A charity brings a specific strategic opportunity it’s grappling with; over eight weeks, 'Pilotlighters' assess its viability and establish how it can be reached.
Focused and effective
Pilotlight Direction is all about focus. For charities, it’s an opportunity to gain expert insight on a single issue they’re facing. Charities on this programme have a clear picture of what they want to achieve while being open to ideas and change. The issue is specific and of strategic importance; even though the charity has already considered it, they need fresh eyes and an outside perspective to give confidence to take the next step.
For Pilotlighters, it’s an opportunity to work across functions, using a variety of skills to deliver something of use to a charity in a well-defined time period. This programme involves independent research, information-gathering and analysis, and concludes with a set of recommendations presented back to the charity.
We are not prescriptive on the type of opportunity charities bring to this programme, as long as they’re well defined and of strategic importance. Previous briefs have included:
- Developing a plan to improve the deployment of human and financial resources.
- Considering an opportunity to acquire a commercial enterprise with the aim of developing revenue streams.
- Creating a scale-up strategy for schools programmes.
- Proposing ways to monetise services to diversify income streams.
Our team works with each charity ahead of the start of the programme to hone the question into a clear brief that can be presented to the Pilotlighter teams.
A clear structure
Your Pilotlight Project Manager will guide the process, facilitating the early meetings and acting as a point of contact between the parties.
The programme begins with a facilitated meeting with everyone involved. Everybody makes introductions and the Pilotlighters learn about the charity, as well as the opportunities it is facing.
A second facilitated meeting sees an agenda focused on the brief. The Pilotlighters find out more about the opportunity from the charity representatives and discuss their initial thoughts on addressing it.
Then the Pilotlighters work away from the group. They organise planning meetings and set up workstreams to explore the different aspects they need to address in order to respond to the brief. In between meetings, they perform research and analysis.
The programme concludes with a presentation by the Pilotlighters to the charity. In this, they explain how they have approached the brief and the conclusions they have come to, leaving the charity with specific, actionable recommendations. The charity has the opportunity to ask questions, so they leave the room ready to put the plan into action.
This programme is delivered through a mix of in-person and virtual meetings.
We are currently open for applications from charities and social enterprises for this programme. Take a look at the deadlines to apply here.
"The project not only met its intended goals but also demonstrated the Pilotlight Direction programme can deliver exceptional results while maintaining a positive and proactive approach throughout the process."
Via the Pilotlight Direction programme, Lindsey and her team were matched with five Barclays Pilotlighters, who were tasked with the challenge: How does Advice Services Alliance (ASA) best scale it’s impact and establish a sustainable income stream?
At the end of the programme, the Pilotlighters presented Jade and Ben with a variety of considerations and recommendations for different growth models. This included a risk framework, financial growth model tool and suggestions for standardised governance documents.
"The programme gave us the time and space to think more strategically about our organisation. All the elements came together to form a robust three-year strategic plan."
"The programme was exactly what we needed. The Pilotlighters took time to understand what we do and what we wanted to achieve, which I particularly appreciated."
"The process was very useful for me. I was led to question my assumptions around different possibilities for our future."