Business Charity Awards: Charity Partnership, Media & Entertainment – Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and partners

For an outstanding partnership between a company in the media and entertainment sectors and a UK charity

What is the partnership? 

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy uses music to enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illnesses, disabilities and feelings of isolation. In 2020, it partnered a diverse group of companies to bring its annual carol service fundraiser online for the first time in its 24-year history.

What did the partnership do? 

The 2020 carol service aimed to raise vital funds after a devastating year. The charity also wanted to demonstrate the power of music to bring joy and connect people, and to reach new global audiences. 

The format needed to evolve from a one-hour service to a two-hour entertainment programme, including moments of music therapy to increase awareness of Nordoff Robbins’ work.

The diverse group of partners helped the charity to promote, develop and deliver the event through donations of funds and services. London Stock Exchange, for example, secured pro-bono support from its design agency, while YouTube supported the event with a substantial donation and added the carol service to its livestream playlist section, with more than 114 million subscribers.

Why did it win?

Despite the usually ticketed event becoming free to access online, the carol service raised £303,160.89 – over 50 per cent more than targeted, as people were encouraged to donate throughout the night by music legend and host Nile Rodgers. 

Nordoff Robbins received more than 3,000 sign-ups to its mailing list, a record level of traffic to its website, and record levels of engagement on social media.

What did the judges say? 

Judges praised the way the partnership used the pandemic as an opportunity to reach new audiences. “A really good example of event fundraising and awareness at an international level,” said one.


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