How to raise sufficient funds in order to pay the actors as well as the crew

Unfortunately these days many actors, especially the ones starting out in their careers, work for free. This would of course all be fine, given that it should be done for the love of the job, if it weren't for each person's need for financial stability. Don't take for granted the free work that actors will do for you, it isn't fair, acting is a job and asking for 'volunteers' devalues the work that equity does.

There are various ways that you can raise funds to pay your actors. On small budget productions it's always tempting to use any extra money you might find for other things. That's why a good place to start is to put certain fund raising means aside to go directly towards paying your actors, even if it's a very small set fee. Maybe have a fund raiser for this, write to charities and trusts, previews asking for donations, launch nights, fundraiser nights etc.

Another option is crowd funding, where you set up a viral campaign, with a video or written pitch which asks the general public, crowd funding investors and anyone that will listen to donate to your cause. If you raise the amount you need to then you keep it, no strings attached. This is also an incentive to push to raise the money as if you do not raise enough you will not keep it.

Another common way to pay your actors is profit share, but this isn't always a reliable source of income.

If you can't afford to pay you actors remember this; treat them well, offer them what you can (even if it's just a copy of a film for your show reel or a really good party with gifts after the show) and remember them for their efforts and commitment, so that when you can afford to pay actors you will reward them by offering them the work first.