As a Choir MD myself I know only too well that the majority of choirs out there are not rolling around amidst surplus funds. They don’t tend to keep members subs in offshore accounts, nor do they have Treasurers managing a portfolio of investments on their behalf.
In fact choir finances are normally fairly straightforward. The members pay a monthly subscription which covers the cost of the music team and the rehearsal venue. Concerts are usually put on at regular intervals which generally serve two purposes from a financial point of view. Firstly they help to raise additional funds for the choir – this might be invested in things like subsiding a tour or possibly a recording! But on the whole a lot of choir concerts are designed to raise money for local, or national, charities.
So how would your choir go about making a fundraising CD?
You will notice I snuck in above the comment about choirs fundraising from concerts in order to record a CD. That seems somewhat at odds with the idea of the CD being a fundraising concept. So let me explain in a little more detail.
Based on my knowledge of choirs and having run them, sung with them or recorded them for the best part of 20 years I know for a fact that if you approach most choirs and start charging them large session fees to make a recording, the idea would be met with blank stares and disinterested faces. I know there are some community choirs who have recorded at Abbey Road, which is I think in the region of £20,000 per day to hire! But these are usually the larger national organisations who have many thousands of people in choirs all across the country.
If you are just a local community choir with say 50 members, it’s unlikely you will have that sort of money floating around waiting to be spent. So we do things a little bit differently and instead of charging a session fee, we put together a recording package which includes a number of CDs (professionally printed and packaged) all for a fixed price per CD. This cost is usually between £4 and £5 per CD all inclusive.
Selling the CD
Once you have purchased the CD from us (the price of which includes the recording session), you are then free to sell the discs for any price you like. Most choirs sell the discs for around £8 – £10 which seems a fair price. You can quickly see how quite. a lot of money can be made from CD sales. Some choirs donate all the profit to a nominated charity, whilst overs keep a little for their funds and then donate a specified amount per CD to their charitable cause. It’s entirely up to you how you split the proceeds and to whom you give them. We are always delighted to be part of
What about Upfront Costs?
This is perhaps the element for which some choirs might consider fundraising. One the recording is completed and the CDs are produced we require payment from your choir. A lot of choirs get around this either by having fundraised in the run up to the recording or alternatively taking pre orders (and payment) for a number of CDs in advance. Some choir also charge members to attend the recording session but then give them a free CD when it is released.
How much can you earn?
The more CDs you sell the more you can raise for your nominated charity. On average, choirs tend to sell between 300 and 500 CDs. Based on an average cost of £5 per disc the profits from your recording can be upwards of £2500 (based on selling 500 CDs for £10 per unit which cost £5 per unit). Even a donation of £2 for every disc sold going to a local charity can soon raise £1000 whilst still leaving your choir with a small profit from the recording.
To find out more about recording a fund raising CD with your choir why not give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to email us