About Me

My photo
Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Question for Monday Morning

Good Monday, oh Rude Theatricals! I'm in a fine mood! It must be the lithium!

Now, here's my question. It's about nuts and bolts:

What methods do you find are most effective for a small company to raise money?

Barring a staff that is dedicated to grant writing and/or wealthy donors or a subscriber base... what do you think is effective? T-shirt sales? Car wash? Bake sales? Free beer with a ticket?

Spill it.

Creative fundraising people.

Everyone can benefit from a little discussion therein.



Josh Costello said...

This is clearly a trick question. Small companies aren't allowed to raise lots of money.

Seriously, I have no idea. When I ran a small company, I had no idea what I was doing and it's a miracle that we somehow got through the paperwork to gain non-profit status at all. Plus we were targeting an audience that didn't have a lot of extra cash for charitable contributions anyway.

It always seemed to me like the people who knew how to raise money ended up with real jobs, or at least working for bigger companies that could already pay them. A catch-22.

k8 said...

I'm not sure I can tell you what to do, but I can tell you what not to do.

Don't send letters to actors you auditioned asking them for money. And for the love of god, don't send letters to actors you didn't even bother to audition.

That's just plain rude.

Freeman said...

Heh. But honestly, how have you seen others pay for their shows without just dipping into their personal savings?

Or is that just how it's expected to be done?

I'm not really asking for myself. I just think it's an interesting topic for everyone. I work in Development, but for larger organization that do long term Gift Planning.

Michael said...

I had a small non-profit in Seattle, and, being the young hipsters we were, the first chance we got we made cool t-shirts. We bought a few for ourselves (at cost), unloaded a few on our families (marked up), and sold a smattering at our various events. And then had a bunch of smalls and x-larges leftover.

Just keep in mind that any promo swag you make, you might be stuck with. For a while.

I found cocktail parties to be the most effective, fun, and low-stakes fundraiser. We always found a bar or a gallery willing to "donate" the space. If we weren't in a bar, we would find wine shops willing to donate a few bottles of hooch.

We also found that the most important element was telling people straight-up that the cocktail party is a fundraiser so they expect to shell out some money. And at the party, after everyone was good and greased up, we would make a confidant, succinct, and honest "ask speech" for money.

Don R. Hall said...

Bowl for Dollars.