School or community dances are great fun for middle and high school aged kids. And, they also happen to be a great way to raise funds, because they’re high on appeal and low on cost and effort.
Valentine’s Day and spring are the two most popular times to host a dance; though it’s not necessarily a good idea to host one at Valentine’s Day for tweens or younger teens. The implication that one must have a “valentine” or date to attend will discourage many kids who would otherwise be happy to come alone or with a group of friends.
Though a dance is fairly simple to host, there are some important things to consider:
• Location – If you’re hosting a school dance, the school’s cafeteria or gym will likely make a good location. If it’s a community or organization event, you may need to locate a venue. Consider asking local clubs to either donate the use of their location or rent it to you for a lower cost than their normal rental fee. If the proceeds from your dance are going to a good cause, they may be more than willing to help. Eliminating or reducing the cost of the venue should be high on your priority list. If you have to pay for a venue, this will likely be your most costly budget item.
• Food – It’s OK to keep food simple; this is not an eating event. Water, sodas, juices, cookies, pretzels and simple finger foods may be sufficient.
• Music – Consider hiring a DJ rather than a band. DJ’s are typically less expensive and play a wider variety of music. Plus, they will typically be showmen who’ll keep the crowd happy with limbo contests, etc. If you let your DJ know that the dance is a fundraiser, they may lower their price. Or, consider scouring the parent body for a DJ right in your own organization.
Find more ideas for event fundraisers here…
• Decorations – Pick a theme and then plan decorations and food serving items around the theme.
• Ticket Sales and Prices – Come up with your budget before you set your ticket sales price. Tickets should be priced appropriately so that they are affordable, yet allow for you to make a profit. Consider setting a certain window for advanced ticket sales and then charge a higher price at the door. This will more accurately help you predict your headcount for food and drink.
• Chaperones – You’ll need to enlist volunteers to take and sell tickets, serve drinks and offer general chaperone help. Schedule volunteers in shifts of no more than 2 hours if possible to ensure that more people are willing to help.
• Advertising – Be sure you get the word out. Use posters and flyers as well as announcing your event as often as you get the chance.
As you can see, with a little planning and volunteer assistance, a dance is a great way to raise funds while entertaining a group of teens or tweens. Your group will probably have so much fun that you’ll consider making a dance an annual event!