Viewpoint: Why charity needs to change its relationship with musicians and music fans

Viewpoint: Why charity needs to change its relationship with musicians and music fans

Since it launched in 1993, War Child has been harnessing the power of live music to change lives for children forced to live with the brutality of war.

War Child is a charity that protects, educates and stands up for the rights of children caught up in conflict. We’re a bold charity and we aim to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out, and stay to support them through their recovery – helping to keep them safe, give them an education, and equip them with skills for the future.

Today, 24 years on, we still rely on the generosity of musicians, managers and many others in the music industry, plus the passion of music fans wanting to experience fantastic live music, to be able to continue our life-changing work.

Throughout this journey, we’ve been lucky to develop incredible and productive relationships across the music industry, allowing us to do more and raise vital funds for the children we work with.

War Child BRITs Week Together With O2 is a prime example of this – we’ve raised a record amount, more than £560,000, and couldn’t have done it without the support of the artists who gave their time, fans who bought tickets and all our partners; O2, BPI, AEG Live, Evening Standard and Radio X.

While our series of gigs showcasing the biggest names in music in intimate venues is bigger and better than ever, the charity sector faces the lowest levels of trust in years and declining interest across the sector.

The way charities need to engage and inspire audiences is changing; War Child is at the forefront of the new charity engagement model.

From our first full LP release, The Help Album, in 1995 to hosting sell out shows with the likes of Coldplay, Biffy Clyro, Florence + The Machine, Tinie Tempah, Rag’N’Bone Man and The 1975, we have enlisted the support of a loyal consumer base, queuing up to back our efforts and experience incredible music in return.

Coupled with the need to make the third sector more transparent and ensure the trust of donors, we are combining the natural emotional connection of music with a new interactive movement and fundraising method.

We are keen to continue bringing fans closer to experiences they love, in ways that inspire them, and we’re delighted to announce the launch of the new reward-based giving movement We Own The Future.

The new platform invites music and entertainment lovers to make a monthly donation in return for access to exclusive rewards spanning music, film, gaming and sport.

Each month, a prize draw offers the chance to win VIP gig/festival tickets, plus priority booking to War Child events and experiential prizes.

This unique opportunity to develop reward-based incentivised giving is a chance for a previously untapped demographic to get involved and support War Child, all while enjoying something they love.

This new initiative hopes to inspire the next generation of charitable donors to adopt a culture of strong, bold and unified action, through a clear supporter journey; uniting in the movement to experience War Child events and rewards and make a change.

We hope to change the relationship the We Own The Future audience has with donation, replacing it with a positive and compelling feeling to join our movement and leaving behind the traditional emotional advertisements that focus on guilt.

This shift towards movement marketing has worked extremely well with the likes of the Ice Bucket Challenge. We Own The Future aims to draw on users who should feel empowered by the brand to feel more optimistic about playing a part in the conversation of their tomorrow.

If we can harness our audiences with interest in music, film and sport in one place, it could make a huge difference for War Child and the children who rely on us for support.

As we develop new partnerships in areas such as gaming, and grow activity with supporters in the music industry, we continue to strive for a world where children’s lives are no longer torn apart by war.

Giving audiences a new way to access and enjoy the journey is key to securing the future for the work of War Child.

Story By: Liana Mellotte
Head of Music & Entertainment, War Child

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