Oxford Health Charity
Strengthening the future
Oxford Health Charity sits alongside Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to provide funds that enhance the experience of patients, carers, families and staff at the Trust. Head of Charity and Involvement, Julie Pink, approached More Partnership in 2022, having built a solid income stream from grants and community fundraising programmes. Supported by an ambitious group of Trustees, the charity wanted to explore how they could set their sights higher and as a result, grow the impact of the projects they could support and the lives of more staff and patients at the Hospital Trust.
A More Team of Tim Johnson, Thom Hipwood, Rodolphe Gouin and Ali Terrington worked with Julie to explore their performance to date and the factors that would drive that step change in the charity’s ambition.
A focus on priorities
“Having been in post six years, I’d seen through the first strategy, which was really about laying the right foundations. I was conscious that we’d done a huge amount of work but that there were many steps ahead of us before we reached where we wanted to be. When considering the second strategy, we were faced with many conflicting thoughts, expectations and views on what our ambitions should be. I didn’t feel we had a natural path forward.”
“I spoke to NHS Charities Together who suggested More Partnership, and after a conversation with Tim, it made absolute sense to work with them to develop a roadmap that could form a consultative and evidence-based foundation for that next strategy.”
“The challenge for a relatively small organisation is to be very clear on priorities – where to invest, how much and when – and to be clear about the expectations of what that could deliver,” explains More Partner, Thom Hipwood. “That clarity is what we set out to provide for Julie and the team.”
A picture of performance and potential
“The first thing they did,” says Julie, “was spend half a day with charity Trustees, delivering a fundraising workshop. That meant that we could set the scene early and get some of our most important stakeholders on the same page about what the charity could deliver, the ingredients for success and their own role in making it happen.”
Following that, the More team undertook a comprehensive quantitative and qualitative assessment of activity and performance, through data analysis, detailed surveys and interviews. “They were very flexible in their approach to developing different surveys for our distinct audiences,” explains Julie. “What we ended up with was a process very personal to us, rather than a formulaic approach. Everyone got their air time and felt their voice was heard. That was really important, and it delivered the broad range of inputs that we really needed from this process.”
“By taking a deep dive into the Charity, we could understand their ethos and way of working, their governance approach, aspirations for the future and their appetite for change,” says Thom. “That was invaluable to underpin strong recommendations for the future.”
A clear way forward
Building on the insight gained through interviews, surveys and data analysis, the More team developed a set of findings, conclusions and recommendations for Oxford Health Charity.
“It can sometimes be hard to know how to get going with such rich information, so we also developed a three-year roadmap of practical actions for the Oxford Health team,” said Thom.
The roadmap focused on preparing the new strategy, building capacity, creating a narrative, fundraising governance, and refining fundraising and communications practices.
“It’s a pretty rare and very positive thing to be able to step back and look at where you are. This project did that for us. The final report is chock-full of useful recommendations, clear insights on how we’re working and where we can do more, and what the next steps are,” explains Julie.
“We’ve always been a team that asks ‘Why not?’. Now, we have the answers for how to make that possible and we have the stepping stones – not just the desire – to get there. The report has formed the solid backbone for our next strategy and helped us frame a lot of information in much more comprehensive terms and with a wider lens that has made it land in a much more impactful way.”
Working with More
“I’d just say a big thank you to the team,” says Julie. “Tim, Thom, Ali and Rodolphe brought such a breadth of experience – from Tim’s experience in the NHS to be able to say ‘I’ve been there and done that’ to Rodolphe’s experience of hospital fundraising in France. Working with them provided me with reassurance and confidence to make sense of everything that lay ahead.”
“I think sometimes you worry that you may feel judged by external consultants or like something is being done to you. But our work felt truly collaborative and we built supportive relationships – never once did it feel like a business transaction.”
Thom and Julie continue to work together to implement the roadmap.
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