Charity Events Needing Free Entertainers

The Problem With Charity Events Needing Free or Cheap Entertainers

I am writing this post in the hope that it may be helpful to you if you are organising a charity event with little or no budget. The post contains a message feed of a recent conversation I had with a charity event organiser.

I’ve changed the persons real name and event details for privacy reasons, so these are hypothetical but the conversation is real and it should hopefully give you some pointer and warnings.

Swan balloon model.

Helpful Charity Message & Response


Hello, I am organising a charity children’s event on Sunday 29th July in Stonehouse, GL10. We had a balloon artist booked for the event but unfortunately they have let us down badly. So we are frantically searching for a replacement and I came across your page online. I wondered if this is something you would be prepared to help us with? The idea of the event, apart from making lots of money for the charity is to promote lots of local businesses and groups who do things for children. So it will also give you an opportunity to advertise your services. Most of the stallholders are paying for their pitch (see my other article – do we pay for a pitch?) but the arrangement we had with our initial balloon artist was that she would have a prominent pitch for free but would charge for her balloon models and give us 20% of what she takes on the day for the charity. So I’m hoping to arrange something on the same kind of terms. Could you let me know if you are able to help please? We are desperate!! (We’d also be really interested in bubbles and the animal encounter that you do if you are free?) Many thanks, Julie.



Please see the link above for our price lists. Unfortunately we don’t attend events on a pitch basis. We can however take money per balloon etc so you have a chance to recoup your costs. But we do need paying to attend. I have a few balloon artists that cover the Stonhouse, Gloucestershire area so just let me know if you do have a budget for this, perhaps a sponsor. I understand if not and wish you all the best in finding someone.


Thanks for coming back to me. Unfortunately we don’t have a budget at all. We’re not a business you see, just a couple of parents in the village organising the event and everything is either being donated for free or people are paying to attend to promote their business/organisation. Everything we make on the day is going to the charity. It’s our first one too, so we’re hoping that if it is a success we can run it again next year but with a sponsor.

Thanks for coming back to me though. Lots don’t even bother!


We get booked for lots of charity events and we can take money per item on the day or a donation box works well too. Keep hold of my price list and get in touch next year. Wishing you all the success and good on you I know how much planning and effort goes into even the smallest of events or parties.

The problem is when booking entertainers unpaid is the risk they will get offered a paid job and let you down which is probably what happened to you. Have you put a post on your local for sale sites on Facebook? This often works well as people who are just starting out will like this opportunity to get experience and get their name out their. Experienced entertainers don’t need the experience and if you find them online (google) they are all ready established so aren’t the right people to ask to do unpaid work. Which is why many don’t respond. Hope this has helped you. And best wishes.


Thank you, yes it has. I’ll put some posts online today and see if I can get hold of someone that way. I suspect you are right about the paid job. I’d just be happier if she had been honest about it! Thanks for your time. I have added you to my list of people to contact next year if we are able to get a sponsor. Best wishes, Julie.


Yes any face book groups like for sale sites, children’s entertainments on a budget, spotted sites or local community sites. You could put a poster of your event too so will advertise it as well as asking for helpers.


Thank you. You’ve been really helpful.


No problem. All the best



When asking entertainers to do unpaid work or pay for a pitch at a charity event you need to be asking newbie’s people who need the experience and the best way to find start ups is by Face Book groups and word of mouth, going on google you will finding already established entertainers. However this isn’t to say that no one will do your event some entertainers will choose 1-2 charity events per year that they will work unpaid and may have a waiting list you can go on.

Lots of established entertainers don’t reply as you can imagine we get charity request on a daily basis. But this is some advice here for the entertainers who don’t reply. Charity events sometimes can find the budget and get a sponsor if they really want you so its always worth being polite, helpful and who knows what other events they may get involved in organising in the future.

I hope you have found this post helpful and it has given you a little insight of the problems and considerations you need to make when finding cheap or unpaid entertainers.