How creative solutions can benefit your non-profit event fundraising

Recent news in the world of the performing arts show there are many ways for non-profit entities to have a successful event through a combination of donations and tickets fees. We look at two recent use cases and show how your ThunderTix account can help.

The world needs the Arts

Our notoriously glib Fee Free Friday blog posts sometimes yield unexpected results. That was the case recently when amongst all the unreasonable per-ticket fee news headlines we accumulate, was news of two non-profit entities implementing very creative ticket sale practices to aid their funding.

The first is the The Renaissance Performing Arts Association in Mansfield Ohio who have recently, like so many not for profit organizations, been facing a slowdown in donations and municipal subsidies. Of the many different solutions the theater has initiated, its most creative and potentially most successful is the "Take a seat" program. In essence, one can make a charitable contribution to the association and in turn be allowed to give a theater seat a name. The name will be engraved on a brass plaque for all to see.

The Renaissance Performing Arts Association mission is to provide event tickets to the local community at affordable prices, even for elaborate productions like '"Chicago". Renaissance CEO Michael Miller said in an interview that ticket sales only account for half of the associations revenue so initatives like "Take a seat" function as budget augmentations along side municipal, state and federal subsidies.

The second example of creative non-profit event fundraising is the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and its season ending promotion to "name your own price". The orchestra's final performance was entitled “Shakespeare in Music” at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Ticket buyers could pay as little as one dollar to attend but, of course, were allowed to pay more, making the altruistic practice of funding the Arts easier.

The symphony's name-your-price performance was described in the Denver Post as "specific seat location requests cannot be guaranteed. Regular priced tickets are also available to patrons who wish to ensure a specific seating. There are no ticket fees."

Note all of the combinations and choices to be had, encouraging patrons to tailor their experience to suit what they can afford while feeling that they have made a meaningful contribution. How did they come up with all those great options?

The intersection of arts and technology

One of the best resources for non-profits to discover new and creative ways of non-profit event fundraising is Carnegie Mellon University's Technology in the Arts (TitA) foundation.

TitA has its mandate from the University for the advancement of the Arts and "[to] provide the Arts community with resources to better understand and benefit from the intersection of arts and technology".

TitA serves all of the Arts in plurality but a quick glance at its publications and blog posts you can see there is an emphasis on guidelines and best practices for non-profit event fundraising.

In addition to insightful publications and blog posts, spoken, theatrical and musical performing Arts can gain new knowledge using TitA's Podcasts, Webinars and workshops. If you are tasked with the management of a performance funded by donations, we strongly encourage you to check out the Technology in the Arts website for numerous creative ways to combine donations with ticket sales.

Non-profit event fundraising is best described by Diane Ragsdale as:

The differences between a commercial firm and a nonprofit should be that the former will seek to maximize profits and the other will not do so, even if it could. A nonprofit is expected to leave money on the table. Of course one need not leave it there forever; if well-timed and well-executed, it may be possible to lower ticket prices across the board and then solicit a voluntary donation.

Your ThunderTix account already has the ability to easily create events or performances that prompt ticket buyers to make an optional online donation during the checkout process. We take great pride in helping the Arts, schools and religious organizations achieve their funding goals, technologies.

As always, should you need assistance in non-profit event fundraising efforts, we would love to help. If you want to sell tickets online, be sure to take a look at the other features we have to offer. You can contact us or sign up for free trial today!