The curtains have closed on the final production of the school year, and you’re waving your students goodbye for the summer. While you may be looking forward to some rest and relaxation, that doesn’t mean your fundraising efforts should take the summer off, too. 

In fact, now is a great time to deploy the next round of funding strategies. This way, you’ll be ready to start the school year off on the right foot with the capital you need for your exciting fall productions. 

Summertime Fundraising Strategies 

While fundraising is a swell idea all-year-round, there are a few game plans that work especially well in the summertime. 

  1. Voting by Donation: It’s no secret that people love to get their opinions out there – no matter the situation. Use that to your advantage by creating polls during the summer months and asking for financial contributions to vote. Ideas include having voters choose your fall production (from an approved list, of course!) or offering incentives to vote – like a small, walk-on role in the fall production. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from fun strategies like this. You’ll raise money, raise awareness for your program, increase followers and interactions on your social media platforms, and hopefully have some tough decisions made for you!
  2. Fundraising for Trips: With students off for the summer, they may be missing the camaraderie of their theatre group … and maybe you do, too! To rectify that, consider planning an outing with your troupe. Whether you want to take a trip to a local production or carpool to a big city for a Broadway showcase, you can engage your patrons this summer by asking for donations to make these trip dreams a reality. After all, who doesn’t want to help theatre kids chase their dreams? 
  3. Production Wishlist: One of the best ways to get monetary donations? Let your patrons know exactly where their funds are going. Use the summer months to create a list of all the things you’ll need for your fall productions, from lighting and sound tech upgrades to new costumes and set equipment. Think of it like a wedding registry – your patrons can choose which item they’d like to help sponsor. In doing so, they’ll know they helped to improve the theatre experience for everyone. 
  4. Car Wash: If you’re looking to get sudsy this summer to raise some funds, why not go digital with donations? OTS can help you take your car wash contributions online by creating a custom QR code to share with drivers. There, they can donate before, during or after a wash. This way, drivers can pull up, check in and enjoy!

Evergreen Fundraising Campaigns

There are a few tried-and-true fundraising efforts that can work for you during any season or situation. These include:

  • Donut fundraisers – Who doesn’t love donuts? A bevy of national brands are at the ready to partner with theatres just like yours to raise funds … and have some delicious fun doing it! 
  • Program ad sales – Any time’s a good time to make connections for program ad sales. Ad revenue stemming from your programs can help improve a variety of aspects for your theatre, and the community partnerships you make along the way can cement continual donations for years to come.
  • Bake sales – It’s hard to say no to sweet treats! Encourage your students to create succulent creations and sell them on a weekend, before a show, or between classes. This simultaneously raises awareness for your productions and department, and helps your students feel like they’re making a difference. 
  • Merchandise sales – Whether you’re promoting a particular show or just your theatre department in general, people love swag! Offering personalized merchandise to your students, faculty, staff and theatre family keeps the momentum going for your next production. 
  • Video-On-Demand sales – Another easy way to fundraise is by utilizing your own work! You can package up highlights from your past showcases, performances and even rehearsals to sell to your patrons. This way, you can share previous content and announce the upcoming season, too. 
  • Tiered ticketing levels – Using a pay-what-you-can model for ticketing can encourage those with deeper pockets to contribute more in donations. And by offering different contribution levels, you make your theatre more accessible for everyone, too. 

Enter: On The Stage

Everyone needs a little help getting summer fundraising off the ground. On The Stage’s impressive Fundraising Suite can help you go from zero to one hundred in no time at all with its variety of offerings, tailored to your specific theatre and audience. Here are some ways the Fundraising Suite can help you: 

  1. Enabling fundraising best practice templates – Since the Suite is built for your theatre’s specific needs, built-in templates for fundraising best practices are included, which will increase your bottom line when it comes to raising that all-important capital. 
  2. Utilizing 1-click launch campaign options – If you’re looking for no fuss campaigns that get the momentum going from day 1, the Fundraising Suite has you covered. With 1-click options, you waste zero time on complications and get to focus on what’s important: the art. 
  3. Employing recurring donation opportunities – Driving donor support is what it’s all about. The Suite encourages continual donations from your patrons, doing the funding-related heavy lifting for you when it really counts.
  4. Building your own campaign – No matter what you’re selling, promoting, or looking to achieve, you can run it through the Fundraising Suite. It comes replete with automated communications and donor processing, meaning that success with the Fundraising Suite is both achievable and affordable. 

As a quick resource, we’ve created a handy infographic with the top fundraising ideas for summer. Be sure to check it out. 

While the thought of lounging by the pool for the next few months sounds tempting, don’t let your summer months go to waste when it comes to your theatre fundraising efforts. 

You can schedule a personalized demo with On The Stage today, where you’ll learn how to easily execute lucrative fundraising campaigns all summer long. 


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