face it, we are faced with more fundraising programs and options than ever before. This is in part due to the increasing role
of importance that fundraising has to the support, maintenance and survival of programs, clubs, events and other curriculums.
Many of these programs include the selling
of candy, wrapping paper, cookie dough, candles, recipes, discount cards and coupon books - the list seems to go on and on.
Since there are so many product-based fundraisers this seems to dominate the fundraising landscape.
The common elements that many of these types of fundraising
programs have include inventory, distribution, person to person selling, the handling and exchange of money for each product
sold, accounting, and often a concern for safety issues. This can quickly result in fundraising product sales overload.
If fundraising committees are faced with this overwhelming
amount of product fundraisers, it only stands to reason that the public feels the same effect. More and more people feel that
they are being approached nearly every week to buy one of these products to support some fundraising group or effort.
It is often perceived as many groups hosting the same fundraiser making it hard to distinguish one fundraising cause or group
from another. It is becoming quite common for potential customers to feel fundraising overkill. As a former informercial by
fitness guru Susan Powter would scream “stop the insanity!”
Fundraising Directors and committee leaders must understand this common perception in the marketplace. Identifying and understanding
this is only the first step. The bigger question then becomes what alternatives exist to combat this fundraising dilemma?
Enter one of fundraising's best kept secrets -Live Event
Live event entertainment
fundraisers are unique and offer several key elements that can drive your next fundraiser to increased response and participation,
improved public perception, and most of all greater profits, all while eliminating many of the problem areas of product fundraisers.
There are many types of event and entertainment fundraisers
that allow your fundraiser to operate and succeed on several different levels. Basic events like fun fairs, ice cream
socials and soc-hops have long been a staple of fundraising events. But a recent trend has found increasing popularity in
larger entertainment fundraisers as events offering a fun production or show for the entire family. This has been most prominent
with schools, sporting leagues, churches and youth groups.
reasons for this are many but mostly due in part to their ease of operation, safety for students and committee volunteers,
lack of direct selling and the related responsibilities, offering a refreshing fundraising alternative, and the ability to
spend the majority of your fundraising efforts in promoting the event rather than product management.
Another of the key components to live event entertainment fundraisers
is the ability to offer an exciting professional quality family event to the entire community, allowing for greater attendance
and the many possibilities for business affiliations and sponsorships. This allows you to take your entertainment fundraiser
to a higher level of perceived value while yet separating yourself from the standard product-based sales programs.
Simply put, the perception to the public is much more
inviting and that of a fun, affordable event to be enjoyed by family, friends and community members. The results of this perception
is increased support directly resulting in larger profits. Goals of thousands of dollars can be easily obtainable as opposed
to hundreds of dollars accompanied by work overload.
is most important to select the right professional production, entertainer or act for your live entertainment fundraising
event. Special thought should be given to the promotional possibilities and media interest the act or production can generate.
For example, many schools have offered a fundraising event where members of the faculty will play a game against their own
basketball team. This can be a fun event, but is primary of interest only to a portion of the students of that particular
school and perhaps a few other faculty members and parents. In contrast, using the same basketball game format but bringing
in The Harlem Globetrotters to play your faculty team would generate much greater drawing power, media attention and profit
Although entertainment fundraisers
can be very financially rewarding, it is important to select an entertainer or production that specializes in these types
of fundraising events. There are several live entertainment fundraising event companies that have specific programs
that include promotional materials, press and media cooperation, committee program outlines, and have a genuine interest in
promoting your event and achieving your expected level of success.
of the most common misperceptions of these types of fundraisers is that you can simply open the yellow pages and book a local
disc jockey or magician and the public will make a mad dash to your event. The truth is practically the opposite. With the
exception of local media personalities or if you have a well-known regional or national name act hailing from your area, the
drawing power of a local act or production will offer little more than that of a school play. One of the keys is to
offer something not readily available or common to your community. Acts, artists or productions usually only seen on television,
in the movies, or perhaps in resort areas or Las Vegas.
the most popular are acts such as celebrities, psychic entertainers or mentalists, comedy stage hypnotists, more popular known
illusionists, game shows, and other such acts that either have an established name and reputation or that can offer a performance
unique or rarely seen live in your community.
this key type of production will allow you to focus the majority of your efforts on the promotion of this special event. It
will easily create a buzz within your community and generate interest in this rare opportunity. You are positioning your fundraising
event for success just by offering a different, unique, mass-appeal to all ages, fun event that will garner the attention
of the press as well as the public.
If organized through a professional fundraising production company you may be very surprised
to find that these high-profile events can be hosted quite affordably contrary to common belief. These events also allow for
greater profit resources regularly overlooked or unaware to other basic event fundraisers.
You will soon find that when these key factors all line up behind your promotional efforts
this intrigue and interest quickly translates to income, and a very positive and supportive perception of your fundraising
group, cause, message and event.
USA has been producing live event fundraisers nationwide for over 25 years and is the creator of Main Event Live Entertainment
Fundraisers represented by School Programs USA, specializing in fundraising events specifically for elementary, middle and
high schools, colleges, youth groups, and sporting leagues and teams. For more information contact www.SchoolProgramsUSA.com.