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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » John Kaplan's Fundraising Magic System Question (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

magician304
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Hello!

I am considering getting John Kaplan's Fundraising Magic Program and have a few questions. Most of the posts about this system are 8+ years old and I was wondering if there is anyone who is currently using this system and if so, if it has been successful for you in recent markets. Also, it seems to be skewed towards illusionists…. I have a parlor/stand-up scale show that would be best suited to crowds of under 500 people…. would this system even be relevant for my show?

Thank you!

-J
M Sini
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J,

I have the system and while it is written with the Illusionist in mind, you could easily do the same thing with a parlor/stand-up show with almost no modifications. There are maybe 2% of the ideas in the system that would not apply to you.

While I have the most up to date version of the Fundraising Magic Program (bought it in early summer of 2014), I must confess I have yet to put it into play. I have reviewed all of the material numerous times and it's worth its weight in gold. So why haven't I used it yet? 1) John provides you with his templates and a file swipe but I felt the need to customize everything for my specific show and basically redo the entire 'kit' that is provided to the client. There is nothing wrong with what is provided but I want mine further customized. 2) I haven't had time to finish my 'kit' but should have it completed later this month.

Will it work? Yes, and I have already implemented some of the ideas in the program to other public shows I've done. You're not going to use or even like all of the ideas but there are so many provided, I'm certain you'll find plenty that suit you.

As others in the past have said, it's not a magic bullet and it's a LOT of work. However, once you have your system in place, the upkeep will take a lot less time.

If you're interested in working fundraisers, I couldn't think of a better place to start than John's course.
magician304
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Hello M SIni,

Thank you for all of your thoughts and your time, very helpful for sure! Yes, I had the feeling that anything that is part of the kit would have to be totally customized for me, I have very streamlined and simple branding that is very concise. I am also hoping that it talks about how to do performances for larger organizations (with more weight than something like a Blue & Gold….) is this the case?

Thank you!
M Sini
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Quote:
On Jan 5, 2015, magician304 wrote:
Hello M SIni,

Thank you for all of your thoughts and your time, very helpful for sure! Yes, I had the feeling that anything that is part of the kit would have to be totally customized for me, I have very streamlined and simple branding that is very concise. I am also hoping that it talks about how to do performances for larger organizations (with more weight than something like a Blue & Gold….) is this the case?

Thank you!


Yes, for the most part these are much larger organizations than a boy scout troop. John goes over the types of orgnizations to sell your services to and how to find them.
Mindpro
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John's program is more about the business behind and marketing a fundraising show. Little is offered as to perfomance materials. There is one concern that comes into play with John's program or other such programs like this and that is they are not about the show but rather the business behind the shows. This is a business course.

Success is created by the proper execution of the program, not the performance. And the execution of the program in many facets is handled by the sponsoring group or committee. This is often the downfall of such approaches. John has done a fantastic job of breaking everything down, telling everyone what to do, and even providing measures to keep everyone on track, but even so, many people fall short of expectations. This to me should be the primary concern of such programs.

It is frustrating when you have dome everything to create a great show, provide them with the detailed information to properly market, promote and produce the event, yet since most people are not aggressive "go-getters" I have seen many just want to do the least amount possible to get by. Others simply fail at their goals. In many ways this can make all of your efforts fall on several levels.

I love his program but I have less faith and belief in inexperienced, unknown people doing the work than John does. What John has on his side is time. Many of his clients have been doing this with him for years. It seems much harder to start it today.

Remember, you must have sponsored groups that have the money to pay for your show, the resources to implement it and the talent and dedicated individuals to execute it. To me, if any of these are not fully in place it can greatly fall short of expectations. Just a few more thoughts to consider.
Dick Oslund
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304>>>>>>>>>>

I urge you to re-read Mindpro's post several times! He has given you the real "facts of life".

Show Business should be spelled $how Bu$ine$$.

I have been in the Fund Raising Business. For almost 50 years, I toured the USA with a school assembly program. Schools (except California) open in September shut down in May. That left me plenty of time to book and promote (via phone sales) magic shows. I booked and promoted the Stan Kramien's "Magicazam" show, Ditto, Jerry Conklin's Illusion show. Ditto, my own much smaller show. (I "beefed up" my school assembly show with a few bigger props.)

I managed phone rooms in big cities and small towns, and I made money for myself, for the show, and for the sponsor. Sponsors asked me to come back. (They were pleased.)

As phone room manager, I got the same percentage of the gross sales as the show (magician) got. The sponsor got a fair share, too! (or they would not have rebooked.) We EARNED our share!

As MindPro has stated, "volunteers" often fall short of expectations! Now, read MindPro's post AGAIN!

Reading your OP, I suggest that you get a bit more experience performing for 500 before you seriously consider doing fund raisers.

You need to realize that "doing the show" is a tiny part of the business. For example, Kramien carried a sound system, scenery, and lighting, plus the props! The show travelled in a semi truck. Conklin carried sound, scenery, lights, and props, in a truck. I carried sound, scenery, lights, and props, in a full length van.

During the depression of the '30s, MacDonald Birch trouped his show in a semi. He did not use phone promotion. He relied on the sponsoring committee to sell the tix. He said that in an average week, they would "break even" five nights, lose money one night, and do "big business", one night. He and his crew worked hard. At the end of the depression, he wasn't rich, but he had money in the bank. During WWII he made money, but he had earned every penny!

Just keep in mind that "$how Bu$ine$$" is 1/3 show, and 2/3 BUSINESS!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Mindpro
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On Jan 11, 2015, Dick Oslund wrote:
304>>>>>>>>>>

Just keep in mind that "$how Bu$ine$$" is 1/3 show, and 2/3 BUSINESS!



Man I wish more people realized and understood this.

I think I'll embroider that on a doily!
Dick Oslund
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Mindpro!

Thanks! Yes! that's the point that few realize and understand!

In the Showmen's League clubroom in Chicago, there is an old fashioned "sampler" on the wall: "You cannot smarten up a chump!"

I was very fortunate "growing up". I found some excellent mentors! --And, I listened to them!
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Dannydoyle
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The second part of that hs become a dying art form.
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socalmagic
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I have been doing fundraising magic shows in the schools for 18 years (Dick's got me beat by a few years Smile ). I bought Kaplan's course when it came out, and bought the recent upgrade. I love the idea of making a flat-fee, but I don't see how I can get sponsors to agree to it. As it is, I can barely get sponsor's to agree to a small minimum. It will be much harder to get them to agree to a large fee.

Also, I do almost all of the work in promoting the show because you can't depend on the sponsor to do it. I tried John's full system this summer, and the sponsor barely broke even. With all that said, I have gotten a lot of great ideas out of the course that I have incorporated into my system.
KC Cameron
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I have Kaplan's course, and have finally got things together to implement my version of it. I've used it a few times and the reactions have been fabulous.

Quote:
Remember, you must have sponsored groups that have the money to pay for your show, the resources to implement it and the talent and dedicated individuals to execute it. To me, if any of these are not fully in place it can greatly fall short of expectations. Just a few more thoughts to consider.
YES! You need to motivate and supervise your clients, at least the first time. Be prepared to do much of it yourself.

For me, it is a great way to get your foot in the door. I do a kid's show, a family show and an adult show on a Saturday. For a small act (like mine) this seems to fit well. I also target small communities that other acts often overlook.

It is a lot of work to set up, and is not something most weekend warriors will want to do. If this is the direction you want to go, Kaplan's course seems to be the best vehicle, and it is easy to modify to your own needs.
MagicalPirate
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What is the current link to buy John Kaplan's Fundraising Magic program I can't seem to find it anymore.

Thanks

Martin Blakley
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Bill Hegbli
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MagicialPriate, always type the word "magic" behind what your are looking for in the Google box. I entered John Kaplan magic, and got this:

http://www.fundraisingmagic.com/
jakeg
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For a number of years I did fund raising shows through parent/teachers organizations. I did the same one man school assembly show that I always did, and relied on the school for my ticket sales. I never made 'big' money, like some of my friends who ran phone rooms and put on illusion shows, but I found them well worth doing, with far less headaches and far less financial risk.mmimthink that it could still be worked today.
Dick Oslund
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Jakeg! I'll PM you! If I forget, just remind me!
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HypnoDude
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It's $1000 now. Up from the $400 and change it was originally.
thomasR
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Quote:
On Sep 15, 2020, HypnoDude wrote:
It's $1000 now. Up from the $400 and change it was originally.


I see that Brad Ross owns it now. The information is good but it was outdated when I bought it 6 years ago.
HypnoDude
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Anybody know of a system that is current for 2020? Possibly provided online?
thomasR
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Well going the opposite direction you could buy Stan Kramiens material through Lybrary.

Are you wanting to do a stage magic / illusion show?
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