Ah, the fundraiser. An event or a party that gives people food, entertainment and perhaps a chance to win something while at the same time charging them a fee that goes, ostensibly, to a philanthropy or project or cause. Some fundraisers feature auctions or sales of donated products that, in turn, reap some financial reward for the cause.
A fundraiser might be a group of 25 people trying to raise money for a sick friend, and it might be an audience of 2,000 who come together for a noble reason: cancer research for example, or perhaps the Make A Wish Foundation, a wonderful philanthropy which doesn't need a testimonial from a newsletter like this.
Often fundraisers feature entertainment. The bigger the media footprint, the bigger the celebrity. The more humble the cause, the more modest the entertainer.
Enter Taylor Mason.
I do some 6-12 fundraisers a year for a variety of causes: organizations that fight hunger and help children both in the USA and abroad; parents raising money for the high school girls soccer team; pals getting together to buy an electronic moving chair for an injured friend who has no insurance. Sometimes I get the big deal - I’m hired for a major hospital fundraiser and my performance is the “highlight” of the night where thousands of dollars will be raised.
Here are some truths you may not know:
Sometimes the big fundraisers come up with a LOT of money. As in a few million dollars over the course of a year or two. HOWEVER! Not all that money goes to the “cause.” A lot of it goes for “administrative costs” and “travel” and other “expenses.”
Sometimes the “fundraiser” is really nothing more than a reason for people to have a party, like any other, and the monies brought in end up paying for the bash and little else! And I have learned over the years: the bigger the celebrity or performer(s), the more of the kitty (read: the “funds raised” by the fundraiser) goes to that celebrity or entertainer(s).
There are fundraisers that do a great job, raise a lot of money and make people’s lives better and accomplish exactly what is intended. There are fundraisers that don’t do that at all.
I've been involved with both. I've learned how these work and I am pleased to say that I don’t take most of the money earned at a fundraiser for my “fee.” I rarely donate my services (if you can call what I do a “service”) for free, but I don’t take 80% of the take as my compensation, either. Therefore I am booked for a fundraiser a few times a year, and I turn down just as many.
I’m doing one this weekend at The Comedy Cabaret
in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It’s a small group raising money in an effort to cure Alzheimer's. I’m getting paid, but I’m not taking all their dollars. If you’re in the area, please come by and help out. I promise it’ll be worth your while!
See you there!