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5 Ways to Help Your Box Office Ask for Donations

Asking for donations for your organisation can feel uncomfortable, but we've put together a list of steps that may help your box office team overcome some of their issues.

Asking for donations for your organisation can feel uncomfortable. Our Support team are often asked about the best ways to go about asking for money, so we thought we’d pull some great tips together to help you all. It’s tricky but it can be done!

1. Lead by example

It’s really important to make sure you do what you’re asking your staff to do.  Whatever your level in the company, spend some time with your Box Office team to show them how to ask customers for donations and they will follow your lead. Hearing someone else ask customers and getting the occasional “no” as well as lots of “yes” will reassure the team and build their confidence so they feel more comfortable asking

2. Get over the fear

Asking for a donation is a little bit scary, especially for the staff members who haven’t done it before. It’s worth getting together as a team to discuss what’s scary or uncomfortable about asking, preparing a few responses and reassuring staff that a ‘no’ is okay.

An afternoon workshop session where you role play asking and responses, as well as working through a few possible answers will give the team lots of tools and confidence to make the ask.

3. Be transparent

Often the Box Office team won’t know why they’re asking for donations. They might not know where the money will be used, how much you get from the Arts Council or from individual donors.

Facts and figures that the Fundraising team are using every day are a great tool for your Box Office team and will really help them understand why they need to ask for support.

4. Set some targets

Having a target is a great motivator. The Spektrix Donations report will give you everything you need to set team, company or individual targets. Don’t forget to also keep track of your Gift Aid, as this can add a huge amount of value to your donations.

Everyone is different; some people will respond well to an individual target and some will respond well to a team target. Whatever you go for, make sure you celebrate success and, if possible, reward people who do well (everyone loves a bit of cake/gin!)

5. Make it easy

Spektrix has lots of tools that can help make asking for a donation easy.

The donation ladder lets you set an ask amount depending on the value of the basket, and you can even set this depending on the type of show the customer is booking.

Using Customer Groups and Tags means you can customise who to ask and when, so on the odd occasion a customer is upset at being asked, you can tag the customer ensuring they aren’t asked again.

Finally, here’s an idea to make it super easy – scrap booking fees! It’s very difficult to ask for a donation on top of transaction fees, postage fees and ticket fees. If you can scrap fees you’ll see your donation income rocket!