By Youth Music CEO, Matt Griffiths
Back in 2013, the Postcode Culture Trust awarded £100,000 to Youth Music thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. I was in my first year as Youth Music CEO and we were going through a period of considerable change, reshaping our vision and mission. It was a challenging time and one of the many things on our minds was how to become more effective at fundraising to meet the growing demand for our support from the grassroots music organisations we invest in. Player support was therefore a massive boost for us and helped kickstart our fundraising journey.
How player funding has helped Youth Music grow
Our partnership has grown exponentially year on year. In 2018, we were selected as one of Postcode Lottery’s charity partners and we now receive a regular annual award of £2.5m. This coincides with a period of rapid growth and development at Youth Music, with player support enabling us to achieve our longstanding ambitions, including instigating new programmes for 18- to 25-year-olds to progress their careers in the music industries on and off stage with the Youth Music NextGen Fund, together with geographic expansion into Wales and Scotland.
The support has also enabled internal developments within Youth Music. This has included the formation of an Engagement Team, bringing together our youth engagement, fundraising and events management. The latter includes the Youth Music Awards, which happened for the first time in 2019 and grows every year, becoming a regular and dynamic fixture in the music industries calendar.
We have also been able to reshape our data analysis function. In 2021, we moved from research and evaluation to establishing an agile Insights Team, producing evidence, case studies, reports, and providing vital information on our national impact and emerging trends to inform our funding priorities and programmes.
More than funding
The award from Postcode Culture Trust has been a game changer for us at Youth Music. In the past 10 years, players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £12.2 million for Youth Music. And not only that, but we have received valuable expertise, advice, and peer to peer support from the fantastic PPL team. Being part of their national and international network of like-minded charity partners provides regular opportunities to share good practice, opportunities, and challenges.
One of the most refreshing aspects of working with People's Postcode Lottery is their policy to award unrestricted financial support. This is pretty unique amongst funders and demonstrates the high levels of trust People's Postcode Lottery places in its charity partners, recognising that we know what’s required so can ensure that investment is allocated where it’s needed most whilst staying on mission. This is great to see, even more so in these challenging times where the charity sector is under significant pressure to deliver more with less.
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “I’m delighted that Postcode Lottery players are helping to support young musicians and artists to access exciting opportunities. Youth Music helps to drive inclusivity and innovation in the music industry, something that is especially important while so many creative industries are facing financial challenges.”
So, a massive thank-you from me, the Youth Music team and board of trustees for the invaluable support of the players and team of People’s Postcode Lottery over the last ten years, typifying what an innovative and mutually beneficial partnership can look like. Here’s to the next ten!
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