Budgeting For Your Production

A realistic approach to your event with a sound budget is essential in offsetting financial problems and for including in funding applications. Some tips to remember:

If you are applying for funding, you are aiming for a ‘break even’ figure. So your final surplus/loss should be $0 or close to it (don’t sweat it if your budget shows a profit of $5 for example). Overestimate how much money you’ll need, underestimate your income.  This is about making a safe budget, not about “fiddling the books"

For box office, budget 30-35% of your maximum capacity as income. See how to work the percentage below, most Fringe productions work on a co-op meaning that for wages, each member receives a share of the final profit. Fill in this section of the budget accordingly. Some roles are filled by people for a fee rather than a share (e.g. publicist or designer). This is okay too. The most important thing is that those involved in your event know exactly how they will be remunerated for their time - whether that’s financially or otherwise.  

There are lots of avenues for funding. Kākano funding is just one option. Crowd-sourced funding is popular and there are great options through PledgeMe and Boosted that could work for you. Don’t forget contra or private sponsorship - “if you don’t ask, you don’t receive” is the mantra here. 

Use your budget and application details to put together a sponsorship document for companies.  Think about what you can offer them in return for monetary or product sponsorship - tickets to the show, an exclusive experience for staff, advertising in your programme or on your poster, or something even more ‘Fringey’. Think about businesses that fit with your show or have something you need and approach them. Keep it reasonable too - borrowing a shop demo TV might be possible, while donating $10,000 probably isn’t. Remember to be nice and don’t get upset if they say no. It’s a tough climate to be giving in, but it is always worth asking.

Here's a handy Budget Template  you can use to get started on budgeting. Please note, this is the budget template we provide for our Kākano and Living Wage funding and is based on the CNZ budget template. Feel free to make changes as you see fit.

Box Office Income

To work out what a 30% return on your box office will be (the suggested amount for budgeting), you need to work out your ticket prices, your average ticket price, your house capacity, and your house capacity multiplied by your average ticket prices multiplied by the number of performances. Here is an example:


Ticket prices (less inside fee) = $18 ($15.50) waged, $14 ($11.50) concession, $12 ($9.60) Addict Membership

Average ticket price = ($15.50 + $11.50 + $9.60) ÷ 3 = $12.20

Capacity = 84 seats (per performance)

30% of capacity = 84 seats x 0.3 = 25.2 seats

30% of capacity x average ticket = 25.2 seats x $12.20 = $307

Show income x number of performances = $307 x 5 performances = $1,535.00

TOTAL INCOME = $1,535.00

Need help with your budget? Get in touch with the NZ Fringe team, we're here to help! Email participants@fringe.co.nz