Charity Event Ticketing - The questions you should be asking

Don't let ticketing fees steal from your revenue

Don't let ticketing fees steal from your revenue

Most charitable organisations know how effective ticketed events can be when it comes to fundraising and building support for their cause. What's not so well known is the sometimes hidden or confusing  costs associated with the ticketing platform they choose.

In the table below, we've calculated the costs associated with four ticketing platforms for an event selling 100 tickets at $100 each:

Compare Charity Ticketing Costs

Pricing model (inc. booking & transaction fees)
Total fees Charity gets
Benojo 30c + 1.4%* $170 $9,830
A 99c + 4% $499/$349** $9,501/$9,651**
B 99c + 5% $599 $9,401
C Customer pays 30c per ticket
Seller pays 50c + 2.1%
$257 $9,743

* These numbers reflect our credit card processor's fees - Benojo charges 0c and 0% to charities and ticket revenue goes direct to the charity's bank account at time of sale.

** If 30% of fees is donated back to charity.

Every solution will have its own pros and cons so you'll need to look beyond comparing fees to find the best one for your needs. However, it pays to shop around and ask the right questions:

Questions to ask your ticket PROVIDER

  1. "What fees are my supporters paying, on top of their donation to us?"
    Whether the ticketing provider allows you to absorb the fees in your donation (eating into your income), or whether you opt to make your supporter pay the fees (adding to their costs) someone has to pay. The purchaser may not object to a small additional fee, but percentages can add up and erode their goodwill.
  2. "How does the charity rebate work?"
    It's encouraging to see some ticketing providers "donate their profits" to a charity. However, if the rebate comes from the booking fee they've just charged you, then you may be better off just paying lower fees in the first place!
  3. "Do we have to wait to get paid?"
    Most ticketing services hold all the income from ticket sales until after the event. This impacts your cash flow - especially for big events with a long lead time. If the platform passes the income straight to you on the sale of each ticket, large events and those with high ticket prices won't keep you waiting for your much needed revenue.
  4. "How do your 'free' inclusions really work?"
    'Free setup', 'free promotion', 'free support' - there are some compelling extras on offer. However, it pays to consider whether these extras are of value, should be included by default and whether you're paying for them via the fees you're being charged.
  5. "What setup fees do we pay?"
    Look beyond the per-ticket or percentage booking and processing fees. Sometimes paying a setup fee up-front makes sense if it results in lower costs overall, but it can get expensive if you run many small events.
  6. "Do your reports fit with the results of my other fundraising activities?"
    All ticketing systems have accurate reporting, but if they're separate to your online donation, payroll giving and peer to peer platforms it creates extra work to manually consolidate all your fundraising activities.

Do your research

Of course businesses have to charge fees to cover their operating and development costs - from experience, we know that building an event ticketing platform is complicated and costly. However, as a cost-conscious organisation it's wise to research costs and benefits before you commit to a ticketing provider.

Your organisation, beneficiaries and supporters will thank you for it!