A how-to guide for Australian fundraising volunteers
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The Fundraising Directory presents you with an A to Z guide of reliable and proven fundraising products and services in Australia. But how do you choose what’s best for your organisation and your fundraising needs? That’s where this e-book, a companion to 22 lessons for A+ fundraising, comes in. Here we look at the possibilities that come from just one of the Fundraising Directory’s categories: entertainment. If you’re looking at a product drive such as selling discounted movie tickets or an event that ticks the boxes for being sociallly and financially successful, read on. Happy Fundraising! Direct Digital
What’s on offer Entertainment suppliers listed in the Fundraising Directory fall under two key categories: • entertainment discounts • theme nights. You will also find suppliers of personalised tickets for raffles, concerts and other events.
Who this category suits Everyone loves to be entertained! Theme nights and entertainment discounts work particularly well sporting groups and high schools. Theme nights are popular with primary schools as well. This guide explores different audiences for different options – and what you must consider.
What we’re not talking about… This guide is NOT talking about end-of-year Christmas concerts or pantomimes in which your children star. They have their place on the calendar as family events and you can definitely fundraise with them 4
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but the primary reason for their being is to showcase the kids! These entertainment options primarily focus on helping your group cash in on a great night out.
When to run your fundraiser? If you’ve read 22 lessons for A+ fundraising, you will have in place: • a SMART goal – a real target and purpose for fundraising •
a fundraising calendar with a mix of opportunities throughout the year – without being too enthusiastic or greedy.
If this is for a sporting club, check that the date doesn’t clash with an away-from – home game – or the finals! Likewise, if this is a fundraiser engaging students as well as parents, check that it doesn’t fall in exam block, or when there’s a public event competing for the teens’ attention (like a dance). If you opt for selling discounted entertainment vouchers, consider a short sales campaign just before school holidays.
Fundraisers like this are likely to attract support not from your core – members of your school or club – but from friends and friends of friends. Whether you’re inviting them out for a fun night or offering them cheap tickets, you’re doing them the favour! Always communicate why the fundraising is happening. Make that message loud and clear: All money raised will go towards the refurbishment of our aquatic centre. Five players have been chosen to compete at the national titles, but they need help our help to pay their way to play.
Choosing the right theme night for your group The most popular theme night fundraisers are: • Trivia nights • Casino nights • Sit-down comedy nights • Poker nights All four require a spacious venue. A hall or club room can readily be transformed with tables, lighting and a few well-placed accessories.
Why have a theme night • There’s broad appeal. • It creates ‘community’. • Allows adults a chance to ‘make believe’. •
You can coax more than immediate family along – organise a table of friends who may not be involved in your group/school.
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Good PA systems are critical to the success of both trivia and sit-down comedy nights.
Trivia nights Trivia or quiz nights are popular because they: • bring out the competitive ‘know it all’ in us all • are great fun • appeal to all ages • attract participants from beyond your group. A team of eight to ten players form a table. A quizmaster asks questions, over a number of rounds, drawing on general knowledge and trivial interest. The winning team has correctly answered the most questions. Add extra fun to the night by offering prizes for the most best decorated table/ best dressed team. A few optional activities like Heads or Tails sprinkled through the evening – at gold coin cost for participation – spice up the night, and add to your profits. The quizmaster needs to do more than read out questions. The quizmaster is an entertainer who keeps the night moving along. 6
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At our trivia night, there was a tables of divas, sporting heroes, scholars, beach babes, Mexican, fairies…costumes added to the spirit of the night. Some of the tables were made up of adults only; others had students. All had a ball; and we took more than $4000 just in admission without our added fundraisers.
High School P&C member
Trivia companies can organise nights for you, supplying kits with questions right through to presenting the night for you. Unlike casino and comedy nights, trivia nights can be run as family fundraisers. This is perhaps why they are particularly popular and successful with high schools and sporting clubs.
Casino and Poker Nights Think Las Vegas or Monte Carlo. Think James Bond. Think glam. This is a grown-ups only event: kids stay at home. A Casino night lends itself to dressing up, particularly black and bling.
Casino night entertainers provide packages tailored to your group’s needs, including professional croupiers and an assortment of games – from blackjack and roulette to big wheel and even two-up! You can even add live cabaret acts (but will add to your costs – and cover charge). Poker nights can be DIY, or there are groups that provide the complete setup, including prizes, and can guide you through the process.
“The night was a wonderful success. The concept of a Casino night is great; a fantastic way of mixing with each other, and the croupiers were only too happy to help with the rules and games.”
High School parent
Special consideration •
How does this fundraiser sit with your group’s core values? Some may see it as promoting gambling, even if real money is not used.
Sit-down comedy dinner Take a dinner fundraiser, add a comedian or two, and you have a sit-down comedy dinner. This is a particularly popular form of fundraising for sporting groups. Some comedy night companies charge a flat fee to provide the whole package: organise the venue, marketing the event and arrange the appearance of professional comedians whose acts will have you in stitches. This event is best held as an adultsonly night out. Fundraising with ENTERTAINMENT
Cashing in on your night out
Consider pre-payment incentives for tables (offering a slight discount). Come the night, patrons will have more disposable income on them than if they’d paid at the door.
Run a bar (check local licensing laws). Seek local business support for donated or discounted wine and beer. Look at having your own custom-labelled wine, selling it by the bottle to tables and taking orders for take-home bulk buys. Your own wine could be an on-going fundraiser.
Run raffles throughout the night. Keep the ticket price at a gold coin; have a couple of small draws during the evening, leading up to the big prize at night’s end. Sell throughout the evening.
Have a silent auction with about ten desirable package prizes (e.g. beauty treatment, car service, weekend away)
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Run a live auction of a prize of substance that’s desirable to the specific audience. For a sporting club, it may be a jersey signed by the state’s representative team.
As family events, trivia nights are most often BYO. Offer fruit and cheese platters, cakes and slices, soft drinks and coffee. “Our school is buying pianos for the music program. We auctioned off the first ‘key’ – the prize was a piano tuner and the patron’s name on our honour board – at our recent trivia night. It went for nearly $250: we’d hoped for $100!”
Entertainment sales drives Product drives work best when they’re short and sharp: three weeks is ideal. • You’ll need to promote ahead of the fundraiser. • You’ll need to launch the fundraiser. • You’ll need to round up the orders.
Hints on all this – and more – are detailed in 22 lessons for A+ fundraising. Teenagers love movies but if the cinema you’re offering discounts at isn’t ‘in’, they may not bother taking home the order form. Do your homework on where’s ‘cool’ – and compare prices.
High school P&F parent
We ran a movie fundraiser in the last term at our high school. The marketing was pitched at students: they’d worked hard all year and the tickets would help them get more fun out of their holiday pocket money; they’d beat the heat and see the hottest movies in town for a fraction of the cost; or they could buy the tickets now and use them in the new term, as rewards for study.
High school P&C member
Choosing the supplier who’s right for you The Fundraising Directory takes the legwork out of finding suitable suppliers, whether it’s for a product drive or an event. You can send online queries to suppliers seeking more information and then decide who best meets your needs. Some absolute essential questions to ask include: 1. How long has the company been in business? Fundraising with ENTERTAINMENT
2. How many years of experience does the company representative have in fundraising? 3. What is the percentage profit of sales? 4. Does the supplier provide services that will help save volunteers’ time (e.g. checklists, promotional posters, tally sheets, collection envelopes, pre-sorting?) Read 22 Lessons for A+ Fundraising for more must-ask questions.
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Consider also the communication style of the company rep you deal with. You want someone who listens to your needs. The company rep should ask questions about: • your group’s financial goal • your fundraising timeline • the number of potential participants and their ages • any historical information (e.g. past fundraisers, participation levels, successes and failures). If he doesn’t, he’s not really interested in you: and you shouldn’t be interested in him either!
When the fundraising’s over Orders have been dispatched, the money’s banked, and it’s all over, right? Not quite. But then, you know that: you’ve read 22 lessons for A+ fundraising! Here are some of the jobs that the fundraising committee still needs to do:
Share the outcome with your community.
Too often, a fundraiser just fades away. People want to know what happened! Communicate the result with all who took part – committee members, volunteers, and supporters – using your newsletter and/or website.
Provide your fundraising supplier with feedback.
Then head to the supplier’s listing on the Fundraising Directory website to leave a review of this supplier to share with other fundraising volunteers.
Congratulate your volunteers on a job well done.
They’ll be more receptive to helping again.
Complete the Report Card in your Fundraiser’s Handover Manual. What’s this? You need to read 22 lessons for A+ fundraising, explaining the essential tidy up actions that are needed. Copies of the 2013 Fundraising Directory are only $6 per copy and can be ordered online from fundraisingdirectory. com.au.
Subscribe to our FREE monthly Fundraising eNewsletter to receive a bonus Fundraising Report Card Template. Click here to subscribe.
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Index to Fundraising eBooks FREE eBooks available from fundraisingideas.com.au fu n d ra is in
1. The Essentials of Fundraising - 22 Lessons for A+ Fundraising 2. Fundraising with ARTWORK, STATIONERY & LABELS 3. Fundraising with Athons & Raffles 5. Fundraising with Bulbs, Herbs & seeds
g id e a s.c o
4. Fundraising with Books
The Essenti als of Fundrais ing 2013 RAISING
22 LESSONS FOR A+ FUND
m .a u
6. Fundraising with Chocolates & Lollies 7. Fundraising with Clothing & Jewellery 8. Fundraising with Custom Labelled Beverages 9. Fundraising with ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS 10. Fundraising with Entertainment 12. Fundraising with Glowsticks & Flashing Novelties 13. Fundraising with Homewares
14. Fundraising with Miscellaneous Ideas
ARTWO WITH STATIONERK, R & LABELSY 2013
15. Fundraising with MOTHERS & FATHERS DAY STALLS A how-to gu Australian ide for fundraising voluntee
16. Fundraising with Novelties & Showbags
11. Fundraising with Food & Fruit
17. Fundraising with Personal Care Products 18. Fundraising with Photography 19. Fundraising with Promo Products/Wristbands/Badges 20. Fundraising with Shopping Tours 22. Fundraising for High Schools 23. Fundraising for Primary Schools 24. Fundraising for Childcare & Kindergartens 25. Fundraising for Sporting Clubs & community groups
12 Fundraising with ENTERTAINMENT
26. Fundraising for Individuals
21. Fundraising with Toys & Educational