Brighton Unitarian Church


Driving awareness and fundraising for heritage restoration project

Brief

Built by local architect Amon Henry Wilds and modelled on the ancient Temple of Theseus in Athens, Brighton Unitarian Church is an iconic and much-loved building located in the heart of town. Countless city-dwellers and visitors know it as a liberal and open-minded church, as well as a venue for yoga and dancing classes, concerts, gigs and art exhibitions.
After surveys revealed that rainwater was seeping behind the stucco frontage, threatening its Grade II listed Doric columns and portico with collapse, the church was placed on the English Heritage “at risk” list.

The church kicked into action with a programme of fundraising events and successfully secured Heritage Lottery Funding. But with a total bill of £500,000 there was still much to be done in finding the rest of the money.
Brighton Unitarian Church came to us for help in telling the story of the fundraising campaign, to raise awareness of the importance of the preservation of the building and its central role in Brighton community life.

Challenge:


Our challenge was to tell the story of the need for fundraising, whilst acknowledging the Heritage Lottery Funding and the work done so far.

Strategy

Our strategy focused on telling the story of the damage, whilst increasing Brighton Unitarian Church’s profile on social media, to show how much of a contribution it makes to community cultural life.
We provided social media consultancy to help the church to maximise their existing Facebook page with new content, calls to action and events pages. We helped to write copy and a strategy for outreach to the church’s friends, members and users of the space to ask them to follow, like and spread the word.

We used our knowledge of how to package a story for the media and our contacts with journalists to release the story to local, regional, heritage and cultural press.

When further, damage was uncovered that added an additional £71,000 to the repair bill, we had to move the story on to instil a sense of urgency. This time we ramped up with broadcast coverage, securing coverage on a popular local radio show, as well as deploying a word of mouth and social media campaign, targeting local community groups and pages.

“Approaching Tuesday Media was possibly the best thing Brighton Unitarian could have done. Faced with a building that was in desperate need of restoration and costs that seemed to be spiralling far beyond our reach, we knew we needed urgent help.  Tuesday Media were able to provide this and, as a result, we now feel confident that the repairs will be completed, the doors will remain open and future generations of worshippers, concert goers and artists will be able to enjoy our wonderful, Grade II Listed building. We have much to thank Sophie and Tuesday Media for.”

Brighton Unitarian Church

Marion Bance, Venue Manager

Results

Our campaign to drive urgency around fundraising efforts achieved local coverage in The Argus, Brighton and Hove Independent, on charity news website Giving Times and even a broadcast interview on Radio Reverb. This resulted in £2k donations in less than one week to their new JustGiving page.

 

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