Anglican Diocese of Wellington
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Fundraising - Module 3

Running a movie night  

This can be a relatively easy and enjoyable event to organise.
Most cinemas are happy to work with you.

What you need to think about
  • Who is your likely audience? 
  • This will help you when choosing the size of the cinema.
  • Most movie theatres charge a base ticket price calculated on filling a certain number of seats.
  • Consider what to charge for tickets. Usual is around $20 -$25.
  • To make money you need to fill the theatre as you will be paying for any unsold seats.*
    (*the theatre will have cancelled a screening to accommodate you - they will be wanting to cover their costs)

You will need to allow time
  • To plan early (as a rule of thumb allow 6 weeks from the initial decision to the execution of your event)
  • To promote your event
  • To collect money
  • To distribute tickets.

Choosing a film
  • Think about your likely audience.
  • The biggest movie going age group is those aged 18-40 years
  • Don’t let this put you off!
  • If you are an older church community you may want to have a screening during the daytime.
  • The NZ website is a good site which shows what’s coming up.
  • Consider the classification of the film if you are planning a family event. It will need to be a G or PG to ensure family attendance.

Promoting your event
Think about the ‘channels” you have available to promote your event. These can include:

  • The Sunday notices
  • The parish website
  • Workmates/family/friends 
  •  If you ask, friends will often undertake to assist with ticket selling. You can allocate them an achievable number to sell on your behalf.
  • Others who have an interest in your cause outside of the parish
  • Community notice boards and local shops in your parish area
  • Consider your local community paper- you can talk about your project and include information and contact details about your movie evening.
  • Ask the cinema – sometimes they will pop a line in their regular advertising as their contribution.
  • If you are providing ‘spot prizes’ or ‘goodie bags’ make sure you mention them in your promotional material.

Goodie bags
  • These are always appreciated and quite cheap to do.
  • You can fill cellophane bags with home- made sweets or tiny slices of biscuit based squares or wrapped sweets. Tie with ribbon to create a party feel.
  • Don’t be shy in asking people to help you with this task.

Spot prizes
  • These can be placed under the seat or slipped into a ‘goody bag’ in the form of a gold chocolate coin. Or you can pop a spot prize(s)under a seat
  • You can theme your prize to the event or the film. For example, a recent event in support of a Vietnamese charity got a local Vietnamese Restaurant to sponsor a dinner for two to the value of $80. 
  • Remember to acknowledge any sponsorship in your promotional material
  • A follow up thank you to your sponsor is always good. You may want to ask them again!

On the night
  • Thank the attendees and remind them about why they’re there ie. the particular work or cause for which you are raising money. Remember some people may have just come for the movie so it’s an opportunity to tell them about your work.
  • If you don’t have all the contact details of who is attending ask people to leave their details so they can be contacted for the next movie evening. Make sure this is clear when asking for details.
  • Consider running a door raffle. This can increase your proceeds. 

  • Discuss how it went with your organising team
  • Ensure you record any names etc
  • You may want to email these people in order to provide an update on the work of the event you are supporting and how they helped you. (what you were able to do with the funds raised etc) It is also a chance to thank them again.
  • When you create a conversation it is easier to ask again.
Please let me know your stories and successes and how you got there. I can be contacted by email or call 04 471 8590.
Anne Hannah, June 2011

Download a copy:   Running a movie evening.     pdf copy.

No reira waiho ko te aroha o Te Matua Kaha Rawa hei korowai mou.
May the love of Almighty God enfold you!