Theater may be shut down for the foreseeable future, but the curtains will rise again. And when that happens, funds will be necessary to get our productions on their feet.
Lots of TheaterMakers have been asking us how to keep the ball rolling while in quarantine, so that the scripts we’ve been working hard at can come to fruition at the end of all of this!
The answer involves leveraging all of your connections in the present moment and forming new ones for the future. Here’s what you can be doing to raise funds for future productions right now, in quarantine
1. Start a crowdfunding campaign.
Gathering capital and making the ask for funds may seem particularly daunting right now, as this pandemic has put many under financial strain. The beauty of crowdfunding, however, is that you can raise money in small increments from a large pool of backers, eliminating the need to ask for large sums of money from any one investor.
There are lots of crowdfunding platforms to choose from. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are great choices particularly for artistic projects. These two are the most popular donation-based crowdfunding sites, meaning those that contribute money are doing so as donations, and don’t become investors or shareholders. Therefore, project creators retain 100% control over their project. This is also beneficial to donors who likely are willing to make a contribution to your project right now, but less willing to make an investment they may deem risky at this point.
Need help crafting a Kickstarter campaign? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help!
2. Apply for fiscal sponsorship from an organization like Fractured Atlas.
Fractured Atlas is a non-profit composed of artists and innovators who provide business tools to other artists and arts organizations. They provide fiscal sponsorship to individuals in order to solicit tax-deductible donations and apply for grants from foundations and corporations. They also have their own crowdfunding platform.
Fractured Atlas has sponsored a plethora of theater projects. You can view all 74 pages of the productions they’ve helped bring to life here.
3. Continue developing relationships with investors.
There is a luxury currently available to you that may not usually be: time! On your end, as well as on potential investors’ ends. Many people have greater availability to hop on a phone or Zoom call right now. Send an email and set up a call! There’s no better time than now to build relationships that may prove beneficial to you in the future.
Create a spreadsheet with all of your potential investors, their contact information, and the date of your last correspondence. Check in with them periodically and continue to strengthen the connection. When the time comes for you to get your production going, you’ll have strong relationships (with people that trust you and believe in you) to call upon when you’re in need of support.
4.Use social media to generate excitement and awareness about your project.
The power of social media is not to be underestimated — a Facebook post with a video previewing a song you’ve been working on or an Instagram photo of a portion of your script can be the very thing that piques the interest of friends, family, and colleagues.
Getting the word out that you’re working on something may catch the attention of someone who isn’t normally involved in theater but wants to be, or a friend who is connected to someone who does invest in theater. Having an online presence is key if you do decide to crowdfund or solicit donations in some capacity. At the very least, you’re bound to do some basic marketing and create traction for your future production.
5. Find collaborators within the theater community.
It’s never too early to start putting your creative team together. Luckily for you, you have access to an incredible and active community of theater makers here at The TheaterMakers Studio who are always looking for collaboration opportunities! It’s very likely that others in the theater community are already connected to potential investors.
If you’re NOT a member, you can create a profile in our Production Team Database for free HERE. You’re also welcome to peruse profiles of hundreds of theater makers just like you who are already a part of our free database.
If you ARE a member, go ahead and reach out to other members of the TheaterMakers Studio by visiting our members-only Member Directory, or post in our private Facebook group to start connecting with over 500 theater makers from across the country right now! You just never know what a collaboration might lead to!
P.S. Not a member but interested in joining FREE for your first 30 days? CLICK HERE.