OUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN IS UP AND RUNNING – AND 'ONE COMMUNITY' WILL DOUBLE YOUR DONATIONS
Two months ago, we told you that we’d be launching a fundraising campaign to start building the new era for Write Out Loud. Since then, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes to put the campaign together. As well as internal meetings, we sent out a user questionnaire so that you could help us to shape our plans. And after a bit of fine-tuning, the campaign is live. Our target is £10,000. And after a successful application to their Match It! scheme, One Community have agreed to match-fund every donation up to that total. So, if we manage to achieve our £10k target, we’ll have £20k available at the end of the campaign! It’s an immense amount of money which will provide a massive boost as we tiptoe towards a post-Covid world.
One thing that’s important for us to reiterate at this stage is that Write Out Loud will never disappear behind a paywall. The whole ethos of Write Out Loud is to support the grassroots poetry community. And as part of that, it must be accessible to everybody. We want to champion, enable, encourage, nourish, connect, and inspire poets from every corner of life and at every level of experience.
We’ve floated the potential idea of paid subscriptions. Based on your feedback, the most popular option would be a £10 per year option. However, if this were to come into play, this would be an optional subscription which would provide access to bonus content and discount on events. It’d be an opportunity for people to support Write Out Loud financially: if they can afford to and if they want to. And at no point would it seek to create a divide between ‘subscribers’ and ‘non-subscribers’.
We already receive regular donations through our PayPal website, so all that we’d be doing would be taking this and giving something back in return, whilst making more users aware of the opportunity.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time for everybody involved in Write Out Loud. To use a well-trodden cliché, with great change comes great opportunity. The fact that users can now list digital poetry events in our Gig Guide is a huge step for us. We’ve also started featuring poetry excerpts on our Instagram feed, which is a rolling open call for submissions.
Some of the ideas that came from the user questionnaire have been extremely valuable for us and we’ll be putting them into place in the new year. I don’t want to reveal too many details at this stage because plans aren’t finalised yet. But what’s clear is, our users are incredibly passionate about Write Out Loud: what it is, what it could be, and the role that it plays in their lives.
Finally, while Write Out Loud operates as both a national and international poetry hub, we will have a particular focus on residents of Kirklees in West Yorkshire in 2021. Any pilot projects or physical activities are likely to start in Kirklees before travelling elsewhere. Our long-term base in Marsden means the world to us and we’re keen to support the local poetry community as well as reaching further afield.
So, if you can afford to donate, you can do so here. As I said, any donations will be doubled up to a total of £10,000. We’re hugely grateful to One Community for pledging to support this campaign and we’re confident that our vision for the post-Covid poetry community will attract enough donations to make our plans a reality. A huge thank you as well to everybody that contributed to the user survey.