Whether you need to need extra money for a worldwide competition outside your country, or for an intensive advanced training, or just for additional equipment at your dance school, sooner or later you will have to fundraise to pay for all these extra expenses.
If you don’t know where to get started, I’ll review few techniques you can follow to achieve your goals.
First of all, to create awareness about your event(s) and request funds, you will have to write a full event proposal (several pages) for your most important sponsors (eg Arts City Council) or an event sponsorship letter of proposal (condensed into a 2 paged document) for smaller sponsors (eg local shops, theatres..). Obviously, before getting into this, you will need to plan and market smaller local performances as well as know how much expenses you will incur.
Indeed, as you understood, a partnership with local authorities will be key to success. If for example, you plan to have several street performances to target your audience, you will need to request few weeks or months in advance the permission to do so at your local authority (eg City Council). For this purpose, you need to ring their offices and ask them what is the procedure (forms to fill) and what are the limitations (noise, timing, busking…). For each country, it will be a different process, so if you are unsure who to contact, I would advise you to do an online search with this type of keywords: “city council street performance permission (request)”. Here is an example of a simple street fundraiser with guys busking at the end of the show:
Secondly, if you plan to do flash mobs in shopping centers or airport, you will also need to request their authorisation. Here are few examples of successful flash mobs tactics:
Thirdly, if you want to create buzz around your event(s), you need to market it both online (social media, video content, newsletters, fundraising profile on crowd-sourcing websites such as fundit, idonate) and offline (flyers, posters, radio interviews, press releases). Consequently, you may need to contact your local radio, press, student union… You will need to reach them out via email or phone before your event takes place. You will either email them the information about your event (anticipated attendance count as if the event already took place, date, time, place, type of event and purposes, a picture of the dancers) or schedule a meeting. Be aware that most public relations agencies will be more likely to issue a press release if pictures are clear and taken outdoors during the daytime.
Also, you may also organise events creating emphasis on audience interaction, like for example a dance game competition or simply an event not necessarily related to dance such as film night (dance film or else). You can find few more ideas at the below link. They aren’t necessarily dance related but you can apply the same principles to your dance fundraiser:
Finally, please remember to send a thank you note to all your sponsors via email or your crowd-sourcing profile, and to your audience on your social networks (eg Facebook fan page, twitter…). Of course, advise them about how much you raised thanks to their participation and how you invested their donations!
Best of luck! If you have any other ideas, please share them with us!