Now might be a good time to market our shows and events for charity fundraisers. Two things have happened in the last year due to the recession that has affected the non-profit world. Charity donations are down and they are cutting back on the glitz and expense of putting on events. These two items have non-profits thinking outside the box.
If you have a venue or show why not market to charities? There are several ways to do this.
1) Offer your venue or a show as the event
2) Set aside a certain amount tickets to be sold by the charity
3) Give your unsold inventory to the charity
Many touring shows do multiple performances in a city. Family shows and theatre stage shows are the most common. If you are in the city for a week or more why not try selling a performance to a non-profit? For a charity this could be a ready made event. No real logistics for them. They know all the costs upfront. All they have to do is sell the tickets. I understand that selling several thousand tickets is not easy. However, if you give them a ready made event then all their effort can go into ticket sales. If you do put this kind of charity package together, don’t get greedy. They can do the math just as well as you can. If they don’t think they can make it work, they will not do it. Make it a win-win.
If a non-profit is not big enough to buy an entire performance, why not sell them a portion? Maybe you can offer them 500 or 1,000 tickets to sell. This is a good selling feature for group sales. Offer them a Girl Scout cookie approach. Consign them tickets at a low discounted rate. They go out and sell the tickets at full price. The charity keeps the difference. You want to make sure they charge at least full price. You don’t want a charity to flood the market with a discount offer that will hurt your regular ticket sales.
As we discuss on a regular basis, shows are not selling out. What do you do with the unsold inventory? Do you leave the seats empty? If you know that you are not going to fill the seats with a paying customer, why not do something useful with them? Instead of just papering the house to anyone who might want to go, why not set up charity programs? You can set up your own charity for a national tour or keep it local. If you are a venue, you could have an ongoing fundraiser program. If you don’t have the time to deal with this, there are companies that can help you. One in particular that I have mentioned a few times is CMarket/Bidding for Good. You can set up a national deal or a local deal. You just give them the tickets and they do the rest.
The bottom line is that non-profits need to raise money. They know that donors like charity events. They are looking for new ways to raise money. We produce and market events. This is a natural fit.