The Big Busk – Live Fundraising Guidelines

Thank you

Thank you for contributing your time for The Big Busk. 

As a parent, friend, and supporter of Sydney Youth Orchestras, you understand the impact that a quality music education has on a young person’s life in their development as both an artist and a person, and recognise the important role that SYO plays in the education of young musicians across NSW. 

With your help, The Big Busk will be a resounding success for SYO in both building our profile in the public eye, and raising funds towards the quality of education that our young people receive. 

All volunteer and staff guidelines have been written in reference to The Best Practice Guidelines for Charitable Organisations by the NSW Office of Fair Trading.

What is The Big Busk?

The Big Busk, where youth orchestral music takes over the city!

On the 28th September 2023, over 550 musicians and alumni from Sydney Youth Orchestras will bring Sydney to life with a wide scale public celebration of youth music called The Big Busk. The musical spectacle aims to raise both awareness and funds for Sydney Youth Orchestras, to support our work in nurturing and training the musicians of the future.

But these pop-up performances won’t just be background music – this is genuine busking, and the most important part will be earning tips to support the great cause. The Big Busk performers will be giving it their all, so they capture the attention of thousands of people and leave a lasting impression on their eyes and ears. This will be foot stomping, hand clapping, coin giving fun.

Why is SYO raising money?

With less than 10% of our funding from government, and 35% from our participation fees, SYO could not continue to nurture and develop young musicians without the generosity of individual donors, foundations and corporate partners.

Private philanthropy is a crucial activity in SYO’s operations. Through our fundraising efforts, SYO not only attract and acquire essential funding towards SYO, but find new supporters, build new relationships, and build audiences for SYO performances.

SYO has three fundraising priorities, which are the Opportunity, Excellence, and Enterprise Funds. All money raised for The Big Busk raises money towards the Enterprise Fund, which helps to acquire orchestral instruments, expands our music library, and supports SYO’s critical infrastructure.

Authority to Fundraise

Sydney Youth Orchestras is a not-for-profit, tax-deductible gift recipient and a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible. SYO have clearance from the relevant authorities to conduct face to face fundraising on the day and sites of the Big Busk. 

Child Safety

SYO treats all members of SYO according our Child Safety Policy. This document is available to the public through our website. As an SYO volunteer, please ensure that you have read and are familiar with it.

On the Day

The Big Busk will take place across Sydney CBD. Volunteers are required at most sites.

An SYO staff member is assigned to be the Site Manager at each site and will oversee all aspects. The Site Manager will perform many functions, including but not limited to:

  • The logistics of the performance
  • Holding any equipment required by the performance and money collection
  • Ensuring that the Big Busk Site adheres to SYO Child Safety Guidelines
  • Keeping copies of fundraising and event permits issued by the relevant local authorities
  • Operating EFTPOS and card readers (not all sites)
  • Safekeeping of monies
  • Holding first aid kits
  • Delegating work to volunteers

Volunteers will be supporting the Site Manager in any of the activities above. The activities that volunteers will be most involved in are:

  • Money collection
  • Assisting with moving and placing performance equipment, banners, and other items
  • Assisting with the safe travel of young musicians from one site to another

Money Collection

SYO’s face to face fundraising activity is governed by the NSW Office for Fair Trading. Face to face fundraising is one of the most regulated forms of fundraising.

All SYO staff and volunteers are required to wear SYO’s fundraising authority on a lanyard as well as a Big Busk T Shirt. These will be issued to you prior to or on the day. After the event, please return the lanyard to SYO. 

The Public Fundraising Regulatory Association of Australia have several recommendations on the proper conduct of face-to-face fundraisers. Although they may seem obvious, please read the below guidelines that are most relevant to The Big Busk.

  • Fundraisers must not initiate physical contact
  • Fundraisers must be easily identified, i.e. have the proper ID and a Big Busk T Shirt (ie, you cannot transfer an ID)
  • Fundraisers must be polite and respectful
  • Fundraisers must not stand too close to the street kerb, or in a location that poses a serious safety hazard
  • Fundraisers must stay in the direct vicinity of The Big Busk space, and not solicit donations in any private spaces (which includes retail stores, privately owned buildings, shopping centres, residential spaces) without permission from the site management.
  • Fundraisers must not follow anyone down the street
  • Fundraisers must not obstruct the walkway of any pedestrians
  • Fundraisers must not be under the age of 8 years old

Where the donation is $2.00 or above, donors have the right to request a receipt. If this occurs, please refer the donor to the site leader prior to the monies being received in the collection bucket.

The Ask

When asking for donations you may use the below messages:

  • Support the young musicians of NSW
  • Help SYO raise money for new instruments
  • Your donation helps SYO expand its music library
  • Support the premiere orchestral training organisation in NSW
  • Support the sound of the future
  • Donate online at
  • Using hashtags #thebigbusk or #sydneyyouthorchestras

Other Assistance

Volunteers may also be asked to move equipment for performances. Please let SYO staff know as soon as possible if you have a medical condition that would prevent you from assisting in this respect. 

Volunteer Checklist

  • The Big Busk t-shirt
  • Authority to fundraise ID card
  • The Big Busk roster
  • The name of your site leader

The Big Busk roster with the name of your site leader will be emailed to your prior to the day.

The Big Busk t-shirt and the ID card will be issued on the day. There may not be an appropriate place to change your clothing at any site, so you may wish to wear something that you can wear easily underneath the t-shirt.

Any person who is collecting money must wear a t-shirt and an ID card.

In the event of any issues [absences, lateness, etc] on the day, please email [email protected] and indicate who your Site Manager is, the time of the performance, and the site. An SYO staffer will pass the message to your Site Manager.

The lanyard must be returned to SYO after your assigned performances. The Big Busk t-Shirt is yours to keep.

In the event of inclement weather, everyone (musicians, volunteers, staff) will be contacted by email to advise whether the event will proceed.


When working with SYO, volunteers may be at times privy to confidential information with regards to organisational matters. Volunteers are under the same obligations as staff members to keep all privileged information with regards to Sydney Youth Orchestras and its staff, contractors, volunteers, and young musicians confidential.

For more information

Thank you again for your contribution to The Big Busk. For any information regarding volunteering with SYO, please contact Daniel, Executive Officer at Sydney Youth Orchestras on [email protected] or on 0292512422.

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