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Author Topic: Fundraiser losses....  (Read 3528 times)

Steve Litscher

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 04:48:39 pm »

Oh how I wish I lived in the areas of the country where live music is valued, and production and talent are compensated accordingly.

I can't tell you how many times we had local organizations contact us for production, and then sort of expected that we do it for free or for what amounted to beer money (in one instance, a brewery actually wanted to pay us with beer because they were hosting a fund-raiser and didn't want to pay any out-of-pocket expenses).

As soon as I would say "no" to those types of shows, another local ankle-biter would jump at it and take the show. We have far too many "buddy with a PA" type of guys here in southern WI who will happily provide full truss, moving lights, PA, monitors, etc. for peanuts. They take the low paying/freebies, post like crazy on social media, and end-up getting most of the events (granted, for very little $$). But since they didn't have any serious costs, it didn't matter to them. Made it very difficult to get a foot in the door and provide some "real" production services.

I'm so glad I'm out of that side of the business.

Sorry for the diversion... I feel your pain. No matter how low in price you go, they'll always ask for more of a discount!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 04:52:25 pm by Steve Litscher »
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Mike Monte

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 05:56:37 pm »

We are booked to run sound and lights for an outdoor fundraiser next month. We have done this event a few times and we are charging a fraction ( a very SMALL fraction) of what we would normally charge to help the non-profit organization. This has been on the books since last year. No contracts.....
I just got a call from the event organizer asking us to drop our fee even more and pointed out we are the only ones getting paid.  I politely pointed out that this is a 14 hour day for us ( plus travel) and is brutal as we do this with just the 2 of us - different bands and acts and break music etc. If all I had to do was turn up, set up my backline and play through a provided PA for a couple of hours, then I would play for free for a good cause too but it isn't like that for us. ( No disrespects to musicians - I am one too most weekends)
Our donation is already huge considering what we are asking just to cover costs. 
I have asked him to let us know right away if he chooses to use someone else so we can attempt to fill that date.

If we do end up doing the show, is there a way to show this loss as a tax right off and if so do I need to get something in writing to be able to do that?

One more thing - he mentioned that the musicians in the bands don't and can't know that we are being paid.

For "non-profits" I tell them that I will provide my services for free HOWEVER the event pays for the rental of my gear.
...just give them the  list of gear (down to the xlr Y cable) that you need and tell them to have a sound company drop it off at ***PM, you will set it up, tech the gig, and have it packed up for the sound company to pick up at ****PM.

Once the non-profit sees what the cost of another out of town company charges to deliver gear, they'll smarten up.....and you will keep the gig....for your price...

I wonder if the Police detail is doing it for free......  Short answer: no
 
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 06:25:41 pm »

Well I got his response. I laid out in my email just what he is getting for his money, how much we would normally charge and the differences between our services and playing on stage. He said he didn't realize what 'went on behind the scenes' until I explained it to him and is happy to keep to the original agreement.
Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions.

Regarding tax laws, I didn't realize we can't even write off our tax prep costs anymore till I paid my CPA this year (for 2018).
Sadly my prep bill in 2018 (for 2017) was the biggest I'd ever had due to some complications caused by a house sale in 2017 - so I lost some on that little change..
Also, we lost 'home business' use which we had used for many years ... so I got hit twice on just those 2 changes.
Maybe I made it up elsewhere but of course I never noticed those changes.. ;)
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Mark Scrivener

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 06:31:58 pm »

Debbie,

Talk to your accountant, but I'm pretty sure if you file a return for your business you can write off the tax prep costs under business expenses. Itemized personal deductions are pretty much toast, but businesses still itemize everything.

Jeff Lelko

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 06:35:45 pm »

I feel your pain Debbie, but Iím glad to hear it all worked out in your favor!  As someone who works many benefit-style jobs, I canít agree more that discounting my price would put me out of business given the volume of these types of jobs that I play.  I feel that Iím a good value for what I provide and that my pricing is fair, though I donít do any of the car salesman tactics when pricing my service. 

Like all of us, I too have lost a fair amount of business to people willing to work for free.  Sometimes the client realizes that you get what you pay for (and comes back the following year), other times they donít.  While frustrating, itís part of the business unfortunately!   
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2019, 07:05:25 pm »

Debbie,

Talk to your accountant, but I'm pretty sure if you file a return for your business you can write off the tax prep costs under business expenses. Itemized personal deductions are pretty much toast, but businesses still itemize everything.

Maybe I should - I didn't see it included on my copies and then read online about the changes.
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Tom Roche

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 07:52:48 pm »

We all do what we can to support the community, but there are limits. Who else is bringing $20K+ worth of gear, hauling it out there, setting it up, operating it all day for the benefit of others, then packing it up and hauling it home (to then move into storage)? Show them your full, non discounted price, and compare that to the deal you are offering. I doubt anyone else is making that big a donation.

Also, musicians are getting the "joy" of performing and some "exposure" to their fan base. Yeah, as a musician myself I know this don't pay the bills, but performing music for free is an entirely different experience than being the sound guy for free. Bottom line, I don't do sound for free, period.

After years of providing/running sound and performing music for free for non-profits or for good-cause fundraisers, I finally woke up.  No more.  Not for free.  That's because it's never free; there's always a cost.  Even for causes I wholeheartedly support, I must get some compensation; otherwise, I'll pass.

And the work involved to perform music may not be that different from providing and running sound when the band brings everthing.  Been there, done that.
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brian maddox

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 07:59:36 pm »

I figured out the hard way a long time ago that there were only two paths when it comes to "fundraiser" that really work out for everyone in the end.  Either i get paid full price, or i do it for free.  Anything in the middle just leads to sore feelings, usually on both sides, as both sides think they are the doing the other a favor and neither agree to just how MUCH of a favor they are giving/receiving.

This is not meant as a slight to anyone that does otherwise of course.  Just my personal policy.
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Debbie Dunkley

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 08:09:59 pm »

I figured out the hard way a long time ago that there were only two paths when it comes to "fundraiser" that really work out for everyone in the end.  Either i get paid full price, or i do it for free.  Anything in the middle just leads to sore feelings, usually on both sides, as both sides think they are the doing the other a favor and neither agree to just how MUCH of a favor they are giving/receiving.

This is not meant as a slight to anyone that does otherwise of course.  Just my personal policy.

That actually makes sense Brian. Until he realized that I was charging him substantially lower than my usual fee, he probably thought he was paying full price and that I was being unfair. Now he knows HE was being unfair in asking me to reduce even further.....
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Fundraiser losses....
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2019, 08:41:31 pm »

That actually makes sense Brian. Until he realized that I was charging him substantially lower than my usual fee, he probably thought he was paying full price and that I was being unfair. Now he knows HE was being unfair in asking me to reduce even further.....

That's also the advantage of charging full pop and donating back, or  invoicing the normal amount and adding a discount line.
They need to know that the low price is NOT the real price, or they will expect that every time.
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Re: Fundraiser losses....
¬ę Reply #19 on: September 09, 2019, 08:41:31 pm ¬Ľ


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