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War Child UK launches music-led fundraising platform

Melanie May | 4 November 2021 | News

People dance in crowded dimly lit room

War Child UK’s new Right to Dance fundraising platform aims to help it engage with the underground music scene, and raise funds for its work.

The platform launched online on 26 October and will collaborate with the global dance music community to reward members with exclusive access to events, new music and mixes, one-off merchandise collaborations and partner offers, for a £3 monthly donation.

Developed during the pandemic with cultural marketing agency Heard, The Right To Dance was a response to the challenges of donor fatigue and an ageing donor base, while also aiming to future-proof War Child’s own fundraising model in the music industry.


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

War Child has worked closely with the music industry since the release of its HELP album in 1995, but with the majority of its focus on events and popular music. Seeing an opportunity to build a new fundraising model with a different part of the industry, War Child Music Partnerships & Events Manager Jamie Johnson said:

“Underground music may not match the scale of audience for fundraising in popular music, but as a community united across genres by the same values of creative autonomy, social progress and giving back, they represent a powerful fundraising force with an amazing track record of working in the charity sector. The question wasn’t whether we should be working with them, but rather what we could create that ensured we were working with them in the right way.”

The membership model has been chosen to create a long-term value exchange between charity and donor, allowing people to continually support a good cause through their passion for music, and for War Child to develop a new base of young and engaged donors.

Alongside 20% off TRTD merch – including t-shirts, tote bags and slip mats – TRTD will be producing its own fundraising events – the first of which will be a Yemen Emergency Fundraiser on 5 December in partnership with We Out Here Festival and Foundation FM. Line-up and tickets go live today, 4 November, with TRTD members gaining exclusive access to pre-sale and ticket discounts.

On sign-up members will receive discounts from brand partners, including grocery delivery company Gorillas, Audio-Technica, Juno Records and East London Liquor, with more added regularly. Following launch, members will also gain access to limited discounted tickets from a network of promoter partners around the UK, including Club Blanco, Ghost Town, Soul Stew, and Worm Disco Club.

The Right to Dance will also be producing regular content to celebrate underground scenes and figureheads, past and present. To mark the launch, South African DJ and Producer, DJ Lag will drop an exclusive mix to launch their monthly TRTD Mix series, where members get access to the download and track list. This will be accompanied by two newly commissioned ‘Scene Spotlights’ – Tim Lawrence on David Mancuso and The Loft, and Queer Uganda Club Culture by Kakyo Trinah – as part of an ongoing series highlighting dance music movements past and present.

Jake Manders, Managing Partner of Heard commented:

“The dance floor has long represented a sanctuary and safe haven for many marginalised groups of people, providing community, refuge and space to be true to oneself without fear of recrimination or judgment. It’s these communities that are responsible for the growth and ubiquity of dance music today, and the dance floor continues to be a place where people feel a sense of freedom, joy and belonging. These are shared values that are at the heart of War Child’s work in creating safe spaces for children impacted by conflict, providing space to play, sing and dance with their peers in an environment that helps protect them from the horrors of war.


“During the pandemic, we all lost our collective right to dance, and yet due to global conflicts, this is something that 1 in 6 children around the world already face on a daily basis. The Right To Dance aims to highlight how important that right is to us on an individual level, whilst acting as a reminder that there are many, many people globally who have had that right taken away from them. We hope The Right To Dance acts as a galvanising call to action for the UK’s dance music community, to rally behind these principles and support War Child’s vital work.”