Charity and fundraising barn dances

Charity and fundraising barn dances can run and make a profit.

Additionally, we are often able to work with Charities to reduce the cost of the band and to offer valuable advice on running your dance at a profit.

Link to Moonraker Challenge funraiser event on Facebook (you can view it even if you are not on Facebook). There were about 80 people there and, as you can see in this image, the hall is well laid out so that there is room to dance and eat.

Link to MacMillan Charity event

Timings, Food, Children, etc.

All the same information about timings, food and children are relevant so please have a look at those on our barn dance page.

Please note that we do not do PTA or childrens dances. In our years of experience, people buy tickets to help the school fund, turn up with absolutely no intention of dancing, wait at the bar for the raffle and then go home having left the children unaccompanied all evening to run amok. Sounds harsh but we have done far too many.

If your charity is for children in any way, run the dance for adults. They will enjoy it more, it will be more successful and hopefully profitable and you stand a chance of doing another one

If I was running a charity barn dance…..

…..this is what I would do


Book us on a Friday night and it will cost less. I also do Scallywag-lite for registered charities. Please contact me for more information. I will need your Charity registration number at some time before I can confirm the booking.


This is the other large cost after the band. Find a way to get this cost right down.


Keep this as low as possible. £10 a head is a lot for 2 adults and 2 children when barndancing is not something they normally do. They won’t come.

Sell tickets in advance wherever possible. Get firm commitment.

Don’t spend money on fancy tickets. Make a list of people that have paid you and take money on the door. You can always issue payees with a simple raffle ticket from a book. This will act as a receipt and also you then have the option of announcing a prize ‘only redeemable on the night’

I have done a small costings chart at the bottom of this article. If you can book Scallywag-lite, get 100 people there at £5 a head you will make c.£200 profit. Better, then, to do a raffle to extend your proceeds.

Food & Drink

American supper (bring & share) – this will cost you nothing and is the accepted way of doing things in the States and in most of Britain’s rural communities. You don’t have to feed people at a barn dance. See our Food page for more information.

  • Everyone brings enough finger food to feed themselves
  • They take their plates and cutlery home with them. No washing up!
  • You provide paper plates/bowls, and disposable cutlery and black bin bags and go around after the break and quickly collect up all of the rubbish
  • If you run a pay bar do it ‘Sale-or-return’ if you can or invite people to bring their own to keep the cost down

N.B. It might seem a bit excessive to ask £10 and then get them to bring their own food and drink. I would always steer towards ‘£5 and bring your own vittles then do a raffle or coin rolling.’


Use social media. Its free. We will always create a Facebook event and you can then share it with all of your target audience.
If you do a poster, save it as a PDF and circulate it to friends, shops, pubs, etc. electronically.

Charity barn dance costings

 (fri only)
(small band)
(full band)
Band/Caller all
£480.00 does not
include mileage
Hall £150.00£150.00£150.00or less if you
can wangle it
FoodAmerican Supper (above) American Supper (above) American Supper (above) Don’t pay for
Extra paper
plates, etc.
£20.00 £20.00 £20.00 approx.
£320.00 £495.00 £650.00

The breakdowns below show you how many attendees you need and what the cost would be per head to ‘breakeven’.

It then shows the profit if you get 50 more people to come.

Scally-lite (fri only)
Friday (full band) Saturday (full band)

50 (cost per head to
Scally-lite (fri only)Friday (full band)Saturday (full band)N.B
50 (cost per head to breakeven)£6.00£9.50£10.00rounded up to nearest 50p
Profit on 100 attending£310.00£485.00£500.00
Profit on 150 attending£610.00£960.00£1000.00Don’t pay for food!

The Bottom Line:

The bottom line is that you need to know you can get 50 people to come and they will pay the entrance fee you set.