How to Do an Outdoor Concert for a Nonprofit

by Kyra Sheahan

Nonprofit organizations look for ways to raise community awareness about social, economical and health issues. Fundraiser galas are a dime a dozen, but outdoor concerts are a creative way to entertain audiences and give your nonprofit organization a chance to send a powerful message to the community. When you take on a project as big as an outdoor concert, put a committee of volunteers together to help you with the planning and the setup on the big day.

Step 1

Set the date for your outdoor concert. Plan for the concert to take place at least three months out to give you adequate time to find your talent and make the preparations. The scale of your performance dictates how far in advance to start planning. For instance, a small-scale concert of 50 to 100 people can be planned in three months, but large-scale concerts might take you six months or more to plan.

Step 2

Talk to musicians in your community. Find musical performers who are interested in your proposal for them to do a concert. Since the concert is for a nonprofit you might be looking for musicians to donate their time and talent onstage, rather than charging you for it. Sell the cause and benefit of the concert to the musicians to find a soloist or band that will perform for you.

Step 3

Scout outdoor concert spaces. Talk to your county's parks and recreation department to find out which parks allow outdoor concerts. Look into grassy common areas outside of museums, the public library or another central location. Hotels may also be an outdoor source for your concert, as well as local theme parks or baseball fields.

Step 4

Set the budget for your concert. Think about the items you need to supply for an outdoor concert, such as the cost for the stage, sound equipment, any visual presentations to accompany the music, seating for the guests, printed programs and the cost for renting the venue space. Save some money by telling guests to bring their own seating, such as towels for the grass or lawn chairs.

Step 5

Look for corporate sponsors in your community. Sponsors help cover some of the costs by giving your nonprofit organization money to host the outdoor concert, which takes some financial burden off of you. In exchange, the corporate sponsors should be noted in your performance programs, or you should provide advertisements for their companies at the concert location to give them exposure.

Step 6

Advertise for your outdoor concert. Tell the public where the event will be hosted, what time it starts, who the special musical talent is -- or keep this a surprise -- and what the event is being hosted for. Provide information on how people can purchase tickets, such as online at a website or the day of the concert at a ticket booth.

Step 7

Design and make signage for the concert. Signs are helpful for pointing audiences in the right direction once they park, as well as for decorating the venue space.

Step 8

Have a backup plan in case of inclement weather. Decide what type of weather conditions constitute canceling the show. Or, see if you can move your audience members indoors.

Step 9

Set up water stations the day of the concert. Water should be free to the public. You might also want to consider inviting food and beverage vendors so audiences can eat snacks and drink during the outdoor concert.

Tips & Warnings

  • Give a gift to the musical artist, as well as a warm thanks with the audience.

Photo Credits

  • NA/ Images