Maybe you’ve had a stressful fundraising season but you’re still on the hook for one more event, or you’re looking for a simple and quick add-on fundraiser to another event. Why not plan for a karaoke fundraiser? This event costs little to put on and provides an easy way to earn money and have lots of fun!
With a Karaoke fundraiser, there a few things to watch for to make sure it’s a success:
Audience, Venue and Karaoke Equipment
The most important factor to consider is your audience: will they be mostly high-school kids? College students? Will there be no kids allowed? The answer to these questions will affect where you hold the fundraiser. Will it be appropriate to have this event in your school’s multi-purpose hall, outdoors, or at a club?
Depending on the demographic and how many people you expect for your Karaoke fundraiser, you’ll have to decide whether to use a simple home Karaoke machine setup (small crowd) or go with a high-quality system which would be more appropriate for larger rooms and larger crowds.
You can rent commercial machines for a reasonable price, and these will be loaded with a large number of song selections. However, you may also be able to borrow a home Karaoke machine from someone in your organization to save money. Just keep in mind that home machines don’t have the same sound quality as commercial machines (important if you’re performing in a large venue) and may not have a very wide song selection. Be sure to test any equipment beforehand.
Get a Good MC
A main factor that can mean the difference between a successful fun event and a dud is making sure you have a good master of ceremonies! You may have volunteers who offer to do it for free, but do they really have what it takes to get a crowd going? Are they able to walk the fine line between obnoxious and boring?
Such a person can be hard to find, but the right MC will keep things exciting during those moments when no one feels like singing, and help keep the momentum going when everyone wants to. Try to find someone who has experience and get recommendations. Often the place that will rent you a Karaoke machine will also have a recommendation for an MC.
Also read: Chicken Poop Bingo Game Fundraiser!
What About Judges?
You may choose to have a night that’s simply all about having fun and somewhat unstructured, or you may want to throw a little competition into the mix, perhaps “a la American Idol”. Judges and prizes can make the evening more exciting, as long as it’s handled in a fun and lighthearted way.
How to Make Money With a Karaoke Fundraiser
– You can start by charging an entrance fee, but you’ll have to weigh this carefully as it may turn people away from your event. You might consider holding a raffle for free movie tickets or other lower cost item or event and might sell more tickets this way.
– Performers can sign up on a list and pay an extra fee. This might generate extra income, but it might be easier to roll the chance to sing in with the entrance fee. Some people will jump at the chance to sing, while others may be quite apprehensive.
– Encourage “tips” for performers with the tips going to your group as a donation.
– You can also get more people to participate and donate if you have the MC announce that they’re taking donations to hear the school principal or the football team sing!
– Sell snacks (or meals depending on your venue and time of day) and refreshments. Options could be a coffee or juice bar and an ice cream stand. A Karaoke fundraiser makes an excellent add-on fundraiser to other events that may already be offering food and refreshments. (Like a food truck fundraiser.)
– Another factor to consider is whether to sell alcohol at your event. If you expect an underage crowd, you can’t serve alcohol; but if the venue is a bar or concert hall, chances are you will have the option. Serving alcohol brings with it all kinds of legal considerations, make sure the extra income from selling alcoholic beverages is worth the extra risk.
What About Copyright?
Just because you are raising funds doesn’t exempt you from copyright laws and licensing fees. The key is to take care of this months ahead of the event. Nonprofits may even get a free license. If you are with a school check with the district or the music department. Read more about music licensing when holding an event.
Keeping people motivated to sing is easy with a good MC and by offering some attractive prizes, preferably donated. If you’re unable to get donations, it’s probably still worth your time and money to invest in a few good prizes to keep people baited during the night: “Don’t miss your last chance to win this brand new ___! Come up and take your best shot at Bruce Springsteen!”
With a little bit of creativity and a large fun factor, your event will be a success and your organization will be talking about their Karaoke night for months to come!