Theatres, particularly those outside of the West End, are unlikely to be able to run without significant funding keeping them afloat. This funding can come from a variety of sources: Council funding, charitable giving, private funders, grants, social enterprise funding and much more. It’s now becoming imperative for theatres to find new and inventive ways to raise money to help support running costs.
One of the main challenges is finding meaningful ways to fundraise that supports the community as well as your theatre. People (and corporate businesses) are much more likely to donate to your fundraising causes if they know it’s not just helping your theatre, but really helping the community too.
Offer sponsored tickets… and work with local charities
One of our customers, Lichfield Garrick Theatre, offers sponsored family tickets to see the annual Pantomime. The theatre works with local businesses, partners and suppliers to purchase a family ticket for the panto, which is then passed on to a local family who would otherwise not be able to attend.
The theatre works with local charities to arrange the tickets, a further important connection with the community. This is a wonderful idea and a heart-warming tradition that not only helps the theatre connect with local businesses and charities, but also raises some money for the theatre too.
Booking Protect is proud to be a sponsor of one of Lichfield Garrick Theatre’s family tickets – and we hope the scheme gives lots of local families an evening of festive magic.
Sell programme space… and create a community hub
Theatres are often thought of as the heart of the community. And a local theatre programme can easily become a one-stop-shop for all the businesses on the high street. This showcases the town or city’s greatest assets and collectively helps to boost the local economy by positioning it as a buzzing place to visit.
You could even go one step further and donate all money raised from the programme sales to charity, thus just keeping the programme sponsorship for your theatre.
Install a Wall of Fame… and showcase dedications
Charge a small amount for people to submit a dedication or memory to a Wall of Fame or Name a Seat scheme. These can be permanently displayed for people to visit and view, acting as a poignant dedication for loyal theatre-goers and supporters. You could also use this platform to congratulate members of the community on great achievements, celebrate employee milestones and thank long-serving volunteers.
Auction off those props… and clear some space for new use
If you have a function room full of old props and costumes, why not arrange an auction? Get some high-profile cast members to sign the gear for you and promote the auction far and wide. Invite local amateur dramatics societies and theatre groups – they’re often on the lookout for affordable costumes for their next season.
Put all that extra space to good use by offering the room for free to a local choir or children’s theatre group. You’ll be able to work with them to help promote the auction to free up space for their lessons and rehearsals!
Sell bargain tickets to your dress rehearsal… and make theatre more accessible
Dress rehearsals are a lot more fun with an audience. Sell cheap tickets to your dress rehearsal and raise a bit of extra cash for your theatre.
Plus, selling cheaper tickets is a great way to make the theatre more accessible for people who otherwise couldn’t afford premium seats.
How are you fundraising for your theatre?
Whether you have a dedicated fundraising officer or rely on a team of volunteers, there are loads of interesting and unique ways to raise money for your theatre and give back to the community at the same time. Contact us and let us know your fundraising ideas!