Q: We have a charity that holds an annual fundraiser every July. Would any of your artists be willing to donate their time to help entertain our guests during the event?
A: First off, I applaud those organizers’ efforts who take on the thankless task of soliciting donated services from vendors like us. It can be challenging to ask for donations from service providers who are used to charging for their services. Goofy Faces has participated in many charity events in the past. Some are organized with artists who we book while others I personally donate my own time during my slower months. Unfortunately, not many artists can afford to donate their time for events for free, especially during peak season. Artists make the majority of their income in the summer months, especially each weekend. They also get very busy during the holidays. Coincidentally, this is when many organizations choose to hold their fund-raisers and seek donated help.
If you plan to contact entertainers to help out your cause, avoid using services like Gigmasters since many of us pay your booking fees to be listed on their site. Also keep in mind that as entertainers, all us of are inundated with these kind of requests on a regular basis. This makes it very difficult for us to pick and choose which benefits to consider when we realize that we must give up paid work in order to commit to yours. I suggest a different strategy for your requests.
Instead of contacting artists to see if they can work for free, find a donor or sponsor who would be willing to pay in advance for the artists services in exchange for their business name or company logo preprinted on each sheet of paper they use. This way, charity organizers will have no trouble finding artists willing to work any fundraising event, while a sponsor is recognized for their part in your charity. We have found this method to be far more successful and have booked many charities using this process. Many artists will offer to print up the paper for free and even discount their hourly rate to help your cause.