The drama department never has enough money for everything that its advisers and members want to accomplish. If you’re in the plight that many high schools find themselves in, you’re probably looking for ways to increase your drama department’s funds and take the quality of your productions to the next level. Try some of these school-fundraiser ideas that are thinking outside of the box, and could have a big impact on this year’s budget.

Let People Know That Your Play Is Going To Be Big

If you have the opportunity to do an in-school performance, it might just be your greatest moneymaker. High-school students are always looking for an opportunity to get out of class, and your play will provide them with exactly that! Unfortunately, you can’t guarantee that students won’t take advantage of the time to goof around instead, so get the students excited about what your actors have to offer with these strategies:

Hang Banners

These have particular impact if your banners are located in high-traffic areas. You don’t need a huge budget to reach the greatest number of people. Every high-school student will walk through the lunchroom at some point during their school day, so place the banners strategically. The gym is also a great place to reach a large number of students easily. High-quality banners create the impression that your production will be equally high-quality, which will help increase student excitement.

Design Professional-looking Tickets

Your production is extraordinary, so be sure that you design a ticket that is also extraordinary. Sell tickets ahead of time and make them as unique as the children who make up your drama department. Allow the students to design the tickets themselves. You can garner further community support by holding a contest, and allowing students to vote on the winning design that will be featured. This is good
press, and the students will be eager to have them.

Don’t Forget About the Tried and True Fundraising Methods

Sure, coupon books and cards are typically territory that belongs to the sports teams and band, but that doesn’t mean that the drama department has to be left out! These are the fundraising methods that have big results, which is why they’re so popular. Consider what opportunities your school isn’t currently offering, then take advantage of the opportunity to branch out your fundraising. Your biggest fundraiser of the year doesn’t have to be the end-of-the year production!

Hold a Puzzle Promotion

If you put the school logo on it, teenagers will buy it. This is particularly true if you make it a challenge or create a game to go along with it. Consider designing your own puzzle, then taking the puzzle pieces apart and attaching them to another item. These can be tickets, candy, or any other token. When someone manages to piece together an entire puzzle, they win a prize! Competition will encourage the students at your school to open their wallets, often driving them to spend far more than they would have on the original fundraiser item alone.

Provide Lasting Products that Your Students Want

These can be magnets, notebooks, or t-shirts—really, anything that will serve as a lasting memento for high-school students. Seniors will be particularly interested in buying items that commemorate a fun event from the drama club that they worked so hard on.

Don’t Let Discount Cards Pass you By

The fact that other clubs and organizations within your school have already done discount cards doesn’t mean that the drama department can’t, too! Consider shaking yours up to make them different: offer them in January, with an expiration date that’s designed to reflect a calendar year rather than a school year. Provide discounts that aren’t on the regular cards. Give it a try and see how much money you can bring in with a product that everyone can use.

Host a Drama Day

Have you ever wanted to have an entire day that was just about the drama department? After all, there’s a pep rally for every major sporting event throughout the year. Football season is usually kicked off with plenty of events. Why can’t you do the same? Design a carnival of fun with your drama students at the forefront. Holding an improv-theater event is a silly and memorable way to raise funds and get more than just the typical drama students involved.

Let Your Kids Get Creative with the Games and Fun

Your drama students are probably some of the most creative in the school. Turn them loose and see what they can design on a tight budget. They might surprise you! Purchase a few cheap prizes and charge a dollar per game, then stand back and watch while high-school students line up to play.

Don’t Forget the Performances

It wouldn’t be a drama day if you didn’t offer performances. There can be free performances scattered throughout the day to keep interest high, but you can also open up the auditorium and offer tickets to some of your best acts. Invite your forensics team to put some of their pieces to good use, then sit back and watch while their friends show them more appreciation than ever before. As an added bonus, performing in front of an audience will give your students time to polish up their performances.

Drama is an important part of the high-school education that is often overlooked. Don’t let this be the winter of your drama budget’s discontent (as the bard said). Your department needs funding now, and you don’t have to appeal to the school board for more money again. Instead, put the drama department’s financial future in your hands by fundraising and reaching out to your community and local theater troupes. All you need are the right promotional materials and a lot of creativity.