Virtual fundraising: We Shall Overcome’s live streamed poetry event

Stuck for fundraising ideas during the Coronavirus lockdown and want to support a Nottingham charity? In our new blog post series, we’ve taken inspiration from our very own supporters and have got a few new ideas to help you get creative and support Emmanuel House.

Virtual fundraising: We Shall Overcome’s live streamed poetry event for Nottingham charity Emmanuel House

Our friends at We Shall Overcome and ‘Poetry Aloud presents‘ have donated £125 to Nottingham charity Emmanuel House following their live and virtual ‘We Shall Overcome – Wordsmiths Summer Outing’ event.

For the Facebook Live, they broadcasted eight poets across the Midlands and North East, including Clare Stewart, Lytisha Tunbridge, Graham Rhodes, Trevor Wright, Vron McIntyre, Maria Byrne, Lee Pollard and Annette Watts.

Poetry Aloud presents hosted it for We Shall Overcome with the technical help of Guy Jones of Hot House Theatre and Pete Yen, who was the hardworker in the background, conducting social media sharing with the national WSO groups.

Top tips for hosting a virtual fundraising event

Lytisha Tunbridge, founder of Poetry Aloud Presents, has given us her top tips for hosting your first virtual event:

  • The virtual world of Facebook and Zoom means you don’t have to limit yourself to one geographical area, so you’re not restricted to just local performers. For this event, we invited performers from all over the Midlands and the North.
  • We hosted our performers on Zoom and broadcasted it live on Facebook. They were in their own ‘zoom bubble’ and were relayed directly to Facebook.
  • Because we have a lot more time on our hands, the lockdown might mean you have access to more people than you might have done previously. It’s always worth asking your dream guests.
  • Think about applause! We’re so used to spontaneous clapping at our events and it feels bizarre to not have that at the end of a performance. We’re considering canned clapping for our next event.
  • Be clear – tell your audience exactly what they need to do in order to watch the event. If you don’t engage your audience straightaway, you might lose them.
  • Ask your performers and audience to have watch parties online to spread the reach of the event to a wider audience.
  • Use all the platforms you have to promote your event to reach a bigger audience. We pushed this event to the We Shall Overcome group, as well as ‘Poetry in Nottingham’ and ‘Poetry in Derby’ on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Keep encouraging your audience to put money in the virtual pot. Without a physical change bucket in front of them, your viewers might forget to make that all-important donation.

Keep your eyes peeled on the We Shall Overcome Nottingham Facebook page for the next event.

Don’t forget to let us know about your own fundraising efforts as we’d love to hear about them. Tag us on social media on FacebookInstagram or Twitter or send us an email at