Susie McDonald, director tells us how her charity benefited from working with Pilotlight.

Susie McDonald, director tells us how her charity benefited from working with Pilotlight.

What are the aims of your charity?

  • To enable young people (five- to 25-years-old) to develop positive attitudes towards relationships in order to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence. Tender uses the arts to engage with young people and to enable them to explore the issues.
  • To equip adults with the skills and resources they need to promote healthy relationships among young people.

Why and how did your charity start?

Domestic and sexual violence accounts for approximately one sixth of all violent crime in the UK (British Crime Survey, 2006). Its victims are overwhelmingly female, and reporting rates, whilst improving, remain low. At the same time, surveys repeatedly show that significant sections of British society feel that the victim is often to blame for these crimes. Tender was established because it believes that changing attitudes towards gender violence is the first step towards creating a culture in which adults and young people can speak out against experiences of abuse and in which perpetrators are held accountable for their behaviour.

Our relationship with Pilotlight was of huge value to us, it is a fantastic organisation to work with.

Why did your charity approach Pilotlight?

Tender approached Pilotlight to seek support in its strategic planning, including the production of a business plan and communications strategy. Having achieved stability through a number of three-year grants, Tender was in a position to plan ahead to fulfil its vision.

What did your work with Pilotlight involve?

Meetings took place once a month for 18 months between Pilotlighters and the charity's artistic director and trustees. Tender underwent a full organisational review with Pilotlight which culminated in a five-year business plan, providing an ambitious road map for achieving Tender’s aims.

How has the charity benefited from working with Pilotlight?

With Pilotlight’s help, Tender has clarified its direction and enlarged its vision. Pilotlight supported Tender to:

  • Improve budgeting and financial management
  • Use the business plan to help raise funds
  • Resolve a longstanding staffing question by appointing a full-time director
  • Recruit a new trustee from the Pilotlighter team.

What impact has your work with Pilotlight had on your clients?

Since working with Pilotlight, Tender has raised more funds, taken on more staff and reached more people, more efficiently. It adheres to some ambitious targets for further growth.

Can you provide any quotes from your clients?

“I am an aggressive person but the Tender programme has changed me. I look at this in a different perspective, I can see now a woman needs to be loved and cherished. (Young man, 14)

What would you say to other charities thinking about working with Pilotlight?

"Our relationship with Pilotlight was of huge value to us it is a fantastic organisation to work with."