What our clients do has never been more important.
Firetail works with ambitious, mission-driven organisations that want to contribute to a better society for everyone.
Our job is to give them the ideas, insights, confidence and clarity they need to develop strategies as strong as their values.
People work with Firetail when they need ‘a fresh perspective’, a ‘new look at an issue’ and a partnership that’s ‘confidence-building’. These are our clients’ words.
We believe bold, independent thinking, applied to the challenges facing society can make people’s lives better and fairer. That ideas and insights are sparks for positive social change.
The Firetail team
Our global team of experts bring together the analytical capabilities of the private sector with significant experience of supporting some of the world’s most successful charities, NGOs and foundations. Your consulting engagement will benefit from our multi-disciplinary, open approach.
About Andy >
Andy is the founder and Director of Firetail. He has over 18 years experience as a strategy consultant and is an advisor to senior leaders in charities, NGOs, foundations and social enterprises. At Firetail he oversees our senior strategy and evaluation engagements. Some of his recent projects include the delivery of future scenarios for the Royal Society of Chemistry, and facilitating the establishment of a new charity for the Queen’s Trust. His clients include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, Oxfam International, Save the Children UK, Malaria No More UK, Comic Relief and Anthony Nolan. Andy also works as an advisor to a number of start-ups and social ventures.
Prior to founding Firetail, Andy was Head of Strategy for Cancer Research UK, where he ran the Strategy Unit and Consumer Insight teams, covering fundraising, marketing and public engagement for the UKʼs largest charity. Previous to that, he was a founding member of the commercial strategy consulting firm Credo, and worked for the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit. He was also a founding Governor of The Democratic Society, which works to improve public participation.
Andy is currently Vice President and Trustee of the Board of IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis NGO.
Politics, Philosophy and Economics, University of Oxford
About Ruthann >
Ruthann is an experienced researcher and evaluator. As an Associate Director at Firetail, she works in partnership with our clients, delivering complex, mixed-methods research programmes to shape their strategic development. Ruthann specialises in stakeholder engagement with senior decision makers in the UK and abroad. She also has extensive experience of involving vulnerable groups in decision making processes that impact on their lives. Ruthann recently delivered Firetail’s research with over 1,400 beneficiaries, staff members and volunteers for SSAFA (the Armed Forces Charity) to inform its 2017-2022 Strategic Review. She leads our engagements with Migration Observatory (at the University of Oxford), the Audience Agency and the International Social Science Council.
Prior to joining Firetail in 2011, Ruthann held senior research and evaluation roles in NGOs and commercial consultancies. In her work at Opinion Leader, she delivered national and international qualitative and quantitative projects for UK government bodies, leading NGOs and multinationals. At SOVA, the criminal justice charity, Ruthann coordinated a network of international NGOs seeking to improve access to employment for disadvantaged women.
Ruthann is currently a Trustee of the Public Law Project.
BA, Modern Languages, University of Leicester
About Henry >
Henry has a background in research and strategy. At Firetail, he conducted the market research that underpinned the newly formed Queen's Commonwealth Trust. He has advised the General Medical Council on how to make best use of its large datasets and potential business models to underpin its data products. He has evaluated Privacy International's Detecting the Controllers programme, and the National Housing Federation-led Homes for Britain campaign, which ran during the 2015 General Election. At an organisational level, he has evaluated the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats, an academic institute shared across five UK universities. He has helped several organisations develop their fundraising strategies, including the British Heart Foundation, King's College London and Anthony Nolan.
Before joining Firetail, Henry spent five years as a research consultant, working across a range of projects in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Most recently, he worked for Nesta’s research and policy team, conducting comparative analysis of UK and US venture capital and researching innovation in the public sector. He has also worked as an analyst for the Cabinet Office and the Scottish Government. Henry is a member of the Social Research Association and proficient in the use of a range of data tools and techniques including, among others, Excel, SPSS, Tableau and R.
MA (Hons) Politics, University of Edinburgh, First
MA Jurisprudence and Political Theory, University College London
About Manisha >
Manisha is the Finance Manager at Firetail responsible for invoicing, budgeting, financial management and operations.
An experienced accountant, she previously worked as a financial controller in a variety of businesses including firms in the media, financial services and technology industries.
About Rachel >
Rachel is an Associate Director at Firetail. She is an experienced consultant and has worked in senior level strategy, fundraising, marketing and policy roles within the not-for-profit sector. Her clients include Action for Children, Groundwork, Comic Relief, Bond and the Queen’s Trust. She has recently led and delivered key projects for the British Council on partnership strategy and the Royal Parks on their volunteering strategy.
Before joining Firetail, Rachel was Head of Strategic Planning at Save the Children UK, where she led the development of fundraising strategy, integrated brand, marketing and fundraising campaigns and communication plans. Prior to this Rachel had a number of senior roles at Cancer Research UK, where she ran strategy projects across fundraising and supporter marketing, brand, communications and public engagement. Previously, Rachel worked for a range of national and international charities and think tanks including Merlin, Demos and Forum for the Future.
Rachel is currently a Trustee of The Fawcett Society, the UK's leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights.
BA English, University of Cambridge
About Ilse >
Ilse is an experienced consultant with cross-sector strategic experience. At Firetail, she led the evaluation of the global coalition that worked to raise the ambitions for UN negotiations in 2015, as well as a number of other reviews including of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and the British Heart Foundation. She has provided strategic advice to a range of clients including the Environmental Investigation Agency, Red Bull’s foundation Wings for Life and the International Union of Psychological Sciences. Ilse was also responsible for the delivery of the Class of 2030 report, our thought-leadership piece on challenger universities in the higher education sector.
Ilse previously gained experience in sustainable finance, international development and communications. She was a researcher for the Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development, and worked as a project manager for the sustainable bank Triodos Bank in the Netherlands. Her international development experience includes working with grassroots projects in Guatemala and Mexico, as well as work with larger organisation such as Oxfam. At the PR agency Edelman, Ilse helped shape the communication strategies and campaigns of large corporate clients. Ilse is fluent in Dutch and proficient in German and Portuguese.
MSc, International Political Economy, London School of Economics
BA, Liberal Arts, University College Maastricht
About Maria >
Maria has over six years' consultancy experience from the public, private and third sectors, primarily working with international development and trade. She has led Firetail’s work conducting a mid-term review of a major grant to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the development of strategic recommendations to inform the organisation’s Strategic Plan for the next three years. She also led on Firetail’s work for clients such as Bellingcat and mPowering. In addition, Maria has supported projects for clients such as SSAFA (the armed forces charity), Royal Parks, the International Social Science Council (ISSC), Meningitis Research Foundation, Anthony Nolan and the British Council.
Maria’s background lies in international development and trade. She previously worked for the development consultancy Saana Consulting, focusing on trade and regional integration in East Africa. Some of her clients included TradeMark East Africa, WIPO, DfID, Norad, Sida, Fairtrade Norway and the Initiative for Ethical Trading Norway. Maria spent three years with the Swedish Trade Council (now Business Sweden) in the Western Balkans, representing the Commercial Section of the Embassy of Sweden. In this role, she helped Swedish companies with international business development and market entrance strategy. She has also managed EU-funded projects at the Institute for Public Health Sciences at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. Maria is fluent in Swedish and Serbian, and proficient in German and Italian.
MSc, Development Studies, London School of Economics
BSc, International Economics, Jonkoping International Business School
BSc, Business Administration, Jonkoping International Business School