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Ways to Raise Money for Theater

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    Contact People You Know

    • Look from within. Contact people who used to be a part of your theater group to see if they would be willing to donate to your next production. If you run a student theater, parents of students who own their own business or work for a corporation might be interested in donating. Neighboring businesses might be interested in donating as well. Asking people you know is usually easier and more productive than approaching strangers. Once you get donations, keep those who donated in the loop throughout the year by publishing an online newsletter that you can email to them. Also, be sure to send them thank-you notes. Thank-you gifts may be appropriate for substantial contributions. By showing your appreciation and letting them know what your theater group is doing throughout the year, your contributors may be more likely to donate in the future.

    Establish a Booster Club

    • Enlist help from parents if this is a school theater or from friends or family of the acting troupe by setting up a booster club or a nonprofit entity related to the theater. This group will be responsible for contacting alumni or area businesses. All donations will go toward some aspect of the theater. Publish a play program and have the booster club sell ad space to area businesses. If businesses do not want to donate outright, they may be interested in buying an ad in your program. You can also sell ad space to the parents, friends or family of troupe members. They can purchase a small space that offers words of encouragement to the actors they know. Have a contract and price list available so people will know exactly what they are buying and what they need to provide to you. Make sure to include a deadline. You can also host events that no one else is doing. For example, maybe you can host an improvisation night where the theater teachers offer an improv class for a small fee. Let your booster club brainstorm ideas for special events. Challenge them to come up with something better than a car wash or bake sale.

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