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  • Writer's pictureTim Boyd

Why your nonprofit NEEDS to host a fundraising comedy night!

Updated: Feb 8

A banquet is a ton of work.  Does it produce the results you are looking for?  Yes, it probably does!  However, you would never do two banquets in a year.  In fact, many nonprofits are moving to a banquet every other year because it’s such a stress on their staff, volunteers, and donors.  You don’t want your donors to view your banquet as anything but awesome!  So what else can you do?

Let me introduce you to one of the easiest and most fun fundraisers you could ever do!  If you aren’t doing this already, you need to build in one fundraising comedy night a year for your nonprofit.  Why?  I’m so glad you asked.

Simply put - a  comedy night is minimal work with maximum impact.  Here’s what you need.

First, you need a place to host it.  Most nonprofits have great connections to churches.  Churches are made for people to sit and face one speaker.  That is perfect.  Do this and you don’t need to figure out a meal, table settings, etc.  Find a church to host it for you.  (Also if the church will host it for you, there’s a good chance that you will get many people from that church to participate!). Also, churches generally have great lobbies for people to hang out after the show and ask you all questions about your work.

Second, find a comedian.  There are several places to find comedians for your event.  I, obviously, would suggest finding a comedian who is also a fundraiser.  Why?  Well you do want people to laugh, but more than that you want them to give!  I’ll be completely up front with my clients and tell them that they could find funnier people, but they won’t find someone better at asking for money than me!

Third, pick a date.  Check your nonprofit’s schedule and the community’s schedules.  Find a Friday night that’s open and bill this as a fun evening out to support a great cause.  You will pick up people from the community who want a fun evening out!  I’ve seen churches and nonprofits become known for their comedy nights.  In a smaller town or even a large town with no “clean comedy” you are offering something that people are looking for!

Fourth, figure out tickets.  There are two main ways to go with this.  I wouldn’t charge more than $20 per ticket.  That makes it accessible to most everyone.  You have 500 people show up and you are already at $10,000 with very little expenses paid out.  You are up $10k and you haven’t even yet asked for monthly donors, one time gifts, etc.  The other way to do this is to offer it for free and simply let people know it’s also a fundraiser.  There’s more risk involved, but I’ve seen this work very, very well for nonprofits.

So now you can do your annual banquet AND add another super-fun, low work, community event to your calendar!  Do one of these in the Spring and the other in the Fall!

P.S. What else might you want to know?

How to fund it?  See if the church will hire the comedian.  That’s a great way for them to support your work.  See if you can get a business in town to sponsor the cost of your comedian.  Put their logo on the poster!

What else would be in the show?  I would have the comedian perform an hour.  That’s what people are coming for.  I would also have the Director and a client speak for a few minutes.  You could even do this with a prerecorded video.

What’s on the chairs?  Have one item on each chair.  It’s a card.  One side is info about your nonprofit and the other side is how to give.  A QR code is fine, but ALWAYS have a way to get their info by pen and paper too!

How to advertise?  Push this through ALL the churches in the area!  Put up posters at every business that will allow it.  Purchase some (very cheap) ads on social media.

More questions?  Contact me today!

Fundraising Comedian

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