A night at the movies

A night at the movies

Events, functions and fundraising activities

A movie night is a flexible fundraiser that can be tailored to meet your club’s needs.
Very simply, the event involves bringing together your club’s attendees to watch a movie together and utilise the gathering to raise funds for your club. A club can aim to make money from entry to see the movie, food and catering or upon raffle tickets sold on the night.

These can be held at professional cinemas or if a member at your club owns a projector, this could also be an option.

Why Movie Night?
A movie night is a relatively low stress fundraiser that can be easily used in conjunction with other fundraising ideas such as raffles, auctions and pie/pizza nights.
The key activity (watching the movie) is taken care of and hopefully, if a great movie is chosen, is entertaining!
It is important to be aware that this fundraiser does call on your club community to donate and doesn’t give an great opportunity for fundraising dollars to be made from external sources. This can be lessened by allowing your members to bring friends to the night.

When should I hold this fundraiser?
A movie night can be held at any time of the year as it is an indoor activity. You may like to link it to a milestone game/match as a celebration or could consider holding it mid way through your club’s year to break up the season.
It could also be put in the calendar as one of the major, yearly social events at the club.

Key Activities
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:

Before the Day

  • Decide a date for the Movie Night fundraiser.
  • Promote the fundraiser.
  • Organise the venue and ticketing arrangements.
  • Organise volunteers to help.
  • Organise any food and beverages that will be for sale.
  • Organise any raffles or auctions that might run at the same time.
  • Sell tickets.

On the Day

  • Ensure the cinema or room and projector are ready to go.
  • Brief Volunteers of their roles.
  • Enjoy the movie!
  • Monitor the event.
  • Take lots of photos.

After the day

  • Publicly thank everyone involved
  • Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.

Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a Movie Night you could approach them to help:

  • Promote and sell the tickets
  • Source a projector
  • Book a cinema
  • Help logistically on the day

You could also approach current club Sponsors for prizes.

Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.

Using technology to making it easier

You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars. For an event like this, you may like to sell tickets using a platform like TryBooking.

TryBooking lets you sell tickets, take payments and donations for events online.

This takes care of a great deal of the work that is usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process.

You can set up and customise your own event page and a unique URL in minutes. This lets you easily share the event online and engage members and supporters. Your club may also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.

Financial Considerations
The potential profit of this event will be dictated by the location and format. The most profitable format is if the event is run onsite by the club itself but that format does present challenges around copyright laws. There are also equipment hire costs to take into account, although most clubs have members who have access to projectors and big screens.

When run from an official cinema, there will be less revenue raising opportunities as the cinema provides most of the services, but on the plus side there is much less of a load on volunteers and no regulation red tape.

So, financially, club movie nights are a low risk event with a minimal outlay and moderate revenue raising potential. Of course if clubs are interested in changing the scope and market, an outdoor cinema during summer is also a great idea.

It is also important to create a budget for the event and identify how much cash you will need before the day. For a Movie Night there could be deposits required for the cinema or projector.


  • Club movie nights are best promoted in-house using:
  • Club website
  • Newsletter
  • Noticeboard
  • Signs around the club (especially the canteen)
  • Blackboards
  • Club Facebook and Twitter.
  • Revenue Opportunities

It is a great idea to encourage your club community to bring their friends for a fun night out! The more people that attend the greater the opportunity to raise even more fundraising dollars for your club.

Communication considerations
As a Movie Night event may also double as a social event at your club, you can use social media to build excitement. Use social media to sell tickets and countdown to the day.
You can also live stream parts of the event on the day so that those in your community that can’t attend can still be part of the event.

Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
It is important to consider whether your club will allow the sale of alcohol at club events. Events can be alcohol free or limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.

What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Financial Risks
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and cinema or projector costs more than is made.
Participant Safety
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.

Licenses and Permits
Clubs need to check with their state or territory regulatory body to make sure they have all the required permissions to run a Movie Night.

One of the main advantages of holding a movie fundraiser at a theatre is that you won’t have to worry about licenses and permits. If you plan to hold a movie night at your club, and serve food and alcohol, you will need to make sure you have all the required permits and do not breach copyright and distribution laws in regards to screening the movie.

When held at a theatre, they will cover these factors in their normal course of business.
To ensure you abide by the copyright laws check www.copyright.org.au.

Additional Factors to consider
Movie Selection
A new release movie with broad appeal is what you’re after. If children are attending the event then careful selection of the movie is required. In fact, defining the market and picking the right flick is one of the most important steps to ensure you get a large amount of people wanting to attend.

Location of the Event
If run at the clubrooms or a local venue, the event will require a handful of volunteers and staff to ticket the event, sell raffle tickets, run the evening and help with catering options. There will also be copyright regulations to take into account as screening movies for a public gathering is against the law unless permission is granted from the copyright owner or their selected representative (usually the distributor of the movie).
Nowadays, many cinemas cater for fundraising events offering special packages and support. So it may be easier to approach a local cinema to host the event rather than doing it in your clubrooms. This will also lessen the amount of work required from your volunteers.

Additional Revenue Opportunities

Additional revenue opportunities if held onsite at your club could include; sale of movie tickets, raffles, canteen revenue and bar revenue.
If you hold your movie night at a theatre then revenue opportunities are more limited. Setting your own ticket prices to raise funds is one method and you could also hold a raffle just before the main feature.

This links to other pages that have fundraising ideas that can run simultaneously, should the club like to.

Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.

This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.