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Money We are expanding our haunt in the N.E. New York Suburbs and are in the process of locating an old warehouse etc to set up shop. We have some money but leases are high. What are some good ways to raise money for this haunt? There are very few HH in lower westchester. Any ideas? Thanks any help appreciated.
 

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I don't know how far you want to go but you could register as a 501(c) non profit. That doesn't mean you can't pay yourself, it's just a different set of rules for operating. It can get a little tricky and time consuming but would put you in a better position for soliciting donations from businesses, corporations, etc plus you wouldn't have to pay taxes. You could donate profits to charity (after you set your salary) and that would definitely help with the number of donations you'd get.

If you want to go more of a standard route the best way to raise money is through advertising. Sell banner space outside the haunt- $xxx for a 2x4' space, $xxx for 4x8', etc. Or have a business "sponsor" a room. Ways to get free promotion are having a radio station do a live broadcast from your haunt, trading banner space for ads on the radio or local cable channels, or even publicity stunts- you could do something slightly controversial to get media attention: a particularly gory scene or doing a press release about how the place really is haunted. Small town papers and media are always looking for stuff like that, especially around halloween. You could even get a local ghost hunting team out to investigate for free. Once you have the haunt set up and they stay for a night i can almost guarantee someone's going to find "something" in there. It seems like most towns have a group of locals who investigate ghosts, i found three in the Cleveland area on myspace.

Good luck, and have fun! Sounds like a neat project.
 

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I don't know if this would work for your situation but our very first year we didn't have enough money for lots of big sets and hundreds of walls so we decided to do a haunted woods. I found a 50 acre property that had been for sale for years. I offered the owner 10% from each ticket sale to use the land and the owner accepted. Our only expense for the actual property beyond the 10% of ticket sales was that we had to get liability insurance for the property owner and we had to rent some equipment to clear off a parking area and help make the trail in the woods. You would of course still have all the normal expenses of running a haunt but not having to come up with thousands of dollars up front to rent a property is a big plus. It was a win/win situation for us both. I got 3 months use of the property for no money up front and the owner made some quick cash for doing absolutely nothing and got some free maintenence on the land. The only headache was that we had to completely remove all traces of the haunt after the season ended but you would have to do that anyway if you got involved in a short term lease somewhere.
Our business arraingment with the owner worked out so well that we were able to do the show for 3 seasons on the property before it finally sold. I don't know if you could work out this same deal with a warehouse type property but it wouldn't hurt to investigate.
 
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