California Q's - Bricks/Seats/Plaque Naming Fundraisers

Does your theatre have a fundraising program such as 'named seats', plaques, or bricks with names of individuals/businesses who have donated or contributed to your theatre?

Are your seats/plaques/bricks for individuals only, or also businesses?

Benefits

Patron's like to see their names on plaques in the theatre.

It recognized the people that purchased the seats for our theatre, ten years ago.

People like to see their contributions publicly acknowledged. Other people seeing them are given encouragement.

Challenges

I think naming seats is a really limited and restrictive way to raise money. At (our theatre), unfortunately good records were not kept and when seats needed to be replaced or other renovations made it was difficult to know what plaque was supposed to identify what seat. When we recently remodeled and replaced those seats there was no good way to retain the plaques, so we removed them and put them under glass on our concessions counter top. Now people who have given in the past can see their plaques if they want to. I have encouraged our board NOT to raise money in this way in the future, but rather to focus on other fundraising efforts which are more sustainable. After all, there are only 184 seats, and the patron's expect their names to be there in perpetuity.

Keeping the names on the chairs, updating plaques, placing bricks.

Materials are purchased from local engravers. One theatre uses Bricks-R-Us.

Key Takeaway: Keep great records if you use a brick, plaque, or seat program.

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