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Fundraising Idea of the Month:
by Doug Nash
The tickets you use in your fundraising activities need careful consideration as they are a part of your image. AS such they can be used to promote your organisation and play a role in building they way the public perceive you or maintaining the image you have taken care to build. Below are some thoughts on tickets for your consideration.
First consider the disposable income of the group to whom you will be asking to purchase the tickets. If you ask more than they can afford, not only will you not sell many tickets but you run the risk of putting your organisation offside. Even if the cause is a worthwhile one, people can only afford to be so supportive and they will resent your lack of appreciation of their circumstance.
Once you have determined what is a fair price relative to the prospective group, you can work out how many tickets you need to sell. The problem you may face is you can't sell enough tickets at the set price to make a worthwhile profit. Here you must strive to find a balance between the two. If a compromise can not be reached, reconsider if the activity is suitable to your organisation and their resources.
The third consideration is whether to use funds already raised to subsidise the ticket price? Is it better to have a lower price so more people can attend and you raise the funds by what they spend at the activity or is the ticket price the primary fund-raiser? The answer is in the answer to the question: "what is the reason for charging an admission price?"
Here is another consideration to consider even though it may complicate matters. Will you charge just the one price? Most activities, especially if they are annual in nature, will attract a cross section of the community, wealthier members as well as students and pensioners. You may not want to offend a section of your community by pricing them out of the opportunity to attend.
Alternatively you will not want to miss out on opportunity to raise the maximum funds by not having the highest fee possible for those who can afford it. These are the reasons why you must carefully consider on having a price strategy or a multi-price plan. If you can offer something extra to those who pay the higher premium then this may be the way to go. A helpful way to solve this quandary is to study similar activities to see how others handled ticket pricing dilemma.
All these considerations are a tricky business, however it will be worthwhile your effort to determine a pricing policy that is suitable to your situation both in the long and short term.
To this end you should look beyond just the ticket price to how the ticket will look. A carefully designed ticket can say much about your organisation, it's members and your cause. One of the main reasons for holding a fundraising activity is to raise awareness of your organisation. Thoughtfully designed tickets are a great way to promote this awareness.
While a cheaper to print ticket may cost less in the short term it may present an image that will cost you more in the long run.
First you must decide whether to have them or not, take this decision after you have considered on what promotional tickets can do for you.
Promotional tickets are a method of generating goodwill and maybe free publicity. Everyone likes getting a good bargain but we love getting something for free. This is where free tickets can generate goodwill even if the tickets aren't used.
Gain free publicity by giving free tickets to your local paper, radio and TV station. These organisations use the opportunity to pass these tickets on to show that they are good corporate citizens.
To do so, they must say something about the activity and your organisation, it may not be much but it's better than nothing and it's cheaper that buying advertising space. You may even get the opportunity to talk about your organisation on air on in print, gaining publicity that otherwise you would not be able to afford and this publicity can add much to the expected results.
There is another way to use tickets to the benefit of your organisation apart from raising money. Consider giving free tickets to workers in your organisation as a reward and recognition of their efforts. A trap to be avoided is only offering free tickets to those who exceed a certain sales quota, don't forget others in less visible areas who have helped in ways of time or effort. Most workers will want to pay for their own tickets to either demonstrate that they are not taking advantage of their position or situation. By giving workers and volunteers free tickets you enable them to feel appreciated by the fact that you have thought of them and also they will be in a situation of passing them on to others they would like to attend but may not have done so for various reasons.
In summary, a well priced, thoughtfully designed ticket cleverly promoted can do much to enhance the success of your activity. Don't sell your self short by taking short cuts concerning your ticketing policy. Ticketing is a complex task but it is your best interests to give it the attention it deserves.
About the Author:
Doug Nash lives in Logan City in Queensland, Australia. He has graciously consented to share a fundraising idea with us every month. Although many of the ideas aren't new, each of them has a unique flair that comes from being developed and refined half a world away from ours. Visit his web site at http://www.home.gil.com.au/~dnash/ for more fundraising ideas.