Raising Money for Music Projects
Rachel needs to buy a new instrument.
Charlotte's been accepted to a prestigious overseas festival and needs funds to cover travel and living expenses.
Matt is making a CD and needs money to cover the graphic design and recording studio time.
Casey and her ensemble want to start a new music concert series.
These are typical dilemmas musicians face. Rachel, Charlotte, Matt, and Casey are each in a bind. They have great ideas and plans, but lack the money to make things happen. When I meet with musicians in these kinds of situations, they often want or expect a quick fix, either a list of sponsors with deep pockets, or a sure-bet grant program that will provide immediate funds. And it's my job to deliver both the good and the bad news.
The good news is there are ways to raise money for projects and many musicians are successful doing this. The bad news is raising money usually takes more time and effort than people anticipate. Getting informed and savvy about the process will save time and effort in the long run. And if done right, raising money for a project can lead to larger and longer-term career benefits, beyond the scope of the original project.
There are generally two routes to pursue when seeking money for projects: by researching and applying for grants, or by developing a fund-raising campaign, that is, raising money from individual donors. For a particular project, one route may clearly be more appropriate. But, often, musicians will raise money using a combination of both grants and fund-raising methods.