Fundraising Options

How do you do most of your fundraising?

  • Door-to-door

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • public announcement

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Donations

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Ad Space in Programs

    Votes: 7 70.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 20.0%

  • Total voters


Active Member
I was just curious what everyone is doing for fundraising in their programs. I went to a show just recently that, at the end of the show, the director came out and asked for people to donate to the drama dept. so they can keep doing shows. Any ideas would be greatly appriciated!!


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Premium Member
Are you reffering primarily to High School productions ? At our Theatre we have several different channels for acquiring funds. Season ticket sales, single ticket sales, we apply for and recieve a vast number of grants and donations from different foundations. We also have a large Auction once a year in which we ask donors to sponsor shows, for which we dub them "producer". Raising money in a high school setting is so much more difficult. It might be possible to approach a major company in your area and see if they have a corporate "giving strategy" Oddly enough many companies who are adamant about not paying property and income taxes which might help schools pay for arts programs, will actually have people employed who do nothing but give away money. One of our local school, Oregon City High School, funds thier entire program from monies garnered through ticket sales for thier Spring Musical. I believe they also sell ad space in programs.
This is a great thread starter Thorin !


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Here is a random collection of advice from my experience teaching High School Drama.

-First off you need to do as many large cast shows as possible. Larger casts have more grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc... to come buy tickets. Small cast shows have to draw an audience mostly on the reputation of your school's past productions or on the name of the play. So if it's a small cast play make it a well known one.

-Do a big cast Shakespeare production regularly. Free royalties, just print out a script from the internet legally!! Shakespeare is always popular, get your English department to require attendance... It's money in the bank.

-Musicals can be big money makers or not. It depends on your community and the show. The problem is the royalties will cost ten times that of a play... sometimes even more. Then the production expenses are usually a lot more as well. Chose a musical with more affordable royalties, and evaluate what you have access to in props, set, and costumes first. If your community is a big fan of musicals you can make a ton. If your community doesn't support musicals or doesn't like a specific musical you have chosen you can go bankrupt quick doing musicals so chose wisely.

-Always have some sort of refreshment stand. DON'T set prices!! Ask for donations. You'll be amazed how many people will give you $5 for a glass of coke and two cookies. The most successful product I ever sold was those little frozen cream puffs you get at Costco/Sam's Club in the tub for like $10. Put them in a little clear plastic cup. People LOVE them and they are really cheap.

-Do things like student directed one act plays, improv nights, and other sorts of simple recital productions that have extremely simple costumes and no sets... and have a donation box at the door. This is just free money because we are talking about performances that cost nothing. AND of course have your refreshment stand at intermission!!

-Local government grants. My county and city both have arts commissions which give out small grants to support artistic projects. These grants usually can't go to buy you stuff, however, they can go to cover production costs... and then your ticket sales are all profit which can then buy you stuff. I did multiple projects where we brought in professional people to work with my students and create original productions... everything got paid for by the grant.

-look for big grants around the school that you can tap into. Are others in the building applying for grants? Can you work with those people to get money out of the same grant some how?

-The big high school drama program in town here, has a HUGE and very active parent support group. This group of parents works to put on a big banquet every year. They work with local restaurants to get a great meal for free. The parents run the whole thing. They charge a bunch of money for admission, the students sell tickets. They do an auction at the same time. They raise a ton of money every year.

-Sell advertising in your programs.

-Find a benefactor. Find a business to be your sponsor. Ask for a major donation. All of your programs, and promotional materials will display that their company is a sponsor of your program.

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