“We need to get more strategic and commercial.” Marcia Lewinson, CEO, W.A.I.T.S.

Hannah Page
Interim Head of Project Management, Pilotlight

International Women’s Day is calling organisations to #BeBoldForChange and make the world more inclusive and gender equal. We’re turning our spotlight onto one of our current projects that’s working with a charity who’s doing exactly that. How is the Pilotlight programme helping them be bold for change for the women they service?

Women Acting In Today’s Society (otherwise known as W.A.I.T.S.) supports women suffering domestic abuse and empowers them to have a voice in society. They applied to the Weston Charity Awards in 2015 and won a 10- to 12-month programme of mentoring with us to look at how they can improve their strategic vision, develop a business plan and refine their income strategy. In the first few meetings our Pilotlighters got to know the organisation and performed a SWOT analysis. I dropped in on their sixth meeting to see how the project was progressing.

Marcia Lewinson, CEO of W.A.I.T.S., came to the latest meeting with a new funding source confirmed, and challenged the Pilotlighters to help her think strategically about how to make the most of this new money. The team turned their attention to exploring W.A.I.T.S.’s vision and mission, and then started to carve out initial points for a strategy to ensure the new funds will be put to the best use. As Marcia said herself, “We’ve come from a community perspective; we need to get more strategic and commercial.” By refining what makes W.A.I.T.S different from other charities working with victims of domestic violence, they can make their services as robust as possible, ensuring they are sustainable for the future. Amy Malik, one of our experienced Pilotlighters on the project, pointed out that partnering with other charities could be an option if they’re looking to build up their capacity, as “one charity can’t do everything”.

The next step for Marcia and her team is to take a deeper look at how the future could look for them in a strategy day for trustees and staff. Being bold for change isn’t just about the work W.A.I.T.S. is doing for their service users – it’s also about being bold in creating change for their organisation. As our Pilotlighters support Marcia through this crucial next phase, they can be sure they’re making a big difference to the charity purely by sharing their years of business expertise. On finishing the meeting Marcia confessed, "I came in feeling I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Now, after our meeting, I feel excited for the future.”

W.A.I.T.S. will be featured at our annual conference in June, ‘Creating Value Together: From Partnerships to Mergers’, where we’ll hear more about the project from Marcia and Amy. If you’re interested in attending our conference or would like to hear more about how Pilotlight is connecting the business and charitable worlds to achieve positive social change, please contact Suzanne Keys on skeys@pilotlight.org.uk

Change Management

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