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Money Talk
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Quote DonCle Replybullet Topic: Paying for Production Items
    Posted: 11/22/11 at 2:16pm

I am the artistic director for a new nonprofit performing arts center for young people. 
We are having an issue with the process of paying for materials to construct costumes, sets and props.  Our treasurer only will allow us to have the volunteers purchase the materials, save the receipts and then get reimbursed.  However, I have some people who cannot afford to pay for things to begin with, even though they will get reimbursed in a timely manner.  I don't want to keep wonderful and creative people from being involved because they can't afford to pay.
What I'm doing is fronting the money and then I will get reimbursed.  I am not in a financial situation where I can to that a lot.
I am interested in know what method other theatres have in paying for things such as this. 
Thank you.
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Quote Majicwrench Replybullet Posted: 11/23/11 at 11:32am
 Generally we pay out of pocket and get reimbursed for small stuff. We also have a debit card we can use for bigger stuff.
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Quote dboris Replybullet Posted: 11/23/11 at 12:26pm

In my group paying out of pocket and being re-imbursed is the most common situation. When necessary our treasurer will also provide a check made out to the vendor, but to do this you need to know the exact costs ahead of time, then provide the reciept afterwards. We also have credit cards for certain stores. For example some of the people who normally do set construction have a Home Depot commercial credit card.

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Quote Darren Replybullet Posted: 11/23/11 at 1:15pm
Here are a few ideas. If they're buying at a bigger store like Home Depot or Lowe's, they could go in and have the items held and then someone authorized could go in to pay for them. That slows the process down though.

You could also have volunteers price items online and then put in for a petty cash request. They'd have to return with receipts, and I'd only do this with regular volunteers I trust.

If you're buying from a smaller local store, ask if they'll give you credit up to certain amount.
Darren Farrington
Theater Management and Production Consultant
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