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Three Great Ways to Fundraise

Coriolis Dancer Collective
company members

In this struggling economy, finding sufficient funding can be challenging.  Even though thousands of grants are still available, the applicant pool has grown while city and organizational monies have been cut back.  Individual donors are still supporting the arts (Thank you!), but, for some, the amount they are able to give throughout the year has to be more carefully monitored. 
SeattleDances is dedicated to helping the Seattle dance community grow. In our newest feature, News for Dancers, you can find information on auditions, classes, grants, and more. Today, SeattleDances has teamed up with Coriolis Dance Collective and Redd Legg Dance to come up with a few fresh ideas for fundraising in Seattle.

         Throw a party:  Fundraising events are popping up left and right these days for local dance companies.  Some include auctions; others fancy dinners and live performances.  Coriolis Dance Collective has decided to create an exciting evening of entertainment for their upcoming fundraiser at the Can Can.  “Fundraisers at times can be overly formal and dreary,” said Coriolis co-founder, Natascha Greenwalt Murphy.  “This seemed like a way that we could diversify our audience base, raise funds for Co-LAB 3, and have fun at the same time.”  A cover charge of just $10 will be taken at the door, after that patrons will be encouraged to take part in exciting raffles and other funding options.  The company’s event, Ruffles and Raffles, will include live music, and dance works will be presented by Coriolis Dance Collective, Markeith Wiley, and Kate Wallich.  Of course, what show at the Can Can would be complete without Burlesque performances by the Can Can Castaways, as well as Paris Original, Trojan Original, Madisun Avenue, Roxie Moxie, and Rachel Strickland. 

Ruffles and Raffles will be held this Sunday, April 10, 2011, at the Can Can, which is currently located at the top of Pike Place Market, from 9 pm to midnight.

            Use social media: While campaign letters asking for donations are formal, and often result in funding from “big donors,” it’s important to remember that a little can go a long way.  After seeing a musician friend raise over $3,000 for her upcoming album, Redd Legg Dance’s Artistic Director, Kristen Legg, decided to give a try.  “I realized that I could reach a larger donor pool by incorporating Facebook into my funding campaign.  I set up a project with, shared it with friends on Facebook, and, in less than 10 days, I am almost one third of the way to my goal.”  While most contributions made are small in dollar amount, by reaching out to more funders, Legg has doubled her donor list for 2011.

Redd Legg Dance’s project Music You Shouldn’t Choreograph To can be funded through April 28, 2011, at
            Clean your house: Kill two birds with one stone by holding a rummage sale, with all proceeds going to your company.  This can be done on your lawn or at a friend’s house (with no space rental fees), and if you live on a busy enough street, you don’t even have to do much advertising.  “Our first fundraiser was a rummage sale that was hugely successful,” says Greenwalt Murphy.  However, in an effort to increase Coriolis’ visibility in the community, they have “moved on to fundraising that can have a dual purpose of audience development.”  Redd Legg Dance intends to hold a rummage sale later this spring with all money raised going straight into the dancers’ pockets.  Legg says, “I think it’s important to pay my dancers.  In order to keep ticket prices low, a rummage sale seems like a good way to get some extra money into the company account. I’ll let you know how it goes.”

SeattleDances would love to hear of other fundraising ideas that have worked for your company.  Comment below or send us an email at   You can also find us on Facebook at SeattleDances, or on twitter @SeattleDances.