Blackburn & Darwen Band: Crowdfunding Success | Brass Bands England

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Blackburn & Darwen Band: Crowdfunding Success


Support from Crowdfunder UK allowed Blackburn & Darwen Band raise a staggering £20k in just a 3 week period last Christmas. Their initial aim was £7k which would allow them to purchase a much needed tuba, but due to the success of the campaign they were able to purchase so much more. 

Sue Speakman managed their campaign. Here she shares with us what made their campaign so successful and the impact it's had. 

Impact from Project

All brass bands, like many arts organisations, saw their main source of income disappear in an instant when they ceased being able to perform in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

So in December 2020, we took on a new approach offering socially distant carols outside people's homes.  It was a roaring success and brought Christmas joy to the local community and gave us some much needed revenue.

Amazing Support

With amazing support from our supporters this meant that the band survived and were delighted  to have a full team of players.

When we saw that BBE were supporting Brass Bands again through the Crowdfunding campaign we set about fundraising for much needed instruments with The Big Tuba Appeal.

The online sessions delivered by BBE and the Crowdfunding Team were invaluable and we can’t thank them enough for their support as well as chatting to the other band representatives who had some great ideas. One of the sessions was talking about Match Funding and with just a couple of days to go, we applied to the National Emergencies Trust Local Action Fund and we were over the moon to be successful.

Match Funding contributed the same amount as any donation up to £250, so if someone paid £100 for carols on their street, the National Emergencies Trust Fund also donated £100, effectively doubling all of our income. We can't describe how much of an impact that had on our project.

Our aim was to try and raise money to buy an Eb Bass but the campaign went crazy and we smashed the initial £7000 target by raising an incredible  £21,700. The band managed to purchase not only 1 Eb tuba but 2, as well as a new baritone and a cornet. This means our Junior Band also had access to better instruments. 


Achievements from Project

We are particularly pleased that our own B&D Junior Band is  back and thriving with new members also joining our organisation.

Fundraising Techniques

What worked well for the band was playing carols on the street. Bookings started to fly in and we even had Gareth Malone spreading the word for us when we took part in a TV programme. 

Having a celebrity ambassador gained so much attraction to our campaign, so we would definitely recommend using any networks you have to local/ netional celebrities. Reaching out to local radio/ news programmes also helped gain us coverage for our project and highlighted the plight of all brass bands around the country to a wider audience. 

It was a fantastic team effort by the band spreading the word and three members also started their own fundraising campaigns which helped enormously. Individuals can link their own campaigns to the band's Crowdfunder, e.g. if someone wants to do the 3 Peaks Challenge to riase funds, they can set up a personal page which then sends all the donations through to the band's main campaign. 

The band hope to continue with the successful fundraising campaign at Christmas.  Not only did it mean that the players could perform together again, but it brought a lot of joy to members of the local community.

See Blackburn & Darwen's 2021 campaign here.

See Crowdfunder's #BrassBandsAtChristmas home page here, where you can start your Crowdfunding journey. 

To see all of this year's information webinars and access our Crowdfunder toolkit's and resources, click here