Dalton's Online Marching Band Fundraiser
We almost didn’t make it in time before Winter Break! So how did this happen so fast?
Just prior to Thanksgiving week in 2022, we were referred to Tony Carlson (Band Booster President) at Dalton High School by our good friend, Alan Armstrong, to help raise funds for the band. Alan is the current band director at Northgate High School in Newnan, Georgia. He graduated from Dalton High School and wanted a way to help give back to his “original” hometown school.
This was such a cool opportunity! We were excited to work with Dalton and wanted to find out how we could help them. For context, Dalton is in northern Georgia near the Tennessee border.
After a good conversation with Tony, he helped us understand more about how the band program has grown over the years and the challenges faced with fundraising. The more I learned about Dalton High School Band, the more I wanted to help them.
Also, as a female entrepreneur, I’m inspired by so many other women in leadership and want to help support them wherever I can as well. I found out that Janna Pye, Dalton High School’s band director, is not only a lifelong Daltonian and alumna of the high school, but the first female band director in the high school’s history.
I LOVED what Janna mentioned in this interview with the Dalton Daily Citizen in 2020 when she started.
“band changed my life, and saying those words — ‘band changed my life’ — doesn’t even encompass everything it did for me. It opened so many doors for me, and I thought ‘If I could just do that for even one student, it’ll be wonderful.'”
- Janna Pye
This!! What Janna mentioned above resonates with me so much! She has done a fantastic job with the band program, and I’m so grateful for an opportunity to help in some small way.
We needed an easy and fast fundraiser
Would we be able to make any real impact with only a few weeks, though? By that time of year, parents and especially the band boosters, were busy with year-end activities and didn’t have time to invest in traditional fundraising (i.e. order forms, chasing family/friends to pay by check/cash, tallying up the totals, getting the products, distributing the products).
Tony was happy to work with us but didn’t know what would be possible with less than a month before Winter Break.
If we moved the “traditional” order form model online, would that work? …nope, not going to work.
Tony spoke with the band boosters. Not enough time and too much work needed from parents to fit it into the schedule. We needed to figure out something better.
We were determined to find a way to help the Dalton band. So my husband stayed up late for a couple of nights to create a fully ready e-commerce website for Dalton to accept payments directly from customers via credit card, debit, Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, etc,, and I created 2 custom ornaments specific to their band.
Dalton High School Hat Ornament
Dalton High School logo Ornament
We knew there wasn’t much time left, but what did anyone have to lose?
…we got a “yes” from Tony and the other band booster parents!
Tony thanked us for setting up the website so fast for them and mentioned that given the fact that the band boosters don’t actually have to do anything (no order forms, no collecting payments or distributing products, etc.), it was super easy… a no-brainer.
On November 29, the Dalton band fundraiser website went live and Tony helped spread the word! He did a great job sharing via the Dalton Band Facebook group and also sent emails about the fundraiser.
Within two weeks, we had raised $350! Most of this came from the alumni, which was a nice bonus for everyone since that is not normally the main source of this type of product-based fundraising for Dalton. The Dalton hat ornaments were a huge hit with the alumni!
They appreciated we could customize and put any name, year, etc. on the ornaments. The wooden engraved Tuba ornament was also big among Dalton’s alumni. The $350 amount was not bad, but we were determined to do better.
In Person Fundraiser (Christmas Concert)
At the time, Dalton’s Christmas Concert was coming up the following week on December 13, 2022. So we asked Tony if we could make the drive and help fundraise in person. We know this normally results in hundreds of dollars raised within a matter of hours. Tony probably thought we were crazy since Dalton is 125 miles from where we live. Lol. But he graciously invited us to set up our table outside the auditorium.
Yes, we drove 125 miles (2.5 hours one way). Yep, we’re a little crazy, but it was so worth it.
During intermission, the band director simply mentioned our fundraiser table set up with marching band themed Christmas ornaments. We got to meet so many great kids and their families. The band sounded amazing during the concert! Everyone was so supportive, and once again the Dalton hat ornaments were a huge hit! 🙂
After the concert we had raised an additional $500 that night for a total of $850! So glad we were able to help bump up their total by joining the concert.
We got a chance to talk with Tony and his wife (who is also into laser engraving!) and several of the band booster parents after the event as well. Lots of great ideas for fundraising after Christmas 🙂
Huge thanks to Tony and the Dalton High School band booster families. We’re looking forward to working with you for a long time to come! You can find out more about Dalton High School band by following them on Facebook.
Want to learn how we can help your school marching band?
If you’re not familiar with The Inspired Dragonfly, we create unique, instrument/music themed ornaments, key chains, journals, and other promotional products. I was in marching band in high school (band nerd for life!), and it’s very close to my heart. I want every kid who is interested in band to have the same opportunities I had. We have dedicated our business to fundraising, specifically for marching bands, to help make that happen!
We have decided to expand to 30 schools across the country in 2023. We expect the spots to fill up quickly. So if you're interested in working with us. This is a great time to contact us if you're interested in our help with fundraising for your school!
The Inspired Dragonfly