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Discussion Starter #1
I've always done a free haunt although I've had TOTs suggest that I charge a fee.

A friend of mine volunteers for a feral cat rescue. Since cats are such an icon on Halloween AND so many were 'persecuted' during the Middle Ages AND they saved the world from the bubonic plague by killing off so many rats, I've decided to ask for voluntary donations this year.

We'll have tarot readings and my dog's 'Paw Readings' ;) this year so I thought I'd set up some donation bowls and the mis-Fortune Teller and the Paw Reader could have a friendly competition to see who can raise the most for the cat rescue.

Totally voluntary and all donations gratefully accepted.

What do you think of this? Have you ever raised money for a cause at your haunting? Or charged a fee?
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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two points of advice:

1.) collect your donations in something that people can't just reach into to grab a fist of cash and run. Halloween costumes provide a lot of anonymity that gives people the nerve to do things they wouldn't otherwise. Also, make sure the container for the donations can be attached to something so they can't just carry it off.

2.) asking for a donation may invalidate your home owner's insurance in the event of someone getting injured visiting your haunt.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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two points of advice:

1.) collect your donations in something that people can't just reach into to grab a fist of cash and run. Halloween costumes provide a lot of anonymity that gives people the nerve to do things they wouldn't otherwise. Also, make sure the container for the donations can be attached to something so they can't just carry it off.

2.) asking for a donation may invalidate your home owner's insurance in the event of someone getting injured visiting your haunt.
Yep...it can create some insurance problems...talk to your agent.

My personal thing is that Halloween is MY hobby and I'm the one that should pay for it, not the folks I want to come and see it.
 

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When I looked into this a very pro-haunter told me to locate the donation box at the finale of your show, otherwise you could possibly be seen as not really a charity or a true donation.. somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the advice - I'll rethink this...

I had a niggling sense of discomfort around this anyway. Partly b/c I don't like collecting money for something like this. If I was running a professional haunt, that would be different. Even though it's completely voluntary. The legal/insurance implications are another reason.
 
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