Added income and revenue - get creative

Generate extra income in creative ways

As a performing arts organization, we know that balancing income and expenses can be a tricky thing.  Generating income also generally must fall into methods in line with your non-profit published mission in order to avoid any scrutiny from the IRS and the public.  But there may just be ways to add a chunk of extra income to your bottom line using methods that are easily within reach.

For those considering the Arts People system for their ticketing, fundraising, marketing, database/CRM needs, the low costs of our system can often be offset by these means!

We’re creative people… let’s get to it!

Here’s some ideas:

  1. In selling your season package, have you considered that adding just an extra 25 or 50 package sales might bring in an extra $5000-10000 annually.  Get your board involved, encourage your patrons to help you promote the packages, hold an annual season announcement event with a super special discount for attendees and get it done!
  2. Add options for season packages.  If you currently sell a traditional subscription package, consider adding flex passes for more patron options and see how it increases your package sales.  You could possibly add an additional $2500-5000 through this method.
  3. The print at home ticket design of the Arts People system allows you to customize the layout.  Consider selling space on the ticket for a local business to print a coupon, or a sponsorship logo.  This can be done creatively on a show by show basis, or for the entire season for more money, or both!  Charge for that space and bring in an extra $2500-5000 or more annually.
  4. If you’re not booking sponsors of each production, you should.  Exclusive single sponsor, or a few sponsors together for each show could bring in $15000 a year.
  5. What about a sponsorship specifically for your online buying experience.  Sell an online season sponsorship and place the sponsor logo with a link to their business info on your Arts People customize-able public pages for an annual amount of $3000-4000.  “Online transactions brought to you by….”  Businesses love this type of exposure.  You could do smaller levels of this also by having individual sponsors of the different transaction types… tickets, donations, membership, retail, passes, subscriptions, class enrollment, etc. Each path in the Arts People system has system messages where sponsor info credit could be displayed. Additionally, the confirmation emails can also be customized with text and images!
  6. Make sure you’re asking ticket buyers online to add a donation.  The checkout screen has a customize-able area for a donation pitch. Use it!  Encourage ticket buyers to add a small donation to their ticket purchase and bring in an extra $1000-2000 a year.

The above methods, if all successful, total between$29000 and $41000 yearly.  Think that would help the bottom line?  Get creative with your options and see the bottom line come up!  This, along with added sales due to the easy to use online purchase process of the Arts People system, and you’ll find it can actually make you money, and be completely paid for in the process.


How does your area provide art to all?

The arts are sometimes criticized for catering only to the elite of our society, with admission prices and other costs far above the means of many members of the community.  How can arts organizations help to bridge this gap and provide access to those of low income, while also maintaining the income they need to budget for high quality work?

One common method is to provide specific performances that are “pay what you will.”  This can work well, allowing patrons attending those performances to pay the amount they are comfortable with.

Arts for AllBut here in the Portland, OR area, our Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) has coordinated another approach.  The “Arts for All” program enables those on low income to access performing arts at most any performance of any participating organization in the area very affordably.

Oregon Trail Card

Patrons who have an “Oregon Trail” card can show it at the box office of a participating organization and receive a ticket to the performance for only $5.  The Oregon Trail Card, or EBT card, is Oregon State’s method for providing food and other discounts to those in need. Details on the card can be found at:

The RACC Arts For All program is detailed at

How does your organization or area provide for those in need when it comes to performing arts programs?  If you don’t currently have a program such as Arts For All, how might you help develop something similar?

When we introduce the arts to under-served groups within our communities, we build a love of the arts, we may allow new people to discover a formerly unknown passion, and everyone wins.

Press Release: James Dixon joins the Client Services Team

James Dixon, Portland Actor, Director, Radio host and Social Justice worker joins the Arts People Client Services Team

Dateline: Portland, OR – Sept 11, 2017

James DixonJames Dixon has joined the Arts People Client Services team, bringing a variety of experiences with him in performance, directing, radio and social justice work. James is a radio host for KBOO in Portland, hosting their Stage and Studio program, is a co-producing company member with Theatre Vertigo and a stage director. On the social justice side, he is an intersectional equity facilitator with a primary focus on LGBTQ, gender, race, and sex positive issues in various social and arts communities.

James says, “After leaving my full time position at Portland Center Stage a year ago I made a firm decision of what my purpose was in the arts community at large… I love challenging work that doesn’t necessarily attempt to change the world, but sparks conversations and gives people something to chew on when they leave the theater.”

When asked about his interest in applying for this position, he explained…

Download full release in pdf format


Arts People stands with Dreamers

Arts People stands with Dreamers

It is our work at Arts People to help our curious, creative, artistic clients to share the stories and voices of our diverse communities.  It is through their sharing that we all can grow, laugh, love, cry, appreciate and learn from our varied histories.  While we can never fully understand someone else’s experience or struggles, we can relate to them, empathize with them, and be thankful for their sharing.

As we struggle in this current time in our nation’s latest challenges, we believe that the programs such as DACA are vitally important to the heart of who we are, as they have always been.  These programs enable immigrants to follow in the footsteps of so many of the rest of us who are descendants of immigrants, and who wish to join us in our grand vision of the future.  That future is built in love, celebrating our diversity, learning from each other, making our nation, or society, our communities stronger and richer.  For this to happen, we must respect each other.  We must retain perspective built on the past with an eye to a more positive future.

Arts People welcomes everyone.


Website design must have items

White paper: The Six Things Every Performing Arts Website Must Get Right

Your website is your online storefront, your business card, your billboard, your elevator speech and your siren song all in one.  It often is the first exposure a person will have to your organization. It must represent you clearly, efficiently and express your artistic intent and passion in a way that allows the visitor to align with you, or to move on if what you do is not for them.  It is critical that patrons can find the information they need quickly and easily, and are able to buy, donate or reach out to you without any difficulty.

In this white paper we’ll go into detail of the six primary elements that your organization’s website MUST get right, as well as other options that you might want to include, but not have compete with the top six.

Request a download link for this white paper:

Note that you will have 10 minutes to download your requested document from the email received.


White paper written by 

Patrick Spike - Marketing Director of Arts PeoplePatrick Spike is the Marketing Director, system expert, and one of the original architects of the Arts People software system, with over 30 years in performing arts creation and administration. His work with clients has helped them to increase their revenue while streamlining their box office and back office operations.

Arts People, software for the performing arts, serves theatres, music and dance groups, choirs and opera, high school, college and university programs, performing arts center facilities and more.