Your drama club knows what it’s like to shine on stage. When it comes to rehearsing for your spring production of Grease or your competition-ready performance of The Glass Menagerie, you’re ready to go—no problem!
Getting the funds you need to make your shows the best they can be? That’s a different story. Here at Donorbox, we believe that the answer to that question can be ‘yes’.
With simple yet effective fundraising campaigns, drama clubs or theatre groups like yours can easily meet their need for funds. You have your team to help you on the ground or set up an online campaign. Also, they can help spread the word in the community. So you see, you’re already one step ahead!
But you can still do with some great drama club fundraising ideas!
In this article, we’ll look at 12 unique fundraising ideas for drama clubs and theatre groups, that will get you the funds you need so you can keep rehearsing and performing.
We’ll cover the following ideas:
Get your club together and let your creativity shine, knowing we have your back on your fundraising journey!
Read on and get inspired by these unique fundraising ideas for your drama club and theatre groups.
What do donuts have to do with drama? Well, nothing, really, except that people love them. And online sites like Krispy Kreme have an incredible program to help groups like yours raise money by selling delicious glazed donuts. They let you keep up to 50% of the profit from the sold donuts.
Over the last year, Krispy Kreme has helped organizations fundraise around $37 million. They even rolled out a no-contact, online ordering option so your club can choose to either fundraise virtually or in person, where you deliver the donuts to your donors personally.
This is a great option because you can assign each person in your club a minimum—say, 5 boxes of donuts each—to ensure you reach your fundraising goal without putting too much stress on one person.
You can also promote this fundraiser during your shows. It’s simple. Announce to your audience what it is about and how even a dozen donuts can help keep your club running. Take orders and then deliver them through sites like Krispy Kreme.
If you print playbills for every show you perform, you have a ton of opportunities to cash in on some advertising revenue.
Selling ads in your playbills does a few things:
If you already have playbills, you’ll need to decide how much room you’d like to designate for ads. Once you have a goal in mind, you can ask each member of your club to reach out to their network to find interested businesses.
Pro tip: You’ll need to decide on a cost schedule that makes sense for you. Think about charging the most for ads that will feature on the front or back covers, then the next step down is a full-page, etc. Be sure to consider any increased costs in printing with more pages to be sure you still turn a profit!
There’s a reason this one is a cliche. It’s effective!
Hosting a car wash is an excellent fundraising technique because if you do it right, you have almost no expenses—meaning your efforts result in pure profit.
To host a car wash, you’ll need the following:
If your club isn’t afraid of putting in a little elbow grease, a car wash is a great way to both bring in some extra funds and let the community know more about what you do.
If you already serve concessions during your shows—think popcorn, sodas, candy—then why not try to come up with something really special to make some extra money?
Does a member of your club have a penchant for baking exotic, new cookie recipes? Ask them to make some for your concession stand!
Pro tip: Partner with a local business like a bakery or a restaurant to see if they’re willing to donate some treats. Alternatively, they can also set up their own stand at your shows and designate a portion of their profits to your club. This way you build fruitful relationships within the community and benefit each other.
Providing special concessions options gives your audience the chance to try something new while still supporting your drama club with some extra funds.
Sneakers don’t have much to do with drama, but they are an excellent way to fundraise for your drama club!
GotSneakers is a sneaker recycling program that pays you for the sneakers you collect. Every sneaker GotSneakers receives is either reused by people who need quality footwear or recycled into playground surfaces, tracks, and more.
All you have to do to get started is sign up for a free fundraising kit that includes a collection bag. Then you spread the word about your drive—get your friends, family, and community involved!—and mail your collected sneakers back to GotSneakers. You’ll get your funds on the 15th of the month after you send your haul in.
This can be an amazing way to engage your audience apart from a show. When people see you’re raising funds for your club by helping the world in return, they’ll be more likely to remember you. It means more audience and a lasting impression for your club!
Many restaurants like to give back to the community by hosting special events where a percentage of their sales for one day or night benefits one cause, organization, or group.
This is a fun way to get the community together to help support your campaign. Make it an event on social media! Encourage your friends and family to go to that restaurant—or order takeout—the night of the event.
Promote the event well in advance. Let your community know how it helps the club and their favorite theatre group. Share stories on your social media handles. You can also talk about what ways your club plans to use the funds. Transparency and a heartwarming story go a long way!
In addition, share words of appreciation for the restaurants involved. It should be a win-win for both of you. When you move people with your kindness for each other, funds will roll in.
Not a lot of people carry cash these days, so collecting in-person contributions can be tricky. Especially for a smaller organization or club like your drama club.
One thing most people do have in their pockets, though? Their smartphone!
Text-to-give is a great way for people to support your drama club quickly and securely. Donorbox makes things easy. All you need to do is set up a campaign and enable the text-to-give feature. You’ll get a campaign ID and a texting number in return. Then as your audience texts the ID to the number, they’ll receive a link to your mobile-friendly campaign page to make quick donations.
This is what it looks like for your supporters:
Text-to-give is a great way to raise funds before or after the shows. You can talk about how it works, share the ID and number with your audience. Also, include it in your playbill for easy access while your audience waits for your show to start. This way, they can any time initiate the process with just a simple text.
Remember if you want them to repeat their donation during the future shows, it’ll be even quicker – with no donation forms involved!
A silent auction is a great way to get some extra funds for your drama club. People who regularly come to watch your shows can be fans of your artists and actors. You can definitely auction experiences such as meeting them in person or spending time with them.
Whether you host your auction online or in person, be sure to let people review the items ahead of time so they can decide what they’d like to bid on. One way to do that is by uploading sneak previews on social media. It will also build momentum around the event well in advance.
Some items to consider adding to your auction include:
You can go beyond anything theater-related, too! Ask the members of your club to think about what they have lying around that they don’t need anymore. The jewelry they no longer wear? Luxury items that are in good condition? You might even auction off classes and other kinds of special experiences based on your drama club members’ talents and interests.
Pro tip: Whatever you add to your auction, just be sure it’s low cost (or no cost!) to you so you make a profit on whatever you end up selling. You should advertise your auction far and wide so you get the most interest. After all, the sign of a successful auction is when there are multiple bidders for one item!
When you have an audience in attendance at one of your shows, you already have a great pool of potential donors. You know they’re interested in what you’re doing and would likely want to help you meet your fundraising goal for your next show, so give them an opportunity to do so—and maybe win something of their own, too!
You can choose to put together a gift basket to raffle off (think coupons to local restaurants and businesses, some fun swag, other small gifts). You can also do something called a 50/50 raffle where you and the winner of the raffle split the proceeds.
Be sure to charge enough per raffle ticket to cover any expenses of the gift basket.
One thing to keep in mind as you consider fundraising options for your drama club is your set of unique talents. Do you have members with amazing singing voices and a solid stage presence? Then you have the tools you need to sell singing telegrams!
A singing telegram is a kind of special gift your supporters will purchase for their friends and family. You’ll coordinate and send members of your club to the recipient’s home, work, or other locales to perform a short song. It’s really fun all around—and a great way to raise funds!
Some telegram ideas you can advertise include:
Get creative and have fun! You can advertise your various singing telegram offerings in your playbill as well.
One of the best ways to fundraise these days is to be direct and ask for funds through an online crowdfunding campaign. By sharing your campaign on social media, you can use social proof to generate more funds for your drama club.
Start your campaign by:
Choosing a crowdfunding platform. This will be the technology that handles every step of your campaign—hosting your unique page, safely collecting donations, and managing your acknowledgment emails.
Crafting your campaign story. Crowdfunding works best when you’re trying to fund a specific cause or activity. So in your case, consider using crowdfunding to fund a certain show. You’ll want to fully explain what you need funds for (script rights, prop budget, set materials, etc.) and set a reasonable goal that your audience feels is possible for you to reach.
Spreading the word! Post on your club’s social media and ask all your members to share far and wide. Try to keep the momentum going by posting about it regularly and adding updates to your crowdfunding page.
Higher Vibrations Collective creates and produces art by seeking to challenge the limiting thoughts about society. Through their crowdfunding campaign, they raised funds for their drama digital program in 2020. It’s a simple fundraising page with a popup donate button that opens up the donation form. There are social media buttons, an ‘updates’ tab to add updates of the program, and a donor appreciation wall. A campaign like this can be the easiest and most effective way for you to crowdfund your shows.
Every year, parents are looking for new and exciting camps to send their children to for parts of the summer. You can take advantage of this by offering an exciting acting camp for kids!
To start a camp, you’ll need to establish a few things first:
Once you have some basics established, you can make your idea to start a camp a reality and start earning some extra funds for your drama club—and getting the word out about your own performances!
Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde? Steven Sondheim or Lin-Manuel Miranda? These are tough choices. Deciding on the best and easiest way to fundraise for your drama club? Not as tough.
Whether you want to try selling something special and new or simply encouraging donations, be sure to keep your special, unique talents in mind and make the most out of your fundraising situation.
When it comes to collecting donations, Donorbox helps organizations and clubs of any size get started with meaningful, significant fundraising. We also offer tons of help along the way so you never feel alone.
Whatever fundraising idea you decide to try, go break a leg!
For more fundraising ideas, check out the rest of our nonprofit blog.