Strategies and support for students’ unions with big ideas.
What’s that dream project you never have time to get off the ground?
What could you achieve, if you just had the time and space to step back and plan?
Working to make a positive impact on society?
I’ll help you tell stories,
that change minds,
so you can make the world a better place.
As a former full-time staff member in one of the UK’s largest students’ unions, I’ve been involved in more reviews, working groups and projects than I can count.
I was lucky. I worked for a charity big enough to have its own marketing & communications team, and that could allocate hefty amounts of staff time and attention to three-year strategic cycles and extensive operational planning, without bringing in lots of external support.
Most students’ unions and social enterprises don’t have the financial firepower to hire marketing teams or take on permanent strategy and operations staff. But they need good strategy and clear communications just as much as any household-name charity.
That’s why I’ve become a freelance consultant for students’ unions and social enterprises: so they can benefit from strategies and communications plans, with someone who knows their unique organisations natively - without breaking the bank.
Whether it’s digital, external, strategic, crisis or internal, high-quality communication is crucial to your charity’s success.
You tell me what’s important to you and your organisation and together we’ll tailor a communications project that fits your needs.
Do you have an effective strategy and meaningful values to guide your charity’s big decisions? Without them, you’re at risk of sleepwalking into overstretch, ineffectiveness and dysfunction.
Whether you need a brand new five-year plan or a short-term refresher, we can work together to create and embed a strategy that maximises your impact and reach.
Not sure what methods are right for you? To find out what fits your needs, drop me a line:
Is there a specific challenge or opportunity that you want to tackle, but your staff are already at full capacity?
Bringing in a third party to take on reviews or research tasks is cost-efficient, saving on staff time and resources that may otherwise be diverted away from front-line services.
Want to get that project off the drawing board and into reality? No time like the present:
What I’ve done
I’ve been working in the charity sector for over a decade, in the students’ unions of two of the UK’s foremost universities. That means I know first-hand just how important, misunderstood and underappreciated students’ unions are - experience that ensures I ‘get’ these complex and diverse organisations, no matter how big or small.
The lessons I’ve learnt in students’ unions are applicable across the rest of the charity world, in particular those who serve a defined membership, value internal democracy, and have legions of volunteers.
What’s important to me
I’ve spent my working life so far in charities because they’re a vital but under-appreciated part of our society - but if you’re reading this, you already agree with that.
So what do I think is truly important? I’ve learnt lots of things in my career, many of them the hard way. The lessons that really stick with me - and that I carry through and emphasise in my work with charities - are:
An effective strategy and decisive leadership are a crucial combination - together they can tackle any problem, but in isolation, both are doomed to fail
If you’re not out there telling a consistent and striking story about your mission and your successes, others will fill that void with their own stories about you - and you won’t like what they have to say
Small frustrations and discomforts build up over time - becoming more painful, more entrenched, and harder to tackle. To stay sharp and to have the best chance of achieving their goals, charities must recognise that a short, focused and well-communicated period of significant change - even if painful in the short term - will always be better than the unpredictable consequences of unresolved problems.
If you share these views, think we can collaborate on a project to improve your organisation, or just want to drop me a line to talk about something I’ve touched upon, please get in touch.
FROM PACKAGES - USER STORIES
Are you a… staff member, trustee or elected officer with responsibility for marketing, communications, brand or engagement?
Who wants… support and advice on building a communications framework that supports your strategic goals?
So that… you can be confident that your communications strategy and operations are having a tangible impact?
Are you a… director, manager, trustee or elected officer with responsibility for marketing, strategy, operations or engagement?
Who wants… An objective analysis of how your strategy is currently performing, or support in developing a new strategy?
So that… You can accurately inform your decision-making, communicate with your audiences, or support your trustees?
Are you a… director, staff member or elected officer with a fresh new idea or a significant problem sitting in your in-tray?
Who wants… support in taking the opportunity (or tackling that challenge) quickly and decisively?
So that… the opportunity is taken (or the problem is solved) and you can move on to your next strategic goal?