Strengthening Our Future

Pilotlight is a unique capacity-building organisation offering free, tailored strategic planning support to charities and social enterprises who are tackling disadvantage in the UK. They match charity directors with teams of senior business people who coach them through the process of planning for sustainability, development and growth, all coordinated by a dedicated Pilotlight project manager who organises and facilitates the process. This project came up at a good time for me as a new chair of Think Children and the eight sessions we had at the Pilotlight office in London between June 2017 and April 2018 provided a perfect sounding board for the development of a plan to guide the charity through what looks like being a very challenging few years ahead of us. The team of Pilotlighters were very challenging and we often came out of meetings feeling like we had been in the Dragons Den, but they were always constructive, positive and much kinder than the real dragons. We didn’t solve all the problems we are facing, but we never expected to. The big gain was the development of a three-year business plan and some progress on the measurement of our social impact, two of the key planks of any funding bid that is likely to have a realistic chance of succeeding.  Hopefully, our Pilotlight experience will continue to guide us in the future through the choppy waters that undoubtedly lie in our path.