Case study

Culture Shift

Culture Shift develops creative programmes using arts and culture to promote wellbeing, inclusion and personal development in the education, community and health sector.

We helped the charity to build a strategy for sustainability to overcome some of the key the challenges they were facing.

The Challenge

Culture Shift had been successful at securing grants and contracts for projects in the past, but the shifting funding climate had resulted in a lack of funding for larger programmes and a gap in core funding, which left the organisation in a somewhat financially precarious situation and staff feeling overstretched.

What’s more, Culture Shift was struggling to articulate a clear purpose for the organisation, develop a focused strategic plan and communicate their work to a diverse range of stakeholders.

“The funding pots seem to be getting smaller, which leaves the organisation in a vulnerable position.”

CATHERINE ORBACH
Director
Culture Shift

The Solution

STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Insley Consulting was commissioned to help Culture Shift develop a strategy at a time of change and consolidation for the organisation.

Our support was therefore shaped to:

  1. Help to develop a strategic plan with sufficient practical and financial detail to guide Culture Shift’s work going forward.
  2. Make some key organisational development recommendations to help Culture Shift to implement the strategy and operate more effectively.

Working to budget, we assessed the internal and external operating environment that Culture Shift is operating in, as well as what staff are best at. This included:

  • A workshop to define Culture Shift’s purpose, strategic objectives and key changes to ensure sustainability.

  • Comparator analysis – identifying the funding model, key funders and what can be learned from comparable organisations.

  • Internal discussions / interviews with Directors.

  • Stakeholder interviews with key partners and funders.

  • Supporting the development of the strategy.

 

“The invitation to examine our business model carefully has been particularly valuable.  We now implement a much more rigorous analysis of potential new projects, and work to make sure that they are covering costs and are viable for the organisation.”

CATHERINE ORBACH
Director
Culture Shift

The Result

We helped Culture Shift to define and sharpen its purpose and develop a strategy to increase its profile and deliver activities to support decision-making.  We also helped Directors to evaluate the portfolio of projects, to consider how well they contribute to the charity’s purpose and profitability, which should drive future decision-making, and help to reduce the risk of ‘burnout’ within staff.

A key finding was that Culture Shift’s work was being consistently under-priced, yet commissioners and funders thought it would be difficult to increase project budgets and fees.  We helped Culture Shift to identify the true cost of delivering projects and recommended pricing and positioning strategies to maintain competitiveness and become more sustainable.

We also recommended Culture Shift narrow down its diverse portfolio of services, to prioritise those that make the biggest difference and contribute towards organisational sustainability.

Finally, we helped Culture Shift to bring all of this together in a concise strategy to help strengthen sustainability, increase visibility, and develop a stronger infrastructure to deliver flagship projects aligned to its purpose.

Culture Shift achieved a new-found clarity of purpose, became more sustainable and is enjoying greater visibility while delivering flagship projects.

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