Free tickets for events are always a big hit for charities or fund raisers, however they are becoming more difficult to get. Especially as the live taping of most shows take place in front of a live audience who do not pay for tickets in the first place.
Getting TV Show Tickets For Your Fundraiser or Charity Event
On a TV show production, giving away audience tickets to a charity or fundraiser is difficult for many practical reasons. TV show productions in New York City are run on such low budgets that they don't even print tickets anymore, so there aren't even any physical tickets to offer. TV shows also do not like to hear that someone actually paid to get into a taping (even if its a raffle), when it is a standard policy for TV show tapings to be free of charge.
In lieu of issuing tickets, the system that many TV Show audience coordinators now use is to write someone's name down on a list and then check their ID at the door to match. So when it comes to a raffle, unless the person who requested the tickets has the same name as the winner, trouble will ensue.
TV shows also aren't very good at giving people concrete dates for when they can actually come to a taping because most of them do not affirm their booking until just a couple of weeks in advance. Furthermore, the TV shows in New York City have discovered that any tickets they give to charities have only a 20% chance of actually being used, which is much worse than a random giveaway chance, which is at 50%.
Since it is vital that the TV studio be filled up for each show -- so that the audience at home can see and hear an enthusiastic crowd -- that means the TV show producers are even less inclined to hand out charity tickets, that most likely won't be used and created all this extra work for them, after all - they are looking to do less administration not more. The pain-in-the butt IRS tax form 8283 is the nail in the coffin. Not only do you ask for free tickets, now the audience coordinator has to fill out a tax-form for you? Most audience coordinators now agree, please stop asking for tickets, you are not helping them in any way, in fact you are a hindrance to their own success in their role. They are trying to get out of this bottom-rung TV job as fast as they can and move to being a production assistant and you are not helping.
Problems Auctioning TV Show Tickets At Your Fundraiser Event
Many TV Shows do not take too kindly to fundraiser's auctioning off their tickets that they normally give away for free. Often fundraiser event organizers do not tell the TV shows what they are doing with the ticket and if pressed will say that they are giving them away in a free lottery.
Although there seems to be nothing wrong in auctioning these tickets at the charity event, the TV production companies often have a bee-in-their-bonnet over this. Providing the tickets via a "tricky tray" may be more acceptable, but still it causes concern to the TV companies that their tickets are being sold and they just do not want that to happen. The reality is that there is no law about the sale of TV show tickets and TV production companies are just being babies about it. With all the PR problems the TV industry has, this is probably the least significant.
Donation Tax Form 8283
Charities now ask all ticket donors to fill out the tax form Form 8283 (Rev. December 2014) from the Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service which covers "Non-cash Charitable Contributions" Donors that were on the fence about giving free tickets are less likely to give them away when they know they have to fill out tax forms that get sent to the IRS. No good deed goes unpunished by the IRS.