View Full Version : Asking for Funding (Timing)
07-18-2012, 12:03 PM
I'm trying to ask companies (mostly local) for money to fund a haunted house event to raise money for our community library, as it's very small. I was wondering if anyone knew about timing with said issue. Would it be a mistake to start asking for funds a year early, allowing ample time to create a great event with a high turnout rate? Or should you do it in crunch time?
07-18-2012, 03:07 PM
If you want to open this season, do it as of yesterday.
If you plan on doing a haunted house next year, do it towards the middle-end of spring and get as much of the community involved as possible.
Maybe see if you can get the local community center to donate the space for a weekend or two.
How long (dates of operation) do you intend on making this?
How extravagant do you want to be?
How much capitol do you think you will need to fund this, and have you already created a detailed breakdown of costs/fees/and other misc expenses, did you remember to leave some wiggle room in case of any last minute expenses required by your FM or BI in order to open?
07-18-2012, 05:54 PM
Excellent advice... but perhaps more importantly to success is- how well do you know these people?
I have found that when it comes to haunts, many first impressions from cold calling fall into neutral territory. Leaving you with a "I'll think about it." response. Maybe consider a strategy of introduction, sans the obligation, followed by the actual solicitation at a later time.
Basically you're breaking them in slowly and leading them to the decision on a path they can see instead of BAM!- hitting them with an instant decision.
A much longer process to be sure, and with no real power to sway in of itself, but almost always gets a yes or a no based on how they feel about your project instead of putting them on the spot.
Contrary to logic- most financial decisions are based on emotion, not fact- especially donations.
07-18-2012, 09:37 PM
We ask all year long, usualy non-monitery, but generaly only when a project comes up that requires items that we don't already have.
07-19-2012, 09:49 AM
Thank you for your advice! I'm still very new to all of this. I've been planning for a yard haunt this year, then hopefully a charity haunt next year in 2013. So I'll be sure to start talking with people now, and start asking for funding just after Spring.
07-19-2012, 09:58 AM
Monetary donations is always next to impossible, even with a charity or a good cause. People always make the mistake of putting too much "value" in the haunt. By this I mean there are always stating you get this great exposure at the haunt in exchange for the money you donate. Never adds up right!
First figure ou how many people you think will actually go through the attraction. (you might not share this info with potential donators) If you think you'll get less than 10,000 people, monetary donations are tough. Everything is based on impressions. How many times a sponsors name or message is seen. With small attendance it is more effective to get an add in the paper or on tv. So the trick is to increase impressions as much as possible. Do so by "partnering" with sponsors. If a local pizza place is a sponsor by allowing you to pass out coupons with all their pizzas. Your coupons have ALL your sponsors on them. So how ever many customers they get for the month increases the amount of impressions all your sponsors get.
Look at "in kind" sponsorship. No money is received, but the sponsor donates goods or services (and their logo goes on the coupon for exposure!) Services are best because the sponsor doesn't loose hard material. You benefot because you receive goods or services that would have cost you money. Now what money you would have spent gets allocated to things that you can't get donated! This kind of sponsorship is much easier, bascially a barter system. I need a generator, costs $400 to rent, approach the rental company offer $400 in tickets and their logo on all promotional material. You never get the full ticket use. A $10 ticket would be 40 tickets. You'd be lucky of 10 actually get used. So in essence you rented a generator for $100, but who's to say those 10 people would even have gone to the haunt, so you may not have even "lost" any potential income!!
So use tickets and combined exposure to barter for things you normally pay for and everybody wins!! Just asking for cash usually receives a polite "thanks...but no thanks!"
07-19-2012, 10:34 AM
All true- and "in-kind" trades are as good as cash any day of the week, and probably as good as it's going to get for most Haunts. But I still believe failure of cash solicitation is because you haven't connected on an emotional level with them.
The umpteen-jillion charities out there don't exist because everyone says no. They exist because they are good at what they do. They "claim" the money is going elsewhere, for a greater good.
Am I the only one sick of seeing limping dogs and cats on TV, btw...
The key is getting across what you are using the money for and how the donor is going to be part of that. As you mentioned- trying to assist your library sounds like a decent cause. There's hope in that, I think.
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