January 23, 2010


Use when needed.Because pipes|drums is non-profit, funds from subscriptions and sponsors that remain after site development and hosting costs are taken care of go to other worthy, non-profit piping/drumming causes. The other day the pipe-major of a Grade 3 band asked if a few subscriptions might be donated to a silent auction to help the group get to Scotland. Of course! Happy to help, and it’s good for pipes|drums, too, since almost all subscribers re-up year after year.

That’s not a monetary donation, of course, but it got me thinking about donations to piping/drumming causes in general, and then about what more associations could offer for sale to members beyond membership itself.

I think folks are looking for ways to create new and interesting approaches to competitions. There’s the “Pipe-Majors’ Wheel of Fortune” in the Edinburgh area that is extremely clever. I haven’t been to it, but I understand it’s great fun, with competitors spinning the wheel to see what they have to play – or even if they have to tell a joke.

What if a group put on a competition / fundraiser where competitors could purchase vouchers as part of the event? There could be “Play Again” cards that pipers and drummers could purchase to use if they cocked up the first attempt, sort of like Monopoly’s “Get out of Jail Free” card.

Or how about purchasing a loan of some great player’s pipes or drum for the event? Imagine being able to use someone like Bruce Gandy’s pipes for a day. Or maybe buying a voucher that you can use to have the judge tune your drum or drones. Or buy the right to move up a place or two in the prizes, should you make the list.

The fun fundraising possibilities are endless.


  1. Andrew, we talked briefly about this the other day but as a pure fundraiser for a band, what a hoot. If I can get there (if it’s in Ontario) I will do my best to have my pipes going as good as I can to make that bid worthwhile. That just sounds like a great fun day to me. a full competition with some fun added to it. Stuart Liddell, if you’re reading this, boy I wish I had a couple of those buy up one prize tokens. I could have had an incredible fall as well . . . assuming you didn’t have an “in” on the buy up prizes yourself. Oh forgot, you didn’t need them.
    great idea for a good winter venue Andrew

  2. I don’t know how much support contests would enjoy in a few years if the better player gets beaten by the someone with a fatter wallet.

    The best fundraisers are the ones that reach out to and involve external people and dollars, so it’s not always the same supporters and band members being slugged for their hobby. Most of us pay enough as it is with regards to personal time, instruments, reeds, lost earnings, home life etc. Most punters will dip into their pockets for the simple and easy things that involve a single transaction like cash and beer raffles. They rarely purchase a ticket that then requires their attendance at some pipe band ‘thingy’ etc.

    All these weird and wonderful ideas sound like fun but we’d really just double-dipping and hitting-up the same people.

  3. Andy, you need to lighten up just a wee bit and maybe trying something new is okay once in awhile. Besides I think it was just a bit of fun. If Bruce Gandy thinks it’ll be a hoot that is good enough for me!!!

  4. Carlos, one reason why Mr Gandy thinks it will be a “hoot” is because he’s the subject of admiration (and rightfully so). I’d agree with him and share the idea it could be fun on that basis alone. But does it have legs…?

    If you have people ‘bidding’ in a solo contest, it’s no longer a contest about music. So don’t badge it as one. Simple. Just put the right dress on it.

    The ideas are interesting but not original (maybe in Canada). Such things do not have longevity, as witnessed elsewhere.

    My real point is that this is primarily about fundraising. However (and as with most efforts) the reality is that too many fundraising concepts are targeting the very people who need the funds – i.e. the band members etc. These are ‘new’ ideas but they will all draw from the same pot of money that band subs, levies etc all come from – i.e. band members and supporters. But if it’s more about the concept and product, great! But the same wallets are being stung.



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