the amount the institute does.

I don’t think a teacher should have to fundraise for their students-of course it’s a good idea to give them ideas, but they ought to be responsible for it. I’ve had students busk and make $50 for an hour! Do this a few days and there’s the institute tuition. Also check into scholarships from the institute or local education organizations.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

said: Apr 26, 2006
 104 posts

Expensive is a relative term—so we can’t debate that. I think it’s all about priority—most “enrichment” families will simply NOT consider spending a week or ANY lump sum amount to do music 24/7. Perhaps some of the parents don’t want to come clean and admit that the idea of spending time and money on music experience like an institute is just not their idea for vacation. So they just say, “Oh, that’s too expensive.” BTW, we’ve heard the following comments from other kids/parents who heard that we were going to spend a week at what they call “violin camp”

“Ughhh… do they WANT to do that?”

“Poor kids! Did you tell them that’s where you’re taking them?”

I am so tired of hearing people complain about the expense of music lessons—especially when I know plenty of people who spend WAY more to have their kids participate in “select” and “travel” sports team, soccer camp, etc. etc. Just my own little pet peeve!

***One more thing—GREAT thanks to all those teachers who do devote themselves and go to institutes to inspire students—because I know it’s not a money-making operation—but since when is any aspect of education?

said: Apr 26, 2006
 122 posts

profcornelia

***One more thing—GREAT thanks to all those teachers who do devote themselves and go to institutes to inspire students—because I know it’s not a money-making operation—but since when is any aspect of education?

Prof, I LOVE your posts and think this one is just as stellar. What I was trying to point out though was teaching at an institute is generally a money-loser from an already low income, and that many institutes barely make budget and lowering tuition would make many institutes go under :D

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Melissa said: Apr 27, 2006
 Piano, Flute
151 posts

I agree with junebug.
I’ve always thought that institutes and Suzuki teacher training/workshops for that matter, are rather inexpensive when comparing them to other types of camps and educational classes that are offered.

Just my 2 cents :)

Nobuaki said: Apr 27, 2006
Nobuaki TanakaViolin, Viola
Chicago, IL
115 posts

we also need to consider this

tution+hotel+gas+food=?

it cost more than tuition, especially if someone like me don’t have institute in my area.

thank you

said: Apr 27, 2006
 122 posts

violinmusic

it cost more than tuition, especially if someone like me don’t have institute in my area.

It’s understandable then why your Suzuki parents wouldn’t want to attend an institute. They also have to take into consideration siblings and spouses when travelling to an institute and being away from home for a week. However, I don’t think it’s the job of an institute to lower their fees and go into the red because participants might have to pay to travel.

“When love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
-Shinichi Suzuki

Melissa said: Apr 27, 2006
 Piano, Flute
151 posts

The package deals they have for lodging and food, I think, is quite reasonably priced too.

Gas is another matter!!!

said: Apr 27, 2006
 32 posts

Institutes often have scholarships that you can apply for—I have had several families get help that way. We also have a local fall workshop in my area, and the extra money goes toward an institute scholarship fund for our local students who can’t afford the institute fees (which are totally worth it!!!!). I agree with the posts about having a hard time explaining how truly wonderful institutes are, but the families who go always budget for the next year, no matter what their income is.

said: Apr 27, 2006
 103 posts

True, when one takes into account all the work that is put into an institute it can’t be classified as “expensive”. Our local one would probably end up costing around $250

However, when comparing to other day camps or weeklong camps that are around it could be considered expensive. I know of half-day camps that are $15 per child for five days. I also know of a six day over night camp that charges $295 for the week—where as an institute is usually just 4 days (I’m not debating the value of an institute, just trying to see it from a parents perspective).

Our local institute only offers scholarships to students who are involved in the music school, not students from other teachers.

Back to the original topic… I appreciate the practice-a-thon, etc. idea’s Junebug, thanks. I agree it would be best if the parents were in charge of carrying out the ideas.

Any more thoughts on raising funds, or places one could look into busking at? Thanks!

Cynthia Faisst said: Apr 28, 2006
Cynthia FaisstViolin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Irvine, CA
122 posts

It is my understanding that one of our local institutes in CA was cancelled because the cost of the facilities at the University they were using went up, perhaps due to tight state budgets. This is a place where attending an institue can cost up to $600. not counting how you get there.

As someone who will be working with students from communities with children at risk I hope that American Suzuki institutes will not become the exclusive domain of the echonomically priveleged.

I hope in the future we can think more creatively and flexibly about how to provide institute experiences that fully represent all Suzuki families. Perhaps we should look at the way other organizations fund their regional events. Maybe we should have a plan for how to assist and organize families who need assistance or alternative funding sourses.

Ms. Cynthia
Studio:
Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin
Director of Santa Ana Suzuki Strings located at the
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Volunteer, bring music to under-served communities around the world. Create Sound Investments and Futures.

Nobuaki said: Apr 28, 2006
Nobuaki TanakaViolin, Viola
Chicago, IL
115 posts

I hate to talk about money. But most concern from parents is money. i understand that it’s impossible to have free institute. (may be some wealthy people donate big money in future :) ).

I think the best thing is to find funding or grant. i understand that SAA doesn’t have enough money to establish scholarship for students. But may be it may possible to establish not just for teacher trainers, but also to students and parents.

just my thought

thank you

Cynthia Faisst said: Apr 29, 2006
Cynthia FaisstViolin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Irvine, CA
122 posts

I agree that what we can do with the cost and availability of an institute has much to so with how we organize on a larger scale. We need to constantly reevaluate our culture as a music educators organization.

I think if you look at any serious music school around the country they will have created some foundations and endowments to sustain them. Our teachers have made some efforts along these lines but they are not receiving those kind of saleries. Our national board could bennifit by looking at some of these models, and finding one that fits (and perhaps adapting it)

It is certainly not something that is going to be very easy to do on the local level. It is something we have to look at on a multinational level. We need to look around bi-continentally at various corporations that might sponsor our cultural activities in terms of community development. We need leadership that has the courage to think about the grants and foundations that are out there and look for ways to combine components to make a whole.

Most grants and foundations are awarded to non-profits who are cooperating with other organizations and echonomic groups in a community. Sometimes by helping a weeker group in the community you end up making something special happen for everyone in a place where there was nothing or not quite enough with alot of struggling.

We need to be thinking about how we can work with and provide programs for exceptional learners and children at risk so that we can provide programs that ultimately provide more for everyone.

You may not have a large enough program to cover the cost of facilities if you only do it for those who can pay out of their own pocket. But if you combine those efforts and contributions with a community in the population that can obtain a corporate or fedral granting then you have something that offers more in facilities or faculty than you had if you did it by yourselves.

This is the kind of creative thinking that we need to do in some of our local Suzuki Communities. There are probably some inkind resourses and leadership training available from both corporate and non-profit sources that would help our national boards with reseaching the possibilities. You might discover that your local county has volunteers that are already doing probono work like this for local non-profits. It would take some research and re evaluation of your resources. Your county non profit arts organization wants to help you provide services that improve what you can accomplish and provide in your community as an arts organization.

i.e. If you are looking for a better hall for your local festival to perform in, consult your local Civic Arts nonprofit organization about collaborating with other organizations in your community. You might provide a concert audience possibility by expanding your audience out reach to seniors, special needs families or children at risk. (there is funding for that) By coordinating with your local Arts resourses and educators you may be able to fund the larger facilities. They may even help you find some corporate partners to help with your public relations. You will also have an easier time drawing in some attention from companies in your local county are who may contribute to your overall project. From a marketing perspective this will also bring you more students over all.

Or by including those who would normally get left out of cultural activies, in the grand concert or other activities during an institiute you maybe able to improve the location and cost of holding an institute.

If you only do it by yourselves you can only afford what you can do by working by yourself.

Dr. Suzuki was never afraid to ask for the things he needed to do his work because he was always able to see how his efforts could be used to benefit every child in the community. How else would he have met Dr. Honda?

We have to stop looking at it from the perspective of what can we do just to survive to:
What we can do to share our resourses in a way that makes things better for everyone.

This means looking at your organziation as a people with a resourse to share not just as and organization with needs.

Ms. Cynthia
Studio:
Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin
Director of Santa Ana Suzuki Strings located at the
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Volunteer, bring music to under-served communities around the world. Create Sound Investments and Futures.

said: May 15, 2006
 103 posts

OK….

I understand that this and another topic like it in the general forum have been kind of popular a few weeks ago. However, I haven’t seen much information that is tangible to me. (thanks for the idea’s you’ve given already)

Where can I suggest that my families could go busking?

How does one go about getting grands, or find funding?

Do any of you have any more fundraising idea’s? Things that the families could do themselves?

I’m trying to finish up my spring newsletter. Thanks!

Cynthia Faisst said: May 16, 2006
Cynthia FaisstViolin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Irvine, CA
122 posts

Many states and counties have a non profit guidance center where you can get free assistance and advice. You may be surprised to find them on line. They are usually part of national and regional associations that train people to offer services to non-profits.

The one we have in Orange county has a library of relevant referance books. They may also be hooked up on line to several data baces that you might want to search.

IF you see a need to change your status to non-profit they can assist you through the process. They may even have some workshops or books that address the level of fundraising you would like to do that include some case studies that you can glean ideas from. I’ve even seen books in that library for getting youngsters involved in local community service.

You can get information about organizations in your local community that offer scholarships for various purposes. You never know what kind of responce you will get if you approach them with a letter of purpose sufficiantly ahead of time. You might even inspire them to do something they had not thought of before. You don’t know what businesses and organizations in your community offer untill you knock on enough doors and get to know what they do for community service.

Check the websites of large companies and service organizations in your community and see what they are doing in the community. Then seek advice from your local non-profit development agency and think creatively. Some organizations like our local children’ hospital have websites that instruct local volunteers on how to hold a nieborhood or special interest fund raiser.

If you have children who love to perform look for ways to collaborate with the community service activities of these organizations so they can get to know you and your families and see that young musicians can serve a useful purpose in the community.

It is important before you go busking that you check local ordinances about this activity. Usually with the local city or county. Some communities and locations have certain restrictions or requirements of registration. In most cases they just want to know you are legitemate and opperating in an ethical way.

I often wish there was an active thread on this site where various Suzuki groups across the planet shared the creative ideas they are using to make a difference in the world with their musical gifts and even help each other to grow.

We need some brain storming together.

Ms. Cynthia
Studio:
Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin
Director of Santa Ana Suzuki Strings located at the
Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center
Volunteer, bring music to under-served communities around the world. Create Sound Investments and Futures.

said: May 21, 2006
 5 posts

WHAT IS BUSKING?

We would love to go to an institute, but when we added up the total cost for our two children and us (with out of town expenses), it would be over $1000 for a week!

We are lucky that my parents have invited our family to Chautauqua Institute for a week. The Suzuki children practice on the Green and enjoy a variety of concerts. They can also observe the rehersals up close. Not the same, but a nice alternative and an amazing community/way to share values. has anyone been?

Mother of twins (11/16/00)
Son began cello at 3 1/2 years
Daughter began violin at 4 1/2 years

Laurel said: May 22, 2006
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

Busking is where you go out in public and play your music, and have a hat or your case out in front of you and people can throw money in.

Relatively close to where I am, they have a Busking Contest in association with the local Blueberry Festival. Unfortunately I have always been busy that particular day, so haven’t been able to sign up. Maybe next year!

Laurel

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