Taste of the World
As school budgets are being cut, especially in the arts, music booster organizations, like ourselves, are always trying to think of new ways to raise funds for these valuable programs. Each year in January, our ‚ÄúTaste of the World” fundraiser showcases the diverse ethnic foods and music of the Nutley community and surrounding area and raises funds for the Nutley Instrumental Music Programs. Event tickets are sold for $25 and includes food, dessert, water/soda, coffee/tea. In addition music performed by our Jazz students complements the evening.
This past January 2019 we hosted our 4th annual event and featured over 40 donated dishes from area restaurants and from own Music Booster families’ favorite recipes. Restaurant names and their dishes are prominently displayed in our program and each tray is labeled. They also provide menus and information which are placed on all tables. The event has grown in both donations and attendance year after year.
The event also features a Tricky Tray (3 levels – 1 sheet for $15 / 3 for $10 and 1 for $5), a 50/50 ($10 for 10 chances), calendar raffle ($5 per box) and wine raffle. In regards to the wine raffle, every person that donates a bottle of wine receives a ticket to win all bottles donated for the evening. Additional chances can be purchased for $10 each and the winner has received approximately 100 bottles each year.
This event has rasied over $47,000 for our instrumental music programs. Funds raised from this specific event has been used to assist with the purchase of new percussion equipment at the middle school that was well over 50 years old in 2017. Most recently we were able to help with the purchase of new marching band uniforms that debuted in Fall 2018. We also were able to provide raincoats to all members to help protect this investment. We are planning on using a portion of 2019’s proceeds towards reducing each high school student’s trip cost by $100 to California in February 2020.
Secondary target audience would be the local restaurants, businesses and families who choose to donate food or tricky tray prizes through this event. On average, we get about 30-40 restaurants that donate food and approximately 70 tricky tray prize donations from businesses and families.
Overview of planning and execution process for this project
Soliciting for food occurs after the Christmas holiday with the bulk of the soliciting happening 3 weeks before the event, with a follow up 1 week before and during the week of the event to finalize dishes and pickup/delivery times. We have found that too much lead time for the restaurants, especially because of the holidays, has caused them to either 1) forget and 2) ask for a follow up 1 week before the event date, anyway.
- 2016 – $8,648.16
- 2017 – $11,182.97
- 2018 – $14,003.81
- 2019 – $13,602.53
Attendance has grown year after to year, with first being held at a local Elks Club, moving to a Parochial School Gymnasium to now for the last 2 years at our Parks & Recreation Center which holds up to 400 people. The bigger event site now gives us more flexibility with setting up food in a side room, trick tray prizes and general prep with a full kitchen available for our use.
Specific Budget Breakdown
- Raffle License Fees: $80.00
- Tickets: $30.00
- Supplies (Plates, Cups, Napkins, Utensils, Tablelcoths): $450.00
- TV & Supplemental Tricky Tray Prizes: $600
- Misc/Other: $100
New or recurring project?Recurring
How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?
Challenges/obstacles that were encountered
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Another major key component is getting parent and students (that can drive) to pickup the food donations the day of the event (approx. 2 hours before start time). Some restaurants have delivered for us, but majority need to be picked up. Putting restaurants in order and grouping by location helps a great deal when giving parents pickup assignments, especially some our the restaurants are from out of town.
Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?
We were very fortunate to help with the recent purchase of new marching band uniforms that debuted this Fall 2018 and also providing raincoats to all members to help protect this investment. We also teamed up with the Nutley Educational Foundation in 2017 to provide much needed percussion equipment that was well over 50 years old to our middle school program.
Along with our high school college scholarships, we were also able to continue to assist our elementary and middle school musicians by providing scholarships to a student in each of our five elementary schools and two from the middle school to attend the Nutley Summer Music Program. The Summer Music Program is a 5-week program offered to all our district students, and provides for individual/small group instruction and college music prep courses.