Preparing for our First Fundraiser

Movie at the Park

Our first fundraiser will be a movie at the park showing the feature film, “Five Feet Apart” directed by Justin Baldoni. We will preface the show by adding in a Food Truck Rodeo with all the tastes and goodness of Phoenix, AZ. We have some of the best food trucks in the nation, so to take advantage of that is something that would benefit our cause.

Food truck-hosted events are always a really great draw… who doesn’t like food, right? We take full advantage of that as we round up various types of food to go along with our movie showing. There are of course fees associated with putting up an event that involves food and showing a major motion picture to a crowd in public areas. There is, of course, the licensing of such a display, then there is the medium in which to display the film. The park also charges for the use of their park, permits, and clean up.

We managed to secure the licensing for the film to show it up to 250 viewers through Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. It costs $325 for the licensing and I think that’s pretty reasonable. This allows me to show the film up to 250 viewers for an entire year. After that, you do have to renew the license. Or if you draw up a bigger crowd, you’ll need to supplement that license with additional viewer licensing. But overall that’s a great price for what we need.

Now you need equipment to be able to show the movie to an audience at the park of your choosing. We chose FunFlicks which provides inflatable screens and all the audio/visual equipment you need to be able to showcase a movie at any location you wish. For up to 250 people, it’s a base fee of $599, you can have options such as a popcorn machine, etc. added on if you so wish. They also have packages for more viewers too if you happen to draw a bigger crowd.

Parks can be a problem because some of them will ask you to book MONTHS in advance. The park we chose is Margaret T. Hance Park in the heart of the city of Phoenix. The park runs a multitude of events every month, so booking in advance is a necessity. But this presents a problem for a new charity just looking to get started because it demands you to book a date, which cannot be easily changed, and pay the deposits as required. A new charity may not have the funds yet to be able to do that. This is why we started fundraising through Facebook and Twitter and other means. We need to be able to make the deposit for the event which is $500. Most of that is refundable, minus a cleanup fee and permits fee.

Food Trucks charge a nominal fee to cover their gas and operational expenses, but there are companies out there that will help you navigate getting food trucks to come to your event. One such company, AZ Feastivals, will help you coordinate the food trucks you want to come to your event. Some food trucks will require you to guarantee a minimum amount of sales, for example, say $500. If the food truck’s sales surpass the guarantee amount, say $600, you don’t have to pay anything. But if the sales only hit $400, then you are on the dock to pay the difference of $100. In my opinion, having a variety of foods is key but you have to understand that the more options there are, the less any individual food truck will pull in sales. A sweet spot is around 5 or 6 trucks. That brings us to the last point, marketing!

You will have to spend quite a few hundred dollars on marketing. You need to have ads in the local newspapers, contact the local TV stations to help, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media avenues will have marketing budgets to leverage, flyers and other word-of-mouth avenues help a ton, but of course, all of that costs money. I would set aside a good $1500-2000 for marketing. You could find a company that does events for a living, as well. Some of them may even help you at discounted rates if you have an officially registered 501(c)3 charity. It may even possible to engage some companies for free if your event is small enough because they get the tax write-off. In any case, it never hurts to ask about discounts or advantages they may have for non-profits.

So that’s the information we’ve gathered so far. Now it’s about getting the funds to do it! If you would love to help our cause, consider becoming a patron and give a monthly subscription that is totally 100% tax-deductible; link is below this article. Or if you’d like to give us a one-time gift, also tax-deductible, head on over to our Paypal Giving account or “like” us on Facebook where we are set up to receive donations under “Appreciate Every Breath”. If you are local to the Phoenix area and you have time to spare, you can also help us on the day of the event. That costs nothing and leaves you with a great feeling at the end of the day. Helping others always fills the heart and soul! If you’d like to make a “time donation” contact us directly at or go to our “Contact Us” page.

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