IMAGE: two hands on purple background putting money into a box. Text: "Raising Funds @ Fringe"


FEB 2024

How do I pay for my Fringe show?


In addition to Hollywood Fringe’s Scholarship (closed) +  Artist Fund Programs (Apply by 2/19),  you can find individual artist grants and apply, even without a nonprofit status!

Here are some key words that are often used (that you can use to find your own grants via the internet)

  • Individual Artist Grant
  • Theatre Artist Grant
  • Fringe Grant
  • Los Angeles artist grant

Here are some starting points:


Ready to write the grant? Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started.

Definitions of common grant language:

Abstract (also known as executive summary): A short, concise method of stating what the project is and why it is important to be produced

Documentation: Anything you have to represent a finished product, from video + photos to a printed program + ticketing page

Narrative: your story! 

Statement of Need: Describes a problem and explains why you require a grant to address the issue. This is where you explain why YOUR project is more needed than any others at the moment

Cost Sharing or Matching Funds: Money from other funding sources that you (the applicant) have already secured. This can often be ticket sales or out of pocket money. 

Objectives: Your goals! What are the expected outcomes a funder can expect to happen because of this project

Project Period: The dates (usually established in the application) that the project will take place

Earned Income: What you have sold/earned, including ticket sales, merch sales, ad sales, workshop fees, etc

Contributed Income: Donations, grants and (sometimes) corporate sponsorships. Any donation where the donor does not get a direct benefit in return.

Commissions: When someone pays you to do your art directly (both Fringe Scholarships + Fringe Artist Funds are commissions, for instance).

Fringe tips + tricks for grant writing

Do your research. Don’t apply for a grant just because it’s available! Research the grant thoroughly: what has been funded before under this grant? What are the requirements for this year’s cycle? How will my proposal fit into the box that they are building under the grant?

Know your project in + out before applying for funding: If your project is confusing to you, it will not translate to paper. Using a grant application to define your pitch is fine, but make sure you are 100% sure of what you are doing, and 100% sure that you can execute the grant goals

Start your writing in a document, NOT the grant portal.

Get feedback from your friends, family and fellow artists. Make sure at least 3 people read your grant in various stages before you submit. It helps to have people who are not familiar with your project take a look when you’re at the last stages before submitting to ensure your narrative is clear.


Other grant writing resources:


Crowdfunding is a great option for artists who have a built-in audience already, and are great at marketing! Compared to applying for grants, crowdfunding can be less intimidating and more straightforward.

Unlike applying for grants, you don’t need to convince a committee full of arts professionals who don’t know you, and who are comparing your work to many other applicants’ work. Instead, you need to make a case that your work deserves financial support to people you already know (and then hopefully the people that they know, if they share the campaign).

What platforms should I use?

That 100% depends on your preferences!

Here are some articles that lay out the different benefits for you:

OK, I picked a platform, now what?

Refine Your Pitch: Before you hit “go” on that platorm, you’ll need to refine your project pitch. You need to be able to write a couple of paragraphs that will explain to people what you want to accomplish, how much money you need, and why they should support you. 

Set a budget and fundraising goal. Finish that Fringe budget and set a realistic fundraising goal (based on your project’s outreach capacity). Think realistically about how many people you think can give to you at each level. 

Here is a sample of how you can reach a $500 fundraising goal

10 people at $10 each = $100

10 people at $25 each = $250

3 people at $50 each =   $150

Total from 23 people = $500

It may help for you to write a list of people you are going to ask to contribute and write how much you realistically think they would give. After you do that, cut your expectation in half! That is the easiest way to create a realistic fundraiser starting goal. If the fundraiser goes incredibly well, you can always release a second goal (i.e. start with the goal of getting your venue covered, but then stretch the goal into paying for documentation should you reach that first goal post).

Remember, nobody else is going to help you fundraise unless you ask them to. Organize in advance a fundraising team where each team member agrees to raise part of your goal.

Create a marketing plan for the campaign: Where are you going to post about this? Who are you going to email? How many times? What is your goal of clicks/donations per item on your to do list?

Create your crowdfunding web page: You are ready to ask for donations! Make sure your page has a clear, concise, and exciting overview of your project. Be very clear about what money you’re asking for and where that money will go. Transparency is so key for folks to feel excited to give their $$.

Use past video or photos to bring people into the room of your work. If you don’t have prior documentation of your work, maybe a video of your cast reading parts of the script, or a song preview from your musical.

Make sure it’s easy and clear where the supporter should donate their money.

Offer incentives: You will encourage more gifts by offering incentives and rewards to supporters at different levels (i.e. a donation of $25 will get the supporter a free digital download of the cast album). Make sure these incentives are not too difficult for you to achieve. We recommend they do not include free tickets as it is hard for you to recoup other expenses if you are comping too much of your house.

Keep Asking Until You Reach the Goal: Remember, it takes 7 views for someone to make a purchase. Create interesting, exciting content throughout the campaign, and make the campaign short + punchy.

Remember, not everyone has the capacity to donate to your campaign, even if they want to. It can feel very personal, but sometimes even your closest friends will not be able to support you. Don’t take it personally, and keep reminding yourself how many people DO support you.