Fund Raising Events
Interesting, fun, and other info related to fund raising.
You’ve got a great fundraiser. People are going to have an absolute blast. But they don’t seem to be buying your tickets.
Here are some of the reasons why that could be.
1. You’re Relying On Social Media
Social media is great. You can sit at home and post stuff online. Done right you can get lots of people to click on, or to like what you post online.
You can really get the idea that you’re going to have a sellout night.
But those people seldom go on to actually come to your event. The no-show rate for people who respond on social media varies from 50 - 100%, and is mostly at the 100% end for events people don’t already go to regularly.
If you're staying at home posting online. They're going to stay at home too.
Social media "likes" are fools gold.
2. You Haven't Got the Opinion Leaders Onboard
Each community or club has a small number of people who have huge influence on what others do. If these people buy tickets, then lots more will join them. But if those opinion leaders say they’re "not sure they'll come” then the rest of the community will sit back and wait. Get the opinion leaders on board.
3. You expect many people to do a little bit each
Many hands make light work. For my third show the plan was that if I just get these 17 team members to sell ten tickets each that’s 170 tickets right there, with all the other sales as a bonus. And that saves you from having to work so hard, right?
On the night 10 of them will hand back all ten tickets. (True story). Involving lots of people doesn’t help get things done unless they are really motivated.
The social freeloader effect kicks in when many people assume that they don’t need to do much because all the other people will cover for them.
If you have a big team you’ll need to work hard to motivate all of them.
4. You rely on empty promises.
Those people who said they’d come but didn’t pay yet? Maybe they said they’d pay on the night? They’re not coming. If they haven't paid they'll seldom turn up - you'll hear all their excuses the next week.
5. You make it hard to buy tickets.
If people have to jump through hoops to buy tickets they’ll give up. Make it easy. Have the tickets available online and at a few places for cash. Have tickets with you to give people who pay right then. Accept cash, card, PayPal. Make it easy so they don’t have a reason to opt out again.
6. You’re not putting in the effort
It takes effort to sell those tickets. One of the biggest mistakes to make is thinking that a great act will somehow cause people to come to you for tickets. Even big name performers will have a half-empty theatre if it isn’t actively sold. Get out there and sell the tickets.
7. You’re scared to ask for money
When it comes to selling, people can be reluctant even to say the word, “sales”.
The sale has not occurred until they have given you the money. So if you want them to support your event, ask for the ticket money then and there.
What does a Hypnotist do when his mum throws shade for doing so many fundraisers? (She thinks I am underpaid).
Call me a rebel. I’m going to do more fundraisers, and cheaper. The Comedy Night Fundraiser - with a special discount for Wednesdays.
Most events get booked for Fridays and Saturdays, yes? This might seem like a good idea, but is it really?
People are Already Busy on The Weekend!
Fridays and Saturdays are when people are most likely to already have another obligation or event. A work function, a family party, a wedding or 21st. You’re competing with every other private and public event in the country!
Some people cannot come to your fundraiser no matter how much they want to.
Wednesdays though. Wednesdays go begging.
Start Early and Finish Early
And if there’s an early finish people can come and have a good time. That’s why we need pizza. Pizza fixes everything!
Start early with pizza. Get people to rock up at 6:00pm or 6:30pm. Bring the kids. The comedy hypnotist show starts at 7:00 and is done by 9:00pm. 9:30 at the latest. Everyone has a great time and is home before late.
The Show Is Suitable for Everyone
This show is G-rated so that you can be sure everyone will enjoy it and that no-one will be offended.
It is Easy to Do
Sell tickets. Maybe $35 per grown up, $20 for kids over 12, the little ones: free. Aim for 80+ tickets. More is better because you keep all the profits.
I’ll do the show super cheap (After all, I’d only be at home that night anyway). I’ll bring all the sound and lighting gear (if I can drive there).
I don’t charge a deposit so that you don’t have that hassle to sort out either!
Put on an amazing fundraising comedy night, make a great profit, and then sit back and relax while Gerard V makes the whole crowd laugh.
This show not only gives you an amazing night of world class entertainment, but it also gives you photos and video memories to laugh about and enjoy afterwards.
Are They Professional or Amateur?
Is your hypnotist just doing this as a hobby or are they in it professionally? A professional will have invested a great deal in being good, organised and perfecting their show. Just as with bands, a professional band will usually give you a better show than those guys who play in the garage down the street (usually but not always). Or are they a part time hypnotist who also paints houses or something?
Gerard V is a full - time hypnotist entertainer
Have They Done Your Kind of Event Before?
Shows for corporate boards of directors are different to shows for sports clubs and those for schools. After a few years most professional hypnotists have experience in all kinds of shows but it pays to ask if they have done one like yours before? Someone who has been successful doing shows for young adults only, might struggle with a mature audience for example.
Clean or Sleazy?
No-one advertises themselves as sleazy, but some are R-rated. It might be tempting to think that your mature group would love an r-rated show - but would they really? Would you volunteer to go on stage if you thought you’d take your clothes off? And if that was later posted to social media?
It pays to find out just what kind of gags you’ll be getting before you commit and being sure of your audience.
In my experience no-one ever complains that a show was too clean, but the opposite has been known to happen. So I only do clean shows.
Extra Costs and Charges
Does your hypnotist provide a PA system or lighting, or must you bring those in? Do you need to provide an assistant? Hotel? First class travel or economy? Do they have a “rider” for free drinks etc.? These can all change the picture quite a bit. There’s no harm in finding these things out before you commit.
Gerard V will bring a PA if he can drive to your event from one of his bases in Australia or NZ
Are you looking for a way to raise lots of money easily, quickly and without much effort? The answer is simple. Give up and go home.
It takes effort and patience to raise money. You can raise large sums of money for a good cause. And you can be effective and efficient about how you do it. But if anyone tells you that you can do this with little effort and huge success they’re pulling your leg (or worse).
But Yes, You Can Raise Substantial Funds
Here’s how people have made $50,000 or more featuring Gerard V, there are some examples below of fund raising ideas.
There are really only three variables that influence how much money you raise. They are: 1. How many people “donate” 2. The size of the donations 3. The number of times people donate.
Raffles, Fairs and Sausage Sizzles.
Many People, Small Donation, Multiple Times
You can raise lots of money for your club or charity by selling low cost items to lots of people for a long time (e.g. selling chocolates or raffle tickets, repeatedly).
Quiz Night / Trivia Night
Many people, Small Donation
Quiz and trivia nights are easy to organise and you can get reasonable attendance if you get out and sell the tickets. They’re popular too for many groups. But because there are so many of these the going rate per ticket is relatively low.
Shows and Performances - The Modest Version
Many people, Medium Donation
While quiz nights are often priced at $10 - $15 per ticket limiting your income, a good show can attract ticket prices of $40 or more. With 120 people paying $40 per ticket you can start with $4800 on the table before selling extras like drinks and raffles.
Typical ticket prices for my shows at clubs and school halls are $30 - $50.
Shows and Performances the Gala Version
Many People, Larger Donation
Add in a sit down dinner, a theme and a nice venue - perhaps a DJ or band and you can change the financial equation considerably.
A gala event (dressed up) can sell at $90 - $200 per ticket - including dinner. And these can range from 100 - 800 people. For example in 2016 Gerard V did a performance at a gala for 500+ people who paid $110 per seat including dinner. That’s $55,000 gross income before any extras.
In 2015 we did a fundraiser for 300 people at $200 per ticket including dinner and limited drinks.
Shows and Performances the Big Venue Version
Many More People, Medium Donation Your other option to raise substantial funds with a show is to sell lots more tickets.
A sold out 500 seat venue with tickets at $35 per head will gross $17,500 and this is achievable (and takes effort and organisation).
Don’t underestimate how much it takes to sell 500 tickets though - you’ll need a committed and motivated team of people who can and will get out there and sell. You might organise some incentives and a competitive element to get your sales teams to get out there and promote your fundraiser.
Have You Got A Fund Raising Idea?
If you have a good cause and some ideas lets chat - give Gerard V a call or send him a message.
We have done 5 shows in the Newlands College Hall over the years, mostly as high school fund raising for the college itself but once for Wellington Children’s Hospital.
I remember these shows well, the turn out was always great, and we connected with Alex, Amy and Mark there who went on to help as crew for shows around NZ and also in Australia.
This is a photo from that first show, and one of the first times we brought the teddy bears out on stage . . . .
When it comes to fundraising, if you accept credit when it goes well, you might consider that the opposite also applies. I found this item thought provoking.
You are the reason!
Fundraising Comedy Hypnotist Show
I do lots of fundraising. I love working with communities and groups of people who are trying to make a positive difference.
For a fund raising hypnotist show, I charge a basic flat fee, I keep it as low as I can, and usually make a loss. You sell tickets. Ideally lots of tickets because the more people you enrole in coming, the more money you make and the better the show. I enjoy bigger shows too, so that is a win win all around.
Here's an example - if use a venue you already have access to. And then go on to sell 150 tickets at $25 each. And if you can then sell drinks and snacks to those 150 people and make an extra $6 per head profit from snacks, then you collect $31 per person, or $4650 dollars up front. Add in raffles and more bar sales, and even more people, and you can collect much much more. You’ll need to pay my fee which varies from $950 or $1250 to $2500 - but chances are you’ll be at the lower end of the range - and more people is always better.
We have a special deal for school fund raisers too.