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sgboyle
12-10-2009, 07:45 PM
With a lot of people saying we beginners should start out with a charity haunt. I would like to ask how we might go about getting this set up.

When you got into the business and approached a charity did you offer to put the money up to get the haunt off the ground, or did you ask the charity to foot the bill?

If asking the charity to put up the money, what is an appropriate amount to start with? I know this depends on how detailed and big the haunt is, but I would think their is some sort of guide line to this.

I appreciate all the input and advice that is shared through this forum, I donít think there is a better place to learn about the haunt industry.

Regards, Sean Boyle

Frightguy1
12-10-2009, 10:57 PM
Hi Sean,

My reasoning for working with a charity was both because I wanted to help out in the community and because I wanted to open up my experience as a home haunter to a larger audience. I wanted to make a business of haunting and new I had the tools and experience to do it but I didn't have a location or the money to buy or lease a large space to do it in.

You can often find lots of support, connections and the backing you need to get started by working with a charity. Of course there will still be costs involved so I wouldn't say working with a charity clears you from not spending a dime because it doesn't but there are trade offs that you can work out that should help you.

In our case we got a large indoor & outdoor space with plenty or parking for the public to create our haunt as we see fit and to off set the use of their space we offer them 25% of all the proceeds. The charity we work with was also allowed to offer refreshments and sell items like glowsticks, wands etc for a side profit that did not factor into our final take.

Working these specs out with them enabled us to create the event we wanted with the out of pocket budget we had set aside. If we had to buy or lease a space for the amount of time we had wanted to run our event it would have cut our budget in half and we probably wouldn't have been able to create the show we had set out to do at all.

I think you have to first put together a team of people who will help you finance, market and build your haunt. Make a business plan and presentation to show to the potential charities you can work with in yours and surrounding towns i.e. (Firehouse, EMS, YMCA, etc..) then see what you can work out with them. The selling point usually is in the market research you do. Can you drive customers to a haunted house event, do you have the skills to create an event worth paying for etc. If you can show the charity you want to work with some hard numbers and what they stand to gain by you doing this event with them then you might have the help you need but you have to know what you want from them in return.

Keep things simple, work within your means and look for the creative cost effective solution first. This helped us and I hope it will help you. If you have further questions then please ask. We learned a lot in our first big year and I'd be glad to help anyone following the same path we did.

Best.

J

www.grimlockmanor.com