Give It the Old College Try: Raising Money for a Good Cause

Collegiate a cappella groups have the chance to undertake a variety of endeavors, projects and adventures. Give It the Old College Try highlights opportunities a group may have overlooked or not thought of up to this point.

In suggesting these ideas, we openly acknowledge that there are groups with greater experience and knowledge on the topic than we can share. We welcome readers to chime in in the comments section.

In this edition, we suggest groups try…raising money for a good cause.

On campuses all around the world, a cappella groups have, with good reason, emerged as one of the most popular forms of entertainment. With this popularity, today’s groups are enjoying more chances than ever to perform at a variety of venues in a variety of ways. This provides the opportunity to become school-wide celebrities, and even to turn a buck or two through ticket sales, performance fees for special events, and the sale of CDs and merchandise. With an influx of revenue, many groups may contemplate what the best use of this money is. Ultimately, what better use could there be than supporting a good cause.

Many groups have elected to hold shows in response to tragedies. In recent years, a number groups have raised money to go toward Hurricane Katrina relief, to respond to the Virginia Tech shooting. Such efforts demonstrate a wonderful social consciousness, and provide supporters with a tangible cause to know that they are supporting, both of which can lead to more people attending a show, and donating more freely to the cause.

Equally important are the fundraising efforts that, rather than responding to a specific event, go toward established organizations. Groups have raised funds for groups ranging from Amnesty International, to local homeless shelters, to the American Cancer Society, to, in one of the more musically appropriate options, the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Such efforts allow a group to find a particular cause to which it wants to commit, and in so doing, helps to develop the group’s unique identity and values set.

All in all, there are plenty of causes for a cappella groups to support. We suggest you give it the old college try.

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Mike Chin

Mike Chin co-founded The A Cappella Blog in 2007. He continues to share leadership responsibility for the site, overseeing columns, reviews and features as the content manager. He currently lives in Baltimore, MD.