How Festival Ticketing Software Can Fund Grant Programs
Festival ticketing software can help fund grant programs established to attract new participants - and the new participants increase event attendance. Here are some examples of how this self-perpetuating dynamic can applied to your festival.
Festival Grant Programs 101
While a deep dive into the vast subject of grants is beyond the scope of this post, in the specific context of festivals (music, food, film, etc.) grant programs are fairly easy to quantify. Festival grant programs are a way to cultivate new and undiscovered talent with the intent of making that talent part of the event. The talent - band, filmmaker or chef - may not have the means to pay for festival booth space or vendor registration on their own - thus a grant program. Festival operators are always on the look out for quality participants and performers, knowing the success of the event is reliant on variety.
One of the larger and most prestigious festival grant programs is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Festival Grant offered by the University of California. With six-figure awards, the program operates on a level up and above most other film festival grant programs.
As described on the official website, the grants are awarded for a variety of programs, and film festivals are encouraged to submit proposals that make festival events more accessible to the general public, provide greater access to less visible filmmakers, and help strengthen the connection between the filmmaker and the public. The spirit of the UC festival grant program is actually common among grants for festivals of all types.
In Austin Texas, the Austin Food & Wine Alliance has a festival grant program that helps new and undiscovered culinary talent participate in popular food festivals. As described on the official website, the nonprofit alliance has several award levels, tiered to match the needs of recipients. Available are awards of $25,000 in four (4) grants (1 at $10,000 and 3 at $5,000) to selected organizations/individuals for the purpose of culinary innovation that contributes to the Austin and/or Central Texas community.
Notable is the nonprofit entity's partnership with its for-profit counterpart. The for-profit food festival, known as Austin Food & Wine Festival is an annual event and is part of Food & Wine Magazine's national roster of so-called "foodie events." Austin Food & Wine Festival features a star studded list of famous chefs from world class restaurants. The famous chefs have no problem affording all the costs associated with being a festival participant - and that's where the grant program comes into play.
The undiscovered culinary genius languishing in obscurity can apply for a grant (or be nominated by a third party) from Austin Food & Wine Alliance and get in the spotlight. Newly discovered talent generates a lot of buzz for any event, including food festivals, and that word of mouth excitement increases attendance at the festival.
On a smaller scale, but the the same focus as UC, is the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival in self-proclaimed “Mushroom Capital of the World.” Part street fair, part family amusement park, and part food festival, Kennett Square has a smart policy for funding its grant program that is directly tied to ticket sales. Commercial vendors and established attractions pay a reasonable amount to participate in the festival, but the Kennett Square board offers grants for nonprofits and lesser known talent. Grant winners get a place at the table because the proceeds from the past year’s festival are used to fund the grant program. The popularity of new talent and organizations - who would not have been able to participate without the grant program - bring in more people, which funds the grants for next year.
The centerpiece of such a self-perpetuating dynamic is the festival ticketing software. Festival operators can apply Kennett Square grant program to further their own events. Here's how...
Festival ticketing software functions as the point of sale for tickets online and at the entrance gate. When a festival is using ticket sales to fund its grant program, the operator can assign all or a percentage of the ticket sales to the grant program or prompt for donations during the purchase process, or both.
As tickets are sold, reports inside the ticketing software are generated, giving the operator a good understanding of total sales as they apply to the grant program’s anticipated budget for next year. Should the sales for this year’s festival be grossly out of line with expectations (surplus or deficit), a quick change to admissions prices or advertising can be performed. The ticketing software helps gauge advertising effectiveness since it can sort ticket sales by location. If TV, radio and print ads being run in one local market care performing well above expectations, those ads can be canceled and shifted to another zip code to spur sales. All of this fine tuning is performed in near real-time, rather than wait until after the festival is over, risking a shock to the system ticket sales total.
Important - The smart way in which the nonprofit Austin Food & Wine Alliance works in conjunction with the for profit Austin Food & Wine Festival is a matter of corporate structuring, something ticketing software does not do (nor should it). Festival operators wanting to emulate the nonprofit/for profit cooperative should consult a highly skilled firm such as TRG Arts.
ThunderTix Festival Ticketing Software
Igniting the self-perpetuating dynamic of ticket sales funding grant program, which in turn spur more ticket sales, begins with your choice in festival ticketing software.
ThunderTix festival ticketing software has the features you need to sell tickets and prompt for charitable donations. We also offer robust reporting that gives you keen business insight into your sales revenue, to know if you'll meet you grant program budget goal. We want to help you sell tickets to your event online by offering the best features and support we can.