Budget like a rock band

Bands are businesses, too.

By VectorOpenStock (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Who knew we’d be getting an object lesson in fundraising event budgeting from a alternative music band today? But check out this great article at Medium. In it, musician Jack Conte runs down the  profit and loss on a 28-day concert tour by Pomplamoose the multi-talented California pop duo consisting of Jack and Nataley Dawn. Then ask whether you could track the monetary success of your most recent event as well as these musicians.

Like nonprofits, Pomplamoose is more about the mission – music – than the money. And, like many nonprofits (and quite a few diners), just staying around to do great work from year to year can be a worthy achievement in itself. Pomplamoose has been making it for seven years and seems likely to keep on going, judging from their clear-eyed perspective on the business side of being professional artists.

Their 2014 tour was a highly calculated business risk. As it turned out they lost money on the tour. But they know exactly how much: $11,819. And they know exactly why – the $48,094 they spent on bandmates and crew instead of touring as a duo. By delivering a big concert experience, the pair are confident they’ll make that money back on future tours. Pomplamoose could afford the risk because they make most of their income from crowdfunding of their videos and online music sales.

Few nonprofits could similarly justify the risk or tolerate a loss from an event. But any nonprofit can learn from Pomplamoose’s acceptance that to make their art, they must also be a business. And any organization can do the simple math to project future costs and revenues and track net profits from events.

And check out their Pharrell Mashup video – showing how Pamplamoose does great work on a slim budget.

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