View Full Version : For Profit/Non Profit switch for small haunt- Business advice please!

RJ Latherow
06-08-2010, 09:34 AM
Last year was the first year of my small commercial haunt. We got started late last year, and I made some decisions based on what I was familiar with knew I could do quickly. I set up a generic S Corp, and did a fictitious name for the haunt company. Pretty straightforward.

My haunt is small, in a small classic downtown area. We use volunteer actors, and had a little under 1000 people last year with great feedback. In the end, we were very close to breaking even, which I count as success. We made a big point of donating proceeds to local groups , which we did even tho we didn't make any profit.

I'm wondering if I would be better off recasting the haunt as a non-profit. Volunteers would be easier, and the idea of donated supplies and sponsorships/partnerships seem much easier sell when you are a charity. But I don't really know anything about charities - would it help? Getting a vacant space donated, building supplies, etc - that sounds great.

In the end, I'm not doing this to make tons of money as much as I am to provide this kind of experience and outlet for people, help the struggling downtown, and give the local high school drama club a chance to do something different. Sounds non-profitty, right?

Thanks for your sage wisdom!
-R.J. Latherow

Kelly Anderson
06-08-2010, 11:22 AM
If you are truelly doing the haunt to form an outlet for the community and to give the drama club something different to do and are not so concerned with building your haunt as a business for yourself, then I would say getting involved with a charity could be very worthwhile. And giving back to the community in the form of danations to charity is very commendable.

However I would do much research on whichever charity or charities you would want to work with. That would also consist of meetings with the management, directors, and board members of these charities. I will stress that you try and get as much of a feel on how interested they are at getting sponcers, donations, and other volunteers to help with your haunt. After all when you officially go non-profit, those people will be your new business partners. If they want to grow your haunt then they will back you and support your efforts. But if money is getting tight or if there is simply a lack of interest on the part of the charities management, donít be supprised to find yourself working with a much more limited budget, dispite however much profit is taken in by the haunt.

Ive worked for a charity haunt for going on eight years now. It has been one of the greatest and funnest things Ive done. But it does have its down side when the haunt seems to loose support be the ones we support.

GOOD LUCK, take many notes, and talk to as many people as you can before you comit one way or the other.