Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Creating A Plan

Up to this point I've blogged a little about fundraising including a short post on different ways to raise funds for your show, the importance of showing your appreciation for the donations people give to your organization & how to write a sponsorship letter.

But, considering that raising money and finding funding for our projects, constitutes approximately 75% (minimum) of my job as Artistic Producer then 3 posts really doesn't seem like much at all. Maybe it is because talking about money is boring. I would much rather talk about casting or planning a season. You know, the fun part of my job.

Fundraising is not fun. Full stop. But it is a necessity if you are going to be successful at running a theatre company.

So, I thought I would take you step-by-step through our process for #fc2011 (which is our biggest fundraising campaign to date). Hopefully we can all share in the challenges and successes together and that in the future I can help other small independent companies reach their goals.

First thing first: Create A Plan. Unless you have a plan and certain goals and a timeline in which to achieve those goals hitting your target is going to be pretty difficult. What does a Fundraising Campaign plan look like? Well here is ours as an example:

[Please note: this plan is based on private sector fundraising only as public funding (grants, foundations, etc is a whole other ball game)]


Goal: (fill in the $ amount you need to fundraise)

Timeline: (fill in the date you need to have the funds by)

Plan: (fill in with all your different avenues of fundraising. Ours for example looks like this:)

I. Corporate/Major Sponsors
II. Individual Donations
III. Events
IV. Ads
V. Other

Next I break those sections down even further to look like this:

I. Corporate/Major Sponsors: (fill in with the $ amount you hope to raise through this avenue then break it down to look like this:)

a) Company/Major Sponsor A: (fill in with $ amount)
b) Company/Major Sponsor B: (fill in with $ amount)
c) Company/Major Sponsor C: (fill in with $ amount)

And so on and so forth. Next...

II. Individual Donations: (fill in with the $ amount you hope to raise through this avenue then break it down to look like this:)

a) Private Campaign - this could be something like a donation drive/letter writing campaign: (fill in with $ amount)

b) Public Campaign - this could be using a platform like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter: (fill in with $ amount)

And continue to do the same steps throughout the rest of your plan...

III. Events:

a) Event 1: (fill in with $ amount)
b) Event 2: (fill in with $ amount)

IV. Ads - this could be charging for ads in your program or on website/blog, etc): (fill in with $ amount)

V. Other:

a) Raffle: (fill in with $ amount)
b) 50/50: (fill in with $ amount)
c) Silent Auction: (fill in with $ amount)
d) Concession: (fill in with $ amount)
e) Merchandise: (fill in with $ amount)
f) Garage/Bake Sale: (fill in with $ amount)

And, there you go. All the (fill in with $ amount) should then total the amount at the top of your plan where you wrote your goal.

Creating a plan helps to give you focus. It helps to break down what might be a very daunting fundraising goal into smaller achievable goals. Focus on the small goals and those will all combine to help you reach your larger goal.

Or, at least this is what I keep telling myself, as we embark to achieve a rather large goal ourselves.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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