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The Geezer
The Geezer, Successful careers
Category: General
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Experience:  Retired Civil Engineer, USC Professor & Realtor, financier
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how do you set ticket prices for a not-for-profit theatre

Customer Question

how do you set ticket prices for a not-for-profit theatre? is there a tried and true formula
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  DEBRA replied 9 years ago.

Hi! My name isXXXXX far as I know there is not set formula when dealing with non profit issues. But you do have to factor in operating cost, such as renting the theatre. Are you putting money into new costumes? Are you paying to have the stage redesIgned?

Usually, alot of the work is done on a voluntary basis as well as the actual performances.

But do figure up anything you have to spend, because you will want ticket prices to cover that and well as make money for your charity cause to increase your donation.

Good luck with the show!



Customer: replied 9 years ago.
no - this answer is not specific enuf...I know that there exist formula for setting ticket prices based on show costs of stage and equipment rental, costuming, etc., etc. I have heard that ticket prices underwrite about 1/2 of the production and that is why so many productions - both for-profit and not-for-profits need "producers", sponsors, funding, grants, etc., etc. you think that it is true that the ticket price reflects only about 50-60% of the cost?
Expert:  The Geezer replied 9 years ago.
Actually, even a non-profit has most of the same overheads that a for-profit organization has. So some insight into what the for-profits actually do might be useful here.

And THERE IS a rule of thumb for that. An engineering business bills at 2.5 to 3.0 times actual labor cost. A jewelry store charges 3.0 times wholesale. So does a furniture store (unless it's Costco LOL).

Why? Because there is insurance, payroll taxes, utilities, etc... all the same things a properly run non-profit faces. But there usually isn't volunteer labor, home baked cookies, that sort of thing. Thus whether it's a homeowners association or a non-profit association of business executives, you GOTTA charge at least 2.0 times your identifiable actual direct costs to cover the indirects, repairs, unexpected expenses, etc...

And 2.25 is better if your paying audience will pay it.

So that's my recommendation - 2.0 to 2.25 times direct costs. Kinda puts an emphasis on getting stuff that would otherwise be a direct cost DONATED, doesn't it? As well it should.

Hope these thoughts help.
The Geezer, Successful careers
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 1387
Experience: Retired Civil Engineer, USC Professor & Realtor, financier
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