Thank you for being part of our amazing Funny Women community. As a non-profit community interest company (CIC) with the lofty goal of disrupting the male dominated comedy industry, I couldn’t have done this without your support over the last 20 years.
We have worked really hard to put on our Funny Women Awards every year since 2003 – showcasing incredible talent from marginalised genders that is so often side-lined. I’m incredibly proud of the Awards and the role they have come to play in the industry.
When we started out in 2003 we had almost 70 entrants for one Stage Award. This year we received and processed almost 2,000 registrations and nominations for our five Awards and, in particular, double the number of entries for the Comedy Writing Award which now matches the Stage Award in terms of status. Whilst this is validation of why I set out to create the Awards in the first place, it also presents some very real challenges.
Now, here comes part the tough part. Funny Women has never made much money. We self-sustain and get stuff done, but there’s rarely any cash in reserve. In fact, we often find ourselves trying to shift a deficit. We rely almost entirely on ad hoc freelancers and volunteers. The Awards are made possible by generous support from our valued sponsors, some institutional funding and income that we generate from corporate work.
Since the pandemic, sponsorship has, understandably, become much harder to come by and our corporate clients have cut back. Both Covid and Brexit have hit businesses hard and the aftershocks are still being felt by many of us. Combined with rocketing supply chain costs and the cost of living, it continues to be a very tough time for everyone.
What can you do to help?
We didn’t secure the anticipated sponsorship for this year’s Awards which put the whole competition at risk. We still went ahead but, as with lockdown year, we took pretty much everything we could online to minimise costs, which was at least balanced out by the upside that this maximised accessibility and our competition was truly global.
Yes, we all missed the excitement of producing a series of live in-person events leading up to the Awards Gala Final but we still managed to showcase some of the finest performers, writers and creators at the Bloomsbury Theatre on Thursday 28th September.
It’s been a ‘no frills’ solution for a very painful and expensive problem but I’m proud that we delviered another amazing cohort of talent. That said, without long term funding, we’re facing up to the fact that the Awards might not happen again after this year.
That’s a very tough thing for me to say.
But, there is a solution…
Funny Women is on Patreon – a place where members of our community can sign up to pay a small amount of money each month to help keep us going, in exchange for exclusive content and access.
If you’ve enjoyed or taken part in any Funny Women events over the last 20 years, please consider signing up to help save our Awards.
To prove that we don’t expect something for nothing, here’s some nice things to tempt you!
- A free seven-day trial so you can see if Patreon suits you.
- Monthly Open House online networking with other Patrons, performers, writers, creators, producers and advisors.
- A free Stand Up to Stand Out comedy workshop with me if you take out an annual subscription in full at the Amusing level or above.
- Take part for half-price in our next one-day antidote to New Year blues on Saturday 3rd February – Stand Up to Stand Out Winter Warm Up.
- a free ticket to next year’s Funny Women Awards gala final for Patrons signing up to our £5 per month ‘Amusing’ tier. If you sign up to our £10 ‘Humorous’ or £25 ‘Ludicrous’ tiers, you can attend as a Funny Women VIP guest.
I would like to sugar coat this and say ‘it will all be fine’, but it won’t be without your help and support. Funny Women is my life’s work and I’m so proud of how we’ve changed the face of comedy, and continue to change, because of what we do and how it has inspired others.
Please find some time to sign up to Patreon and help us build a sustainable Funny Women community for the future.