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From fund-raiser to business

2326 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  tot13
A friend and I ran a fund-raiser haunted trail last year and expect to do it again this year. We had a lot of fun and felt we were successful.
We would like to turn this into a business and are looking for any advice or suggestions that anyone would be willing to offer, especially in the area of legalites, licenses, and acquiring property.
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Wow, I had forgotten about this thread. And here I am planning for our 2011 haunt (our 6th year) - and it's still a non-profit fundraiser. After crunching numbers, I realized there's no way to turn the current haunt into a for-profit haunt so I've been satisfied to use this opportunity to learn more about managing a haunt as well as making my own props.
We are thinking about donating a percentage of our profits next year rather than going all out non-profit... It may not mean we are able to make back all our expenses, but I do think it will help with permits and the city.... Have you considered that already? We are just like you, we plan years in advance for each halloween... :)
This is one of those good points/bad points situations. I run a haunted trail outside of the city limits - no regulations really apply to me. However, our staff numbers are between 90-100 workers for each night we are open. That's the main reason our particular haunt could never succeed as a business - just can't pay everyone and still cover our overhead costs.

Our numbers from the first year were about 2000 (over 10 nights) and now are about 2500 (over 5 nights). (I''ve learned to only open on Saturdays in October - we/no one can compete with high school football in MS, lol). We have an arrangement with the local sheriff's dept. they provide my uniformed security and we make a donation to their Fallen Officer's Fund. We had a local drama club as well as a JC soccer team work at the Trail for donations to their groups. We also do a canned food drive that goes to a local food pantry.

After our overhead and obligations, we should have from $10-12k in the bank. There's several events and groups that we'll make donations to throughout the year in addition to adopting several families for Christmas.
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