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slydini
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Hello All,
I have been hired to do a mentalism show for a fundraiser. I had assumed they would be charging admission for the event. In talking with the organizer, I find out that they are going to raise the money at the event.

The organizer asked if I had any suggestions. Now, I am not a fundraiser, I am a performer, but I would rather be a can do guy instead of can't do.

I will be using my Mentalists Dream Box for my finale. I will be doing Max's "My Favourite Music" routine that he sells for the box.

I'm trying to figure out a way for the attendees to give two hundred dollars each, if I succesfully predict the chosen songs.

My question is, how do I word this without tipping the effect, or making the audience too combative.

Your help would be much appreciated.

Sinecurely,

Paul
Magical Dimensions
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I would think that the people who attend a fund raiser ALREADY know how much they will give. I also think that by NOT charging admission will hurt the event. Without admission, you will invite people who only want a FREE night out and a FREE show.

There are other ways to raise money along with the donations and that is to sell things such as hot dogs, pop corn, having a drawing and dart games and the like. I would just concentrate on doing your show and leave the fund rising to the promoter of the event since you are not familiar with how to do it. Having an MC might be a good thing so that he could do the asking (begging) instead of you.

There are also a few ways for you to get paid at this event and I won’t go into that here. One of the best books that I ever read on this subject was titled, ‘The Fund Raising Magician’. It covered much needed information on giving advice to promoters and how to be the man out in front of the fund raiser.



Ray
slydini
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Hi Ray,
I appreciate your response. I am being paid to perform.
By the way, who wrote the book you mentioned?
Paul
David Alexander
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Paul,

In doing any sort of fundraiser everything should be covered in the contract – your responsibilities and duties and their responsibilities and duties. You don’t let them add more duties and responsibilities after the contract has been negotiated.

They shouldn't hire you and then expect you to fill in the blanks in their lack of education. This is not fair to you and puts you in an awkward position. If YOU don't raise the money then the responsibility for the failure of the fundraiser is YOURS, not theirs as I understand it from your description.

As you said, you’re being paid as a performer, not as a fundraising consultant which would cost them more.

I would make sure that they understood that THEY are the ones responsible for raising money, not you. Your responsibility is to deliver a quality show not shoulder the potential blame if things don’t go well. You can make a few suggestions, but nothing more. Let them make the final decisions making sure they don't interfere with your ability to deliver a quality show.

Something to remember for the future from someone who has already been there and learned the hard way…but it only took once.

Best of luck.
Lord Of The Horses
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Quote:
On 2010-03-11 13:45, David Alexander wrote:
Paul,

In doing any sort of fundraiser everything should be covered in the contract – your responsibilities and duties and their responsibilities and duties. You don’t let them add more duties and responsibilities after the contract has been negotiated.

I just want to underline what David Alexander wrote.

This is a too important thing you have to be sure is agreed in the contract, to avoid any surprise later...
Then you'll rise right before my eyes, on wings that fill the sky, like a phoenix rising!
Tom Cutts
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This gives me pause:

"In talking with the organizer, I find out that they are going to raise the money at the event.

The organizer asked if I had any suggestions."

How did they "decide" to raise money at the event if they don't have a plan to do it? I would be very concerned that part of the blame will be laid at your feet if this is not effective. "We had a magic/mindreader show... that didn't work"

On a positive note I have had great success adding to the revenue of drawings and raffles being held at events where I work by simply stating to people who have had a "lucky outcome" in my show, that they are experiencing a lucky day and should buy raffle tickets.
David Alexander
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In the world of real show business contracts are everything...make that EVERYTHING!

It's not called show BUSINESS without a reason. When I was doing corporate/company events I sent a detailed contract. My clients recognized my professionalism by the contract that detailed how I would be given a situation where I would show well and they would get their money’s worth. That included the size of the portable stage and the amount of lighting needed. As these requirements were agreed to by contract and passed to the hotel where the event was happening, I always got what I needed.

For a real education in the upper levels of show business with examples of contract riders that illustrate how thoroughly management thinks things through visit:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstagetour/index.html

Riders include the number of dressing rooms, that they be "clean," the size and type of furniture in them, access to "clean" bathroom, the number of clean towels and bars of soap in each, etc. Absolutely everything was spelled out because this is BIG BUSINESS with attractions that bring in tens of millions of dollars a year.

One of the “Holy Grails” of riders is that of Van Halen (here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstageto......n1.html) which was 53 typewritten pages.

Van Halen's management had buried in their contract rider the requirement that there be NO brown M&Ms in the candy bowl backstage. This was not the childish demand of spoiled rock musicians but a clever indicator of the thoroughness of the venue in following instructions. If Van Halen's people found brown M&Ms backstage they took it that the rider requirements had NOT been correctly followed and everything was re-checked.

One of the hallmarks of professionalism is attention to detail.
Magical Dimensions
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Quote:
On 2010-03-11 13:13, Slydini wrote:
Hi Ray,
I appreciate your response. I am being paid to perform.
By the way, who wrote the book you mentioned?
Paul


I was going off the top of my head when I mention the title of the book. Then YOU called me on it! LOL

I had to look thru my books but found it. It is written by Harvey Long and the book is titled, 'Fund Raising Magic' and printed back in 1977. WOW, I have had that book for a while!

Just googled it and there it was! It is on the right of the page. They want double what I paid for it! LOL
http://www.byronwalkermagicbooks.com/magic%20p2.html

Hope this helps.
Ray
slydini
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Thanks Ray,
I just ordered it.
Paul
David Alexander
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John Kaplan sells the booking material he uses in his "Fundraising Magic" business. The last price I saw was $300. The most valuable thing in his package is the handbook he gives to those who hire him. It lays out in detail how an organization (schools in John's case) can raise money with a magic show. He even gives the personality that members of the committee should have if they're to be successful.

The handbook is geared towards selling his show and if you were to use it you'd have to re-write it, but he's been successful and is solidly booked. He knows his stuff.
slydini
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I thank you all for your postings. It helps me make the decision I knew I should make from the begining.
Paul
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