FireLink's Fundraisers for Firefighters
FireLink | Kendra Weikman, Associate Editor
Mystery Dinner Theater
A murder mystery dinner theater fundraiser is a fun and unique way to raise money for your cause.
First, you need a location and that choice is critical to your success.
Your location must combine good food with exclusive use of the facility because your theater performance takes place in acts divided by dinner courses. You don’t want other restaurant patrons coming and going during the critical scenes, so it’s best to book a reserved dining room at an inn or a large restaurant.
Make sure the room seats a large enough crowd to actually produce a good profit. Negotiate a flat group rate that includes dinner and dessert. Check and see if there are deals that include wine with dinner or if there’s a corkage fee if they bring their own bottle.
A basic rule of thumb is to set the ticket prices at double the cost. For example, if the group dining rate including meal is $25, then price your tickets at $50. Don’t forget to include other costs such as script or performance charges.
Some departments will have their own members perform the mystery script. Others prefer to work with a local theater group so that the performances are more professional and attendees are less likely to know the performers.
You can find mystery dinner theater scripts online for a reasonable price. It’s also possible that the local theater group may already have a working script in-house that they have already performed.
You can add extra value through a fundraising auction or silent auction of donated items. If the restaurant allows, you can also offer a wine tasting or whiskey tasting to raise even more funds.