Funded: £15,050

Campaign: Help Keep Our Choir of Refugees & Friends Singing!

Citizens of the World Choir provides a safe, supportive and celebratory space for refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and friends to make brilliant, beautiful, loud music that raises up the diverse voices, cultures & experiences that find sanctuary and a home in their choir. Before Covid, half their income came from live gigs – they needed to call on all their supporters to help them find a new direction, and to help raise £10,000 to get through the winter. I supported them with planning and strategic guidance to run their campaign on the Aviva Community Fund platform, powered by Crowdfunder.

Unable to meet in person due to 2020’s restrictions, the team came up with a new plan: to devise, compose, and record three original songs. With a unique collection of rewards available, including donations from Basement Jaxx’s Felix Buxton, jazz legend Ian Shaw, and Bafta-winning actress Emily Watson OBE, the choir not only hit their target, but also attracted £5k in matchfunding from the Mayor of London’s Back to Business fund.

Your campaign strategy and guidance made me feel so secure, your documents were so user-oriented and clear, the pace (while hectic) was clearly laid out and enabled me to run a team to whom both I and the workload was new: you made it feel for all of us like the mountain was a manageable one to climb. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. As a non-synchronised & part-time team, we needed to find a way to be consistent and make an impact with the campaign, without overloading anyone and while also not wasting the fundraising opportunity. Your documents and guidance were invaluable, the templates really helped visualise what was in the main a lot of anxious overthinking on my part, and your overview of the structure of each week of the campaign was just – well, amazing.

Matilda James

Since funding:

At the time of writing, the choir are continuing to stay connected digitally. In fact, they’ve received national press coverage recognising their work providing a lifeline for those who might otherwise have little social interaction, and have also received additional funding from The National Lottery. The planned EP should be released later in 2021.

The most useful thing we learned was how to drive those algorithms! We got everyone sharing and liking and retweeting at the same time – our first announcement on Twitter got over 250,000 reach and earned us nearly 3,000 new visits to our profile. We learned not to be shy about our influencers’ support (including getting a boost from some high profile names with significant followings) and with that first burst of attention we became no 2 in our cohort and in the top line of the Aviva page all month, which I think helped us get noticed for the Lord Mayor’s extra Back to Business funding of 5K. It has been a real confidence-builder to smash our target AND gain extra funding. We are really happy with the result, and we can see how key preparation and timing is, as well as how many people we all know when we come together!

Tess Berry-Hart