When the Akins High School Band was approached with the largest fundraising partnership in their band’s history, they jumped right in. Then, as the partnership grew, they discovered just how difficult coordinating hundreds of volunteers could be.
Initially, the Akins High School Band Boosters were approached to see if they would be interested in working with the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix held annually in Austin, TX. The venue was looking to find hundreds of workers to man concession booths.
Tate Fincher, Director of Bands at Akins High School, immediately recognized the great opportunity for fundraising. The concept was simple - band parents would work concessions stand shifts, and the money earned would go toward the band activities for the year.
While the concept was simple, managing the volunteer schedule became overwhelming as the opportunity mushroomed into additional work. Beyond the annual Grand Prix volunteering, the Band Boosters started receiving offers for shifts for sporting events, concerts and other special events. After two months of using spreadsheets and emails to coordinate, Fincher searched online for a better scheduling tool and came across SignUpGenius. Fincher found he preferred the tool to others for its “user-friendly” system and “variety of options in creating sign ups.”
With SignUpGenius, Fincher also found he could set up a SignUpGenius PRO account allowing multiple administrators to take part in the planning. Band mom Elisa Delph-Barnes, who serves on the Band Booster Board, stepped in to help. “I offered my assistance and Mr. Fincher showed me how [SignUpGenius] worked. I slowly began to take over organizing volunteers. The site has eliminated the numerous emails that used to drive us all crazy. With this system, there is no confusion and it gets right to the point,” she says. Now the group has divided up responsibilities across four qualified administrators.
Delph-Barnes is impressed by just how much they are able to plan with SignUpGenius. “We use SignUpGenius to coordinate volunteers for all of our fundraising opportunities,” she says. “We have also used it to sign up for desserts after a performance, TABC certification classes... really, anything where we need a large number of people to help.”
SignUpGenius has made it simple for parents to get involved in the fundraising efforts by allowing Akins High School Band parents to easily view new opportunities as they come in. The Band Boosters have posted a web button on their site that take parents directly to a list of all active sign up opportunities. In fact, the system has been instrumental in helping the group raise $70,000 in just nine months. Some of this money went to fund a band trip to New Orleans in the spring of 2013.
SignUpGenius staff is proud to help in organizing these types of scheduling and fundraising efforts and is happy to help your group get started doing the same! Find out how it works, and be sure to share with us your organizing success stories!