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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Free/Charity/Fundraising Shows (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magic-Sam
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New user
Australia
60 Posts

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When approached by an organisation/company to do a free show for a fundraising/charity/low budget event how do you politely tell them that you're a professional, it's my living etc etc?
charliecheckers
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Inner circle
1957 Posts

Profile of charliecheckers
I think the best way is to give it to them straight. No reason to appologize, no reason to be angry. Just share what you would charge for your service and move on.
scottds80
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Victoria, Australia
730 Posts

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Perhaps you could provide a discount, or even if it is next to nothing perhaps consider the spin off work it may provide for you.

But then again I can imagine if you do it for one, they would expect you to do it for all.
If you're not prepared for charging any less than full price for your services, charliechecker is right. As long as you are polite and don't let the event organizer get a bad taste from your response. I would say,
"I'm sorry I can only do a show for x amount, please consider it and call me if you would like to make a booking."

I would only justify myself if they continue to push you.
"I am running this as a business which means I need to cover costs for living, etc."
"Great Scott the Magician", Gippsland
Magic-Sam
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Australia
60 Posts

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Thanks charliecheckers and scottds80 for your feedback!
Dannydoyle
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Eternal Order
19626 Posts

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If you want to do it I would recommend doing it for your full fee and donating the check. This establishes your price, and you don't work for free.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
magic4children
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Cheshire UK
127 Posts

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Hi Magic-Sam,
I think the key here is that they approached you, this amounts to an unsolicited cold call asking you for money. It is good to give and share your talents with organisations you feel an affinity for but it is your prerogative who you approach and why. Often the service you give for free is not valued and, in my experience, the less I charge the worse I am treated. Often the request will be “ just come and give a few hours of your time” there is little consideration for how valuable that time is and how much marketing, rehearsal and experience brought you to the point of being able to do such a gig.
My work mainly takes place over weekends so if I give up a Saturday morning it amounts to 25% of my potential income for that week, that’s a pretty large contribution and I wonder whether the person approaching you might give up 25% of their weekly income for a charity that you support.
I politely tell the approaching organisation that I already have charitable organisations that I support; I quote my full fee and offer to make a donation. The donation is then up to me, the same as any other charitable giver as opposed to being mandated by the booker.
I have been burned many times with promises of “publicity” I now have a strict policy of not working to get work. I market to get work and I work to get paid.
I hope that is of use.
Ken
bobn3
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Wichita, KS
718 Posts

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If you truly believe in the charity, do it. If not, just tell them you are busy during that time period. Just wanted to be succinct and cut to the chase here.

Bob Phillips
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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I only do charity jobs in my off season, because I'm booked the rest of the year. My off season is January and February, so give me a 60 day notice, and I'll try to fit you in.

If you live in Australia your off season is probably June and July.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Blair Marshall
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Montreal, Canada
3639 Posts

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Magic-Sam

Suggest they get a sponsor for your performance, they get a show, you get paid,and the sponsor gets some pr.

Suggestions for sponsors..their bank (some do have funds for this type of community activity), any of their reguler service providers that cannot actually donate or give to their event, other community businesses that work within the community.

B
chill
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colorado, usa
371 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-08-14 04:24, magic4children wrote:

I now have a strict policy of not working to get work. I market to get work and I work to get paid.

Ken


this is a great line. may I use it?
bob
I spent most of my money on magic and women, the rest i just wasted
magic4children
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Cheshire UK
127 Posts

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Quote:
On 2012-08-14 08:05, chill wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-08-14 04:24, magic4children wrote:

I now have a strict policy of not working to get work. I market to get work and I work to get paid.

Ken


this is a great line. may I use it?

Be my guest. Ken
bob
Leland
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St Louis
1180 Posts

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I a select few fundraising shows that I do and I do those because I approached them first, not the other way around. When someone calls asking that I donate my time, I let them know that I already work with certain groups and don't have time for another. They seem to understand that.
Life of Magic!
sb
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567 Posts

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One thing to consider....

Is anyone else getting paid for the event? The venue, the food provider, the DJ, the newspaper for advertising, the printing company, and so on... If any other service or goods provider is being paid, then there is no reason for you to do the event for free. Their services and their time is not more valuable than yours.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On 2012-08-14 12:13, sb wrote:
One thing to consider....

Is anyone else getting paid for the event? The venue, the food provider, the DJ, the newspaper for advertising, the printing company, and so on... If any other service or goods provider is being paid, then there is no reason for you to do the event for free. Their services and their time is not more valuable than yours.


This has always been my thoughts on this situation as well.
MichaelDouglas
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Portland, Oregon
765 Posts

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I've had about 4 calls in a period of 2 weeks requesting a free or discounted show. I just had to explain that I get these requests often and am unable to accommodate all of these types of requests. People generally understand. However, I do them at times. It think that it is good to give back in some form or another. When I choose to give back to the community via donating a show, I make sure to get some promo pics that I can use on my web site and/or facebook. Marketing survey's have recently shown that customers generally prefer to support businesses that are socially active in charitable causes. With that said, sometimes it's good to just give or help without tooting our own horn about our donation.
danfreed
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West Chester PA
1137 Posts

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I turn down almost all of the requests I get, and just do 2 or 3 per year that I have some kind of personal connection to. However, sometimes they realize what a benefit you are to the event, so the following year they may be willing to pay you, which happened with both the donated gigs I did a few years ago.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
11047 Posts

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I do Children's Hospital during magic week in October, I will do a fund raiser for a very sick kid, I did a free show for my grand daughters birthday, and that's about it.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
http://www.juggleral.com
http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Close.Up.Dave
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Behind you!
2913 Posts

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The way I think of it is, I'll take the gig if I can personally ensure that the positives outweigh the negatives. I seek out charity connections because I know that they can do me good, and turn down the ones that come to me/offer nothing. The one that I'm doing this year is a gala for the national diabetes association. I am not paid, but will be compensated with free dinners (at $150 a pop for me, my wife and 2 friends), a large ad in their program, and the freedom use their name in the local media. My connection in the organization is friends with a news anchor who will also be contributing to the event. That's footage I don't want to miss out on. All that while being able to showcase myself and network with major players in town that I know are going.

At other charity events I'm done I've gotten free concert tickets, gotten spin off shows, and made a major connection that helped me get a scholarship.

Don't work for nothing; the something you get doesn't have to be money if you find it valuable.
murrari
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308 Posts

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To echo what has already been said, I only work two or three charity events a year that are close to my heart for free.

When other charities contact me, I explain that I could do 300 free shows a year but as I'm a professional I have bills to pay like everyone else and therefore need to charge them. To add value, sometimes I suggest a free 10 minute 'cabaret' spot. It's a chance to highlight my stand-up work (10 minutes is a 'taster for potential clients) and I'm still getting paid for the evening which I see as a win:win.

Free advertising is not usually enough of an incentive for me and I'm usually not interested in free tickets and dinner etc. but each to their own.

Working for free and finding out at the event that everyone else is getting paid (caterers, toastmaster, DJ etc) will leave a sour taste in your mouth. I know this has happened to many of my contemporaries and it happened to me too. Just once though. Lesson learned!
Andrew Murray
M.I.M.C. Gold Star
AndrewMurrayMagic

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Paddy
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Milford OH
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I just had a call today from a "non profit" and when I quoted her my rate she almost wet herself. I told her that was my charity rate and my usual rate was twice what I quoted. She then said "we are a non profit.' My response was "my landlord is not non profit, Krogers really frowns on being non profit. Get a sponsor for me then and I will perform."
Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis

I reject your reality & substitute my own

http://www.Scho-Lan.com
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