At a time where audiences are not able to go to the theatre, the ‘National Theatre at Home’ project brings world-class theatre to audiences in their own homes.
Every Thursday at 7pm, the National Theatre broadcast a free-to-watch play from their archives on their YouTube channel, where it then remains accessible for one week.
Since April, theatre-lovers across the world have been able to enjoy works from the Theatre’s archives, including ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, as well as bonus content such as Q&As with cast members and post-stream discussions.
Like so many in the sector, COVID-19 has caused the Theatre to very quickly adapt and deliver their artistry to their audiences and diversify their fundraising streams. Broadcasting an event each week has been a fantastic way to provide for supporters – even opening up theatre to the wider public (a new audience) through their compelling streaming programme.
Fundraising via an event broadcast online
Whilst the plays are free to view, the National Theatre at Home has incorporated a fundraising CTA for those who are able to support their work at this time. They can give through YouTube’s card payment facility, on the National Theatre website itself, or via text.
The text call-to-action appears on-screen at the beginning and end of the broadcasted videos – as well as in the video’s description – asking supporters to text either “NTATHOME 10” or “NTATHOME 20” to give £10 or £20.
By including the CTA in the video itself, this gives those who are tuning in a simple and instant way to show support without having to navigate off the page, or even leave their sofa.
In fact, once the National Theatre added the text-to-donate messaging into the video itself, on some broadcast days, text donations increased by nearly 300%.
“This is a different type of fundraising to what we usually do. We were amazed by the generosity of those watching our work online, with so many choosing to donate via Text” – NT
National Theatre has also used their text CTA within social media posts supporting the events, making it clear that all donations made are extremely important to supporting the survival of theatre at this time.
For this reason, National Theatre has also partnered with other theatres, allowing them to share the “At Home” platform and promote similar text-to-give details on screen.
The National Theatre at Home campaign is one which is innovative, accessible, and inclusive for all who want to access theatre, and we wish them the best in their continued fundraising.