These types of shows are intriguing to me, I've done hundreds and hundreds of fundraiser shows. Mostly, I've just been hired for them but I have been producer of quite a few over the years.
Here's the idea, you provide the show and the promotional material, the beneficiary provides the venue, sells tickets, you split the door. An easy fundraising opportunity and a win win really.
The fundraisers I've run, (for my kid's schools) have required a faire amount of pushing to sell tickets. The easiest way to do this is to get someone at the school that is willing to go up to people and say "how many tickets can I put you down for?"
Here are the things that seem to work really well.
Do the show on a Friday evening. I've tried other nights, for some reason people are picking up their kids and they are still in the school mode.
If the school is close, ask for an all school assembly one or two days before the event. I go in do 5 to 7 minutes on stage. It got the kids really excited. The children went home saying there was a clown at school, can we go please?
Invest a few dollars in a nice poster. I buy 12x18 posters at Costco for $2.99 each. They look incredible. Get 10, it's worth a few bucks.
Provide images for the school to use. Let them plaster the school with their design starring you. Let them use their ink.
Mention in the school weekly letter the kids take home.
Always be nice but take control. The more promotion the school does, the more they will make, the more you will make.
The school will think people can't afford anything, they will try to price the show at $3. The people that will show up, don't care if the show is $15 or $2, they are there for their children. The people that complain about the price of the show don't show up even it's free. I promise you this is the case.
A school of 300 will yield attendance of 175. You will likely get around this number if you pick the right night. This number includes adults, so you are probably getting around 100 kids.
Hopefully the school will sell t-shirts and snacks and make a lot of money from this.
My friend Jay does a fundraiser for his show at a large prestigious theatre locally. Each year he raises around $7000 to $9000. He gives all of this to his children's school but if he kept half the school still would have been quite happy with a check for $3500 just for having fun at a magic show.
I'm a fan of projects where everyone comes out a winner.