15 Creative Ways Dance Studios Can Fundraise

It's time to twirl your way into more funds for your dance studio! Fundraising for your dance studio is a great way to engage with the community and get the support you need to provide important programming. But when you're fundraising for an artsy cause, you have to get creative! In this article, we'll walk you through 15 engaging dance studio fundraising ideas to try.

8 minutes read
15 Creative Ways Dance Studios Can Fundraise

There are over 68,000 dance studios in the U.S. alone. If you’re trying to raise funds for your dance studio, it can be hard to cut through the competition and gain the attention of your donors.

That’s where these 15 creative dance studio fundraising ideas come in! They can help you stand out – and groove your way into more funds for your dance studio.

15 Creative Dance Studio Fundraising Ideas 

1. Social Media Challenges

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS was a phenomenal success on social media. One of the first (and most effective) viral social media fundraisers, it called for people to post videos of themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads to mimic the symptoms of ALS. This idea – a social media fundraiser with the potential to go viral – is perfect for your dance studio!

TikTok is a platform where dancing really makes a statement. Use the social media platform to your advantage and challenge the world to a specific dance. You can also get hearts pumping with a push-up challenge, sit-up challenge – anything that will get people moving. For those who pass up the challenge, encourage them to donate to your studio in place of a dance-off. It also helps to raise awareness of your studio and its mission, which can bring in more donations from those who may not have known about your nonprofit previously.

2. Host a Dance Workshop

If you have a dancer who has gone on to become fairly successful, reach out to see if they would be interested in teaching a master class at your studio. It’s inspirational for the students, allows the professional dancer to connect with their roots, and provides a boost of income.

If you don’t know a dancer who has risen from your studio, you can always reach out to dancers in the community. Many would be happy to host a clinic with younger dancers, giving them a chance to learn with the pros.

Set up a donation kiosk at your workshop venue for those who are willing to help with extra donations. This will be in addition to the tickets you’ll sell for attending the workshop. At the end of your workshop, ask the host to talk about your dance studio and how even the smallest of contributions will help it grow further. Donorbox Live™ Kioskhelps you turn your iPad or Android tablet into a donation kiosk in a few minutes. Pair it with a card reader device to encourage your supporters to make swift cashless donations via credit/debit cards or digital wallets.


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Pro tip: Promote the workshop heavily within your community – the more attendees, the more funds you’ll raise! Ask your community partners to spread the word. 

3. Unique Dance Genre Clinics

Dance studio fundraising requires you to think outside the box!

Clogging? Irish stepdance? Crunk? These dance genres are not found in your everyday dance studio. So, add a splash of variety by adding a unique genre for one day a month.

Promote the clinic to your studio, then go a step above by posting flyers, sharing on social media, sending email announcements, and promoting it at other fundraisers and sales. It will draw in veteran dancers looking to try something fresh, as well as new dancers trying to find a favorite genre.

Reach out to dancers you know who have experience in your chosen genre – most will be willing to teach for a small fee. 

4. Virtual Performances

Virtual events remain popular, even after the pandemic. A bonus of a virtual dance performance is that dancers’ friends and family don’t have to miss out on the fun! Set up a website to purchase tickets and have dancers spread the word through social media. Host a performance on a platform such as Zoom or Airmeet and only share the link with those who purchased tickets. To intrigue outsiders to the showcase, you can create a teaser video of the dances in advance and share it on social media. You’ll raise a solid amount of funds due to the increased exposure.

Pro tip: Make sure to promote the donation page link – it should be easily accessible to the audience. Make announcements at the beginning and end (and intermission, if you have one) to remind people to give!

5. Grant Funding

While there are plenty of great ways to fundraise, nonprofits can also apply for federal and private foundation grants. As long as your dance studio is registered as a 501(c)(3), you can apply for funding. Consider what you need and would use the funding for, what your ultimate goals are for the studio (long-term and short-term), and whether or not you are eligible. Check out our thorough article on when and how nonprofits should apply for grants. 

6. Little Classes

Most studios have classes for younger dancers, with choreography just for them. For a change, have older dancers teach their choreography to the younger ones.

You can charge for this “dance boot camp” experience. The older dancers can simplify their class’s dance routines or think of their own warm-ups, giving the younger dancers an inspiring glimpse of what the older dance teams do.

In the end, have the younger dancers perform for the adults during a showcase. The little ones will be proud to show off their new moves to their loved ones, and their loved ones will be happy to pay for this event.

In addition to ticket sales, keep a donation kiosk handy at your venue so that people can make a donation swiftly and without cash. This especially helps when you have talked about your studio and the significance of donations. Inspired people will want to make a donation, and they’ll be even more likely to give when you make it easy! With Donorbox Live™ Kiosk, your setup will be a breeze and your donors can give with quick taps, dips, or swipes of their cards or by using their digital wallets. Learn how to get started here.

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7. Drop-in Classes

Sometimes ballet dancers want to try hip-hop, or Latin dancers want to try jazz. Offer drop-in classes to all dancers. If they fall in love with other dance genres, they’ll sign up for new classes they might not have tried otherwise – perfect if your studio determines rates by the number of classes taken by each student. 

8. Take the Kiddos In So the Parents Can Go Out

This dance studio fundraiser is a great way to raise money – and give back to your parents! Offer to take parents’ dancers in and entertain them for the night. This way, you can give parents a reprieve for a night on their own. Order pizza, put some music on, and dance like no one’s watching with the kiddos (or teach some choreography, if you’re adventurous). For younger kids, bring some arts and crafts supplies to keep them entertained. Make it cheaper than a babysitter, and you’re set to rake in the profits.

Pro tip: Promote this directly to parents with flyers, emails, and social media posts. Sometimes the younger ones don’t remember to inform their parents, so take care of that aspect with targeted promotion. 

9. Holiday Performances

While most studios have end-of-the-year performances, consider hosting holiday performances as well. Teach students short dances for holiday-specific songs and throw a celebration. You don’t need to perform for all holidays – but Halloween and Christmas showcases, for example, are always fun. (On Halloween, you can host a costume contest!) You can also look for raffle prizes and sell them at the door, then host the giveaway during an intermission. Everybody likes winning, and dancers always appreciate the chance to show off their skills. 

10. Partner with Restaurants

dance studio fundraising

Many restaurants will pair up with and give a percentage of their lunch or dinner sales as part of a dance studio fundraiser. Reach out to local businesses and ask if they’d be interested in working with your studio to split the profits. Emphasize that you will be promoting their restaurant to the entirety of the dance team and their friends and family directly and through social media, then make sure your entire studio shows up for the meal. Generally, restaurants will donate a portion of the proceeds during one specific day, so consider when the best time is for the biggest turnout. 

11. Flowers/Candy for Dancers

A classic gift following a recital is a bouquet of flowers for the dancers. Consider buying bouquets in bulk and selling them at the front of the venue. That way, audience members don’t have to remember to bring them on their own, and the profits go directly to the studio.

Another fun way to celebrate dancers’ pre-show: candy grams. Sell small treats – lollipops, kisses, a fun-size Skittles packet – with notes from the attendees, wishing their dancers good luck. You can also buy these in bulk to help save costs. 

12. Costume and Dancewear Sale

Remember the costumes that were only worn once at the final dance show? Or what about the dancer who bought jazz shoes – only to quit after a month? A costume and dancewear sale is the best place to sell your old clothes. Parents and dancers can bring costumes, leotards, shoes, hairpieces – anything they no longer need or fit in. It’s more affordable than brand-new tap shoes, and you can split the profit between you and the dancer, therefore giving them pocket money while also raising funds for the studio. 

13. Branded Merchandise

Competitive dance teams usually have their own team names. Order sweats, shirts, and/or jackets with the team name and last names of the dancers – it builds unity and makes for fun photo-ops at competitions. Common workout attire will also build brand awareness – not only at the studio but also in everyday situations.

On the same note, create stickers, pins, and magnets with the logo of the studio. Dancers and their friends and family can rep your studio in a variety of ways, therefore bringing awareness to your nonprofit. 

Learn about more products to sell for dance studio fundraising in this article!

14. Photo Day

Photo days are fun for the dancers – they get to try on their costumes and immortalize each year at the studio. Have one day solely dedicated to taking photos of each class, and offer the opportunity for individual photos as well. You can then create photo packages and sell them to family and friends.

If you want added fun, the photos don’t have to be entirely dance-related – dancers can wear glitter, try on old costumes, take candids, and so on for unique photos. 

15. Bake Sale

While people may joke about bake sales, there is a reason they have had long-term staying power. Everybody loves a good bake sale – no one can resist sweet temptations. To be more cost-efficient, have dancers and their families bring treats in as part of their donation. Whether they’re homemade or store-bought, they’re bound to sell. Should your studio be located in a space without much foot traffic, find a more public street corner, or work with a local grocery store a-la Girl Scouts and sell them outside.

Cultivate Donors

Ultimately, you’ll see better fundraising results if you cultivate new donors and steward existing donors.

Create a dynamic and inspiring ask, demonstrating the need for your studio and some of the success stories it has engendered. Create donor tiers that include ways to recognize your supporters based on their level of giving. These might include special thanks on your website or social media sites, an ad in a performance program, a special performance just for studio donors, or even the creation of dance in honor of your major donors.

As a “thank you,” create a short dance and either perform it live or record it and send it to the donor. They’ll be honored that you took their donation to heart, and it will encourage them to donate again in the future.

Another option is to send major donors a recording of a routine you’ve been working on, giving them a sneak peek behind the scenes prior to a performance.

In Conclusion

dance studio fundraising

Nonprofit dance studios provide a vital source of creativity and community, yet their financial survival is challenging. Documenting the need for the studio and its positive outcomes for participants will position you to raise funds no matter which strategy you select.

The arts elevate and inspire us. With the same passion in fund development as that required of dancers, studios will be positioned to train and inspire dancers now and into the future. Dance studio fundraising requires a little creativity, but it helps get the community involved – and its often just fun!

At Donorbox, we are helping numerous clubs and organizations to maximize their donations. Learn more about our features and sign up today!

Check out our Nonprofit Blog for more nonprofit tips, resources, and more! Subscribe to our newsletter for a curated list of blog content delivered to your inbox every month.

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Raviraj heads the sales and marketing team at Donorbox. His growth-hacking abilities have helped Donorbox boost fundraising efforts for thousands of nonprofit organizations.

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