How can a choir raise money

As we have seen, it takes money to run a choir.

Common ways that a choir or chorus can raise money, either for itself or for local charities, include:

From members

Membership fees or subscriptions
This is what members pay to belong to the choir. This is usually the largest income source, except for choirs that are are sponsored by an organisation.

Vocal coaching lesson fees
What members - or others - pay for individual singing lessons offered by the choir.   Note:   if you offer your musical director the chance to offer lessons privately, this should be reflected in the fee that you pay for their services.

Membership expenses
Some choirs ask members to pay specifically for published sheet music, transport to gigs, etc. If you do this, you need to be very clear about what is/isn't covered by the general membership fees, and also whether it's acceptable to use non-standard sheet music (eg some members may use an older score that they already have, rather than buy a new one)

Charging for tea, coffee, etc served at rehearsals.   While this won't make you rich, it does add up over time.


Running raffles
This can involve selling tickets to members - or to people outside of the choir.

Providing volunteer labour for fundraising events
This may be either general purpose (eg supermarket bag-packing), or using your musical skills (eg singing at public events where funds are collected).

Running fundraising events
A choir may choose to host a fundraising event (eg a quiz-night or a movie-evening) itself, and inviting members and friends to take part.

Musical activities

Performance fees from paid gigs
If someone wants you to perform, eg for a wedding, they should be paying a fee for your services.

Profits from concerts
Performances aren't always successful - and the how to budget and manage the finances for a performance is a whole topic in itself.   But if you can pull things off, and concert can be an excellent fund-raiser.

Sales of CDs
If the choir has produced a CD, then sales of (or tracks from it on iTunes etc) may be an option. Note that this is not as good as it was in the past, because many people simply do not buy physical CDs any more.

Grants and donations

This is money given by local businesses or organisations, usually in return for some publicity.
It is particularly important for choirs that are run as part of a larger organisation: in many workplace choirs, the membership fee is very nominal, many supporting resources are provided by the company, and there is a cash-grant towards the many other expenses.

Money allocated by governments or other organsations (eg Arts councils) specificlly for providing a certin service in the community

Sharing messages on behalf of a business in choir programmes, on the website or Facebook page, or directly to members.

Believe it or not, some memebers and even local businesses are willing to make donations just to help a local choir to exist. Some people want a reward (eg their name in the programme as a "friend"), while others are happy to be anonymous.

What other sources of income does your choir have?