July 24, 2017
How To Get Free (Or Cheap)
Entertainment For Your Gala
by Dave W. Tanner
The fundraiser's dilemma: you want a good - and, if possible, famous speaker or entertainer to draw patrons to your annual gala. But - being a fundraiser (whose moneys are meant to help a charitable cause) - you want to spend as little as possible.
How do you do it? How do you get great speakers or performers, while still saving every possible penny for your charity?
- 1. Choose someone personally connected to your cause. Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary) sang and spoke to a Home Hospice convention here in Dallas, because his own mother had benefitted from such care. Now that Lance Armstrong isn't training full-time for bike races, he's a frequent draw for Cancer research. In such cases, your only expenses might be air fare (which can use donated air miles) and a hotel room (which - if your event is being held in a hotel ballroom - can also be comped.)
- 2. Pick someone from a related field. Two years ago, my band backed up a couple of singers at a gala benefitting a hospital in Haifa, Israel. One was a cantor at a local synagogue, who is also a gifted singer of tongue-twisting comedy songs. The other was a physician herself, who happens to have a gorgeous singing voice. They were perfect! A local garage band of MDs, - cleverly called "Doctor Doctor" - entertained with me at an Alzheimer's Memory Walk. Each of these people are well-known in their individual fields, but are also delightful entertainers (even if their musical talents are not their claims to fame.)
- 3. Go for the "next" big star. Most major cities have local showcases of up-and-coming talent who gain stage experience and a following through performances there. Typically, these acts receive little or no money. Many would gladly appear before hundreds of potential fans. At a fund-raiser we did for a child with Cystic Fibrosis some years back, a pre-teen LeAnn Rimes did just that, singing her soon-to-be smash hit, "Blue."
- 4. Find Underwriting. Most galas occur on Saturday nights. Bands like mine can discount our fees on a Saturday, but we can't afford to literally give our services away. That's where underwriters come in. They pay for the band as their donation to the cause, leaving more of whatever moneys come through the door as profit.
Finally, let me just add a personal note, as one who has both sought entertainers for worthy causes, and one who has provided such services: those who generously share their musical or speaking gifts with you deserve "star" treatment. You may not be able to pay them top dollar, but you can make them feel appreciated by you and your audience. Or, put another way...
Free entertainment is a priceless resource. Treasure it!
Subscribe in a reader
About the Author:
For more information about this and other articles related to Party Planning, Receptions, and Weddings, visit http://www.davetannermusic.com.
Subscribe Free /
About Us /
copyright © 2000 - 2010 all rights reserved Fund$Raiser Group
ISSN 1530-6127 - Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
Complete "how-to-do-it" fundraising guides - Free
Send newsletters, unlimited email campaigns, autoresponders, and more. Free customer service (800# with a real human), free HTML templates, and free email analytics.
3 months of service free to non-profits opening new accounts, followed by a 25% discount from regular pricing. This is the service that the Fundraising For Small Groups Newsletter uses!
Grant Writing for Beginners
Learn how to quickly and easily establish relationships with regional foundations and build a strong base of grant support for your nonprofit.
Read a Free Excerpt
Ask Without Fear
A simple guide to connecting donors with what matters to them most. Chock full of practical, easy-to-understand fundraising tools and secrets.
7 Essential Steps to Raising Money by Mail
Learn with practical examples, detailed checklists, writing helps and other tools. Sample letters for different types of solicitations and for different nonprofit groups. A step by step guide to writing fundraising letters.
Silent Auction Guide & Toolkit
Learn how to create a successful silent auction fundraiser. Silent auction strategies, timelines, auction items and how to organize and display them, how to close an auction and take payments, and other add on fundraisers to boost the bottom line of your silent auction.
Let's Raise Money
The inside scoop about small group fundraising. Learn from the founder of a national fundraising company as he reveals secrets observed over nearly two decades of fundraising.
Read a Free Excerpt
The Ultimate Guide to Planning a 5K Run or Walk Fundraiser
Plan a successful race from scratch. Proven marketing strategies, find and manage volunteers, maximize revenues, recruit and motivate teams. Checklists, forms, speadsheets, worksheets all included.
Secrets of the Charity Auction Experts
Learn from the experts! Discover the best selling auction items. How to get auction items donated. How to boost attendance. How to get more bids and higher selling prices. How to coordinating volunteers, staff and auction consultants.