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School music programs are often the first to get cut when budgets are spread too thin. So organizers often have to get creative to secure funding for their programs. And while you could do a charity run, a benefit concert is often the go-to option for music educators.

If you’re wondering how to throw a benefit concert, Save The Music has created a guide with a host of benefit concert ideas to walk you through the process.

What is a Benefit Concert?

Concert fundraisers may look like any other concert you’ve attended: musicians gather on stage to play for an audience. Since we’re all gathered for a cause, performers may also take the time to speak about the fundraising concert and why it’s so important to donate. Raising money is the primary goal of any concert fundraiser, but they also have other benefits, such as raising awareness.

But why are they so effective at raising money?

– Attract an Audience – Whether you want to throw a concert for hundreds of people or thousands, you’re attracting a surge of potential donors.

– Tell Your Story – Concerts are an opportunity to tell your story, such as who a benefit concert supports and how your audience’s donations will help.

– Gain Media Coverage – Since concert fundraisers are so popular, it’s not uncommon for local media to cover these events, which can lead to further donations.

How to Plan a Benefit Concert

Figuring out how to organize a benefit concert may require more planning than a regular concert because the goal isn’t just to put on a great evening, but to secure donations for your program as well. But we’re here to help!

Save The Music has compiled this simple step-by-step guide so you can work out how to throw a concert event.

Step One – Come Up with Concert Fundraiser Ideas

The first step is to decide which type of fundraising concert you’re going to hold. It’s all about your audience. Will they be interested in a specific genre of music? Think about what kind of music your audience will enjoy and showcase talent in that area. Your benefit concert ideas should resonate with your audience so they are more engaged.

Step Two – Determine Your Venue

Now that you’ve got the direction of your concert, you need a venue to match. Location is everything. Not only do you need to make a rough estimation of how big the crowd will be, but you’ll need to find a place that has the facilities necessary for your performers and your audience. It’s worth asking if a venue wants to donate their space for your benefit concert. It’s also possible to secure a low-cost venue simply by offering sponsorships.

Step Three – Reach Out to Performers

If you’re looking outside your local music program for performers, it’s important to reach out early. Remember, one of the most challenging aspects of how to plan a benefit concert is ensuring everyone’s schedules match up. Sometimes performers will appear at your concert because they feel connected to your mission so be sure to tell your story. Show them why performing for your fundraiser will make a difference.

Step Four – Set a Date

After getting everything in place, it’s time to set a firm date for your fundraiser. Establish a date that’s likely to be convenient for your target audience. Whether after school or during the weekend, think about people’s schedules. It’s also important to avoid having your concert clash with major holidays and other big events.

Step Five – Spread the Word

In advance of your event, you need to spread the word. Tease the great performers people can expect to see and add in a personal touch. Some options for marketing include:

– Handing out fliers locally

– Posting on social media

Investing in a local newspaper listing or another form of advertising

Organize a Benefit Concert for Music Programs

Save The Music makes it easy for you to set up your online donation platform for your fundraising concert. Choose from a Facebook fundraiser or the peer-to-peer fundraising platform Classy. Just click to create your fundraiser and add in the basic information about the event as well as a few details about what makes your concert fundraiser unique and important to you. With Save The Music’s one-click approach to fundraising, you can make exciting things happen quickly.

Example: Central Bucks School District’s Annual Benefit Concert for Save The Music

Since 2005, the Central Bucks School District in Doylestown, PA has held a benefit concert for Save The Music. Organized by the faculty, students and community, these performances have raised over $200,000 for music education. Over the years, they have been able to fund full music programs at deserving schools in New Orleans and in Newark, New Jersey. Though they weren’t able to perform in person this year, they were still able to organize a virtual show. Click here to learn more about their inspiring story.


Start setting up your benefit concert today with the help of Save The Music. Whether you choose Facebook or Classy as your donation platform, know that you are helping to advance our mission of supporting schools and communities through the power of music. You’re also allowing us to provide online music education resources which are important now more than ever. Contact Save The Music to learn more about how to plan a benefit concert and take action today.