In 2017, concert startup Sofar Sounds partnered with Amnesty International for "Give a Home," a one-day benefit concert series with performances around the world by 1,000 artists including The National and Ed Sheeran. Held in volunteers' living rooms and other intimate settings, the performances not only raised $180,000 for Amnesty International's work supporting refugees' rights, but left many attendees eager to become more involved in activism.
“[Amnesty International organizers] were able to get in a room with thousands of new supporters,” says Tom Lovett, a founding member of Sofar Sounds, where he served as head of partnerships and business development. "Like every nonprofit, their events program is pretty much the annual fundraising gala, which prices out 99% of people. But that 99% still cares deeply about those issues, and they are looking for ways to be more involved."
Four years later, Lovett has left Sofar and is scaling the Give a Home model through his new company, WithOthers, a benefit concert matchmaker that connects non-profit organizations and activists with musicians, crews and hosts. The platform is celebrating its Los Angeles launch with a slate of local concerts from Sept. 24 through Oct. 29, featuring performances from emerging acts like Lee Rodriguez, Ella Rosa and Fiona Grey and benefitting The Trevor Project, ACLU, Amnesty International, Oxfam, RAINN, The Loveland Foundation and Rise Together. The series includes the annual Hollywood Climate Summit’s only live, in-person event on Sept. 25.