performers today shy away from doing benefit shows,
most often because they think "benefit"
means they don't get paid. In reality, most
organizations that attempt to use a concert as a
means of raising money for their cause, are likely to
select a performer with some recognition in the
community, but not always. Most notable performers
charge a fee for their performance. Sometimes it's
their usual fee and other times they may lower their
fee for the situation. If the cause is particularly
important to the performer, they may donate back all
or a portion of their fee.
If the organization presenting the concert is a
proper promoter, they'll seek sponsorships, donations
and advertising to pay for most of the production
expenses including the performer's fee. By finding
sponsors to pay for these expenses, monies generated
from ticket sales are then able to be used for the
fundraising purpose originally intended by the
organization, instead of paying for the expenses to
present the event. Most often organizations that
fundraise are non-profit organizations, therefore
sponsorships and donations may be tax deductible for
In some cases, presenters may be inexperienced at
seeking sponsors to offset expenses and will ask
performers to play for free. Depending on your
involvement or interest in the cause being promoted,
you may choose to donate your performance.
offer you an opportunity to give back to the
community, whether it's your home community or not.
When selecting a charitable cause that is meaningful
to you, you make a statement that you choose to use
your talent in ways that may help others. This has a
circular effect. When you become recognized as a
concerned artist, other organizations may seek you
out. New performance opportunities become available,
new audiences become accessible and you're using your
talent for a meaningful endeavour beyond simply
"playing a gig".
By lending your name and your music to specific
causes, you're able to reach people that may not
normally read the entertainment section of the paper
or listen to the radio station that plays your music.
The organization's benefit might get a feature story
in the main news section of the paper. Your name and
information are included and even featured since
you're the featured performer. You may have had to
work for a long time before getting a feature in the
paper. This feature reaches a larger segment of the
general population in the community, once again
expanding your name recognition in that market.
Similarly, radio and television may get involved in
promoting the event and again you're included in all
of these promotions.
When you get involved with charitable organizations
that raise money for noteworthy causes, you're part
of something larger than yourself. The cause being
promoted has a purpose beyond simply promoting your
career. You become swept up in the momentum of
promoting the cause. Many more people may respond to
requests for supporting the cause by way of
purchasing tickets, thus expanding the number of
people that will see your performance. At first, if
you're not necessarily well known, you may need to
donate your services or offer your performance for a