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Case Study

UCC Church Building & Loan Fund

Constructing community through narratives of hope


How do you move a financial institution from the transactional to the transformational?


Discover the organization's true identity – then spread the word. Inspire leaders by sharing powerful stories of change. Lead through story.

UCC Church Building & Loan Fund

Client Since


Located In

Cleveland, OH


Scope of Services

Invest in Your Story

In 2013, Park Hill UCC was forced to address its aging infrastructure. In a time of incredible uncertainty, Church Building & Loan Fund was there to help the church reimagine its future.

But CB&LF’s role went far beyond fundraising. The fund helped the church be faithful to its mission, ultimately making the church more accessible to the community and increasing attendance by 20 percent. CB&LF’s work went beyond dollars and cents to a place of true transformation.

We uncovered stories like this and many more by taking a deep dive into the fund’s identity. We examined every facet of its personality -- where it came from and where it’s headed.

From there we reframed CB&LF’s vision and mission statements, pointing leaders to the reality of their good work and positioning the fund as an organization that is reinventing the concept of church – and changing lives.

That led us to develop a new website, social media campaign, strategic communications plan, monthly e-newsletter and most importantly – stories – that give life to the fund’s new identity. At Signal Hill, we share stories like Park Hill’s because we know that when these stories come to light, things change. Possibilities arise. Connections are made. A new way emerges. That’s how we lead through story.

“By helping CB&LF lead through story, what Signal Hill has done is to help us share with the world the heart of who we are.”

— Rev. Dr. Patrick Duggan, executive director, CB&LF

And CB&LF Executive Director Patrick Duggan says our partnership has changed the way the fund is viewed, both internally and externally.

“Now that we have worked with Signal Hill for about a year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for our products and services,” Duggan says. “This growth is the result of the multiple ways – social media feeds, videos, blog posts, testimonials, photography, even a cartoon – that Signal Hill has helped CB&LF to get our story out.”

In 2017, we went one step further, giving expression to CB&LF’s mission through a groundbreaking fellowship program for emerging entrepreneurs. The Adese Fellowship is a 12-month experience that maximizes the capacity of fellows to build sustainable ventures that counter systemic poverty. This story-based program gets to the root of CB&LF’s mission to transform communities.

“To lead through story is beyond marketing or advertising,” Duggan says. “By helping CB&LF lead through story, what Signal Hill has done is to help us share with the world the heart of who we are.”

We're always itching to take a deep dive into a new story. If you're ready to invest in your story, we're ready to invest in you. Learn more here.