Firetail is one of the few firms dedicated to strategy development for civil society organisations.
We believe that charities and civil society groups should approach strategic planning with the same rigour and discipline as private sector organisations. We want our clients to be effective and efficient, so that they can make a difference to their causes and their communities.
For us, strategy comes first. Successful organisations take the time to develop a clear point of view about the future and their place in it. To do this, you need to understand your landscape, your stakeholders, your strengths and your weaknesses.
More and more civil society organisations are also expanding into new products, services and markets. Organisations are also looking to diversify their income. For useful growth and development you need to identify sustainable opportunities, not short-term fixes.
A good strategy is clear enough to communicate internally and externally, and should give everyone a framework for decision making. It should help you understand the trade-offs you make as an organisation and when to say no. It should be realistic but ambitious.
In all of these cases, a new strategy delivers a clear sense of direction, priorities for action and renewed sense of purpose.
What we do
Our work in this area covers issues such as:
- Strategy development: An effective strategy lets organisations make better and smarter choices. We have led strategy development for small pre-launch NGOs and the largest charities in the country. We have facilitated strategy workshops with senior management and long-term engagements working with whole organisations.
- Business development and marketing strategy: For any organisation delivering services, it is vital to think properly about customers, propositions and markets. We can help by putting in place the building blocks of a solid business plan, and work with you to assemble the evidence you need to grow with confidence.
- Fundraising strategy: Fundraising conditions are tough and getting tougher, and acquisition remains as difficult as ever. A strategic approach to fundraising should position you for the longer term. This includes identifying opportunities to increase the returns from an existing portfolio, as well as delivering the innovation required to grow charity income.
- Public engagement and campaign evaluation: Campaigning and public mobilisation are important tools. Employing a structured approach to evaluation can make sure that the lessons you learned during a campaign are captured, and inform your future efforts. You can read some of our previous evaluations here.
- Merger planning, due diligence and integration: Mergers between charities are becoming more common. Some of the country’s highest profile charities, including Cancer Research UK, are the product of mergers. We support organisations throughout the planning and implementation of a merger or other strategic partnership. When approached strategically, merging can be an excellent opportunity to better serve beneficiaries and ensure long-term sustainability.
For more information about our work in this area, please contact us for an introductory conversation.