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Organizing a talent show

Like any fundraising event, talent shows require a lot of planning. Follow these steps to plan a talent show and start raising money for your cause:

Find a venue.

Choose a low-cost or free venue to host your talent show. School auditoriums, church buildings, or community recreational venues can provide the resources you’ll need. These organizations might also offer their venues at little or no cost if they support your cause.

By partnering with community organizations to host your talent show, you’ll also expand the audience interested in your event. People who are involved with the organization that owns the venue might attend your event and invite their friends.

Recruit volunteers.

Delegate the event-hosting duties to willing volunteers who will manage admission, judge the show, and sell concessions. You’ll also need a speaker who can handle small talk in between performances to keep the audience engaged and announce the winner at the end.

You could also find local vendors interested in setting up booths at your venue during the event. This provides concessions to your audience while saving your organization money and labor. Plus, vendors might appreciate the visibility they’ll get by selling to your audience.

Promote your talent show.

In the same way vendors might be recognized by selling at your event, your talent show might get more traction as vendors spread the word about their presence at your event. Don’t just depend on word of mouth, though.

Promote your talent show through your marketing channels. Social media platforms are great for pre-show information, live updates, and follow-up posts.

You can also find local businesses to sponsor your show and offer sponsorship benefits, such as logo placement on banners or show pamphlets.

Find participants.

Open registration to participants and charge a small registration fee. Be transparent about your fundraiser; let participants know that 100% of their registration fee will go to supporting your cause.

Let the show begin!

Sell tickets to audience members for admission. Allot some time during the event to talk about your organization, its mission, and the reason for the talent show. If the show is funding a specific project, talk about your nonprofit’s work to meet this need and the progress your organization has made so far.

Talent show fundraiser tips

Here are some tips to maximize your talent show’s success:

  • Use social media. Post information about the event beforehand and during. People will love to see real-time updates about the unique talent at your show and it’s a great way to highlight the winner at the end!
  • Incentivize participation. Choose a prize for the winner that will encourage people to enter and try their best.
  • Record the event. If your organization has a YouTube channel, consider livestreaming the event for those who couldn’t make it in person. You can still charge people to view by allowing attendees to buy tickets online, specify that they’ll be attending virtually, and sending the livestream link after they’ve paid.
  • Choose a theme. Giving the event and competition a theme can centralize the talent and keep your cause at the forefront of attendees’ minds. For example, if you’re raising money for the local animal shelter, consider hosting a pet talent show where people show off their pets’ best tricks.

The great thing about talent shows is that they can be customized to match the preferences of your audience and the needs of your organization. Get creative with it and think of fun ways to liven it up!