One of our favorite things at Fun Pasta Fundraising is helping groups to achieve their fundraising goals. We’ve learned with every group, there is a story behind the fundraiser. It’s the story and the people that we love. It keeps us using our noodles to continuously raise the Fundraising bar to improve our fundraising products and the process. When we heard about the Arroyo High School Band Boosters, it was music to our ears and we just had to hear more. For this month’s featured fundraising group, we interviewed group leader, Kathy Evanilla.
Tell us about your group? How many kids? How long have you been together?
We are a high school band in California. We have 2400 kids in the school and about 140 of them are in the band and in the color guard. The school was built in 1955 and there’s been a band since it was built.
We do marching band in the Fall and concert festivals in the Spring. They do field shows, parades and also competitive festivals. Based on what they play they have 3 or 4 judges. We have a terrific director, Joe Massaro, who’s been with us since 2005.
What are their goals for the year? How long have you worked with FPF?
To be one of the best bands in Southern California. We have high expectations for the band and we expect to meet them. This is our second year using Fun Pasta Fundraising. It’s great. We’ve done all kinds of fundraising in the past and this one is unique enough that we can get a lot of people. The fact that it’s online makes it so much easier.
What were you raising funds for? What was your fundraising goal?
Part of it is for costs associated with competitions- entry fees, uniforms, travel etc. The kids have a “fair share” that everybody pays into the program. So every kid has their own bit of cost that are involved. Every fundraiser helps the kids pay off that cost. Our wind ensemble was invited as one of only three high schools to play at the Kennedy Center on April 21st– Monday. This group is by audition only. It was such an honor to be invited to audition.
How did you advertise and market your fundraiser?
We have our band website, We used social media with Facebook. The kids were able to advertise through their own social media accounts. We sent out the flyers on the packets that we sent out to our parents.
What do you think was the most effective way you marketed your fundraiser?
I think probably just direct contact with our parents. We have good parent participation and attend these meetings. Most of our fundraising is done through our booster club and they have better control of the money. This way the boosters are an independent group so disbursements are much simpler through them.
What was the best fundraising tip or advice you received as a leader?
I think the best thing that we were able to do was to use social media. Every parent advertised the fundraiser on their Facebook page or on Pinterest. We’ve worked with Fun Pasta Fundraising before and this was the first year that our online orders were huge. The online orders just make it a cinch. We encouraged parents to use any means that they had of contacting people.
What was the greatest challenge you faced as a leader? How did you overcome it?
The only one is trying to make sure the kids get the orders in on time. Other than that really this is one of the simplest fundraisers that I’ve ever done. It’s really great.
What group event(s) on your calendar are you most excited about in the coming months?
We’ve got some competitions with our Jazz band in March. The percussion group starts in February as does the color guard.
Is there something our readers would be surprised to know about your group?
This is a group of kids who are part of the working class community. A lot of our kids are middle to low income. We’re considered a poorer area. Even considering that our kids were able to be successful at their fundraising and getting the community behind them. It’s a combination of desire and effort. We’ve found that if a kid wants to be successful they have to work at it. It’s easier to be successful with a product driven fundraisers like pasta because it’s healthy, it’s fun, and it’s unique.
Tell us why you are such a passionate supporter of you group and of this fundraiser?
I think part of it is because my kids were in this program many years ago. I saw where it started which was pretty much mediocre. We’ve come such a long way. Our director inspires a great amount of passion in our kids to make it great. We’re going to use any means possible to promote it. I love being able to sell something that people can get excited about.
What’s the best part about being a fundraising group leader?
The samples!!!!- [LOL] I love getting to see these kids who really want it. My favorite part of being a leader is having success in working towards a shared goal.
Of all the products in our catalog, which did your group sell the most? What were they the most excited about?
I don’t know. We had so many different things ordered. We had a lot of USC Collegiate Pasta Salad. I was really surprised at the variety of pastas that people ordered. The holiday stuff is a huge hit.
If you could tell another leader to do one thing to help their fundraising efforts, what would it be?
Keep very good track of who’s turning in what/when. When you’re able to say “who” turned in “what” and “when” it makes your checks and balances go so much easier.
How does one interview for a fundraising leader position?
[Laughing]…..I made the mistake of raising my hand. My kids are now 27 and 25 and from the time they were in Kindergarten, I was involved in whatever they were doing. I said, “if you need help”. I’m organized and it was just easy to do. It helps when you have a company that is so supportive and who put all the tools right there for you to use. I’ve participated in some [fundraisers] that were real work.
Special thanks to Kathy and to the Arroyo High School Band Booster for the images. For more information about your next Fundraiser, click here. If you’ve worked with us and would like your success story to be featured in the blog, comment here. We’d love to hear from you!