We have proven track record of success and exceeding our clients’ expectations across all business areas; please click below for more information on each of our services.
Whether it is in financial sustainability, business planning, capacity building or any other business development component, Oaks have the tools and expertise to transform your organisation.Click for more
Grant funding can be an excellent way of building your business, developing your service offer and enhancing the impact of your work; but with thousands of different funders out there, where to start?Click for more
Evaluating impact is a key component of the Oaks service offer, we are determined to help you track, evaluate and quantify this impact so that you are able to showcase this to others.Click for more
From idea conception through to project completion, facility development projects are often long, complex and daunting processes to undertake.Click for more
The importance of good governance cannot be overstated: it is critical to safeguarding the integrity, efficiency and sustainability of your organisation.Click for more
Oaks supports organisations and event deliverers to maximise the commercial income they can generate from the activities that they deliver.Click for more
To ensure effective and efficient business outcomes, it is crucial that learning and development is aligned to your goals and objectives at every level of your organisation.Click for more
Company and charity formations are increasingly comprehensive and complex undertakings that can be both laborious and challenging for all involved.Click for more
Marketing your brand is your opportunity to engage with your audiences and communicate your brand's personality and values.Click for more
With proven expertise and a growing reputation within the not-for-profit sector, Oaks also now provides support to a number of major funders – ensuring your money makes the difference you want it to.Click for more
Interested in hearing more about how we can support you? Please get in touch!Click for more
We will work with you to develop the potential of existing relationships with your current corporate supporters, develop new fundraising or marketing activities with current corporate supporters, develop new relationships through existing networks and attract new corporate supporters.
Oaks can work with you to create a strategic corporate fundraising plan to fit in with your organisation’s objectives, we can research, approach and secure partners for you to supplement your own in-house capabilities and we can train and mentor your team to manage and develop your own in-house corporate fundraising function.
There are over 250,000 registered charities in the UK, all approaching company CSR and Marketing departments for support. It is a very competitive business, so you will need a compelling “ask” – the right project or device pitched at the right price to engage your target audience. We will carry out an audit of your valuable “properties and help you to clearly identify what benefits you can offer a company in return for their support. Digital marketing and real-time engagement are key motivators for potential sponsors right now and we ensure we keep ahead of developments so we know exactly what companies are looking for to get a SMART return on investment. We will then work with you to formulate and activate a plan which may encompass for example, Cause-related marketing (e.g. on-pack promotions) Licensing, Sponsorship, Project funding through company foundations, Employee led support (Charity of the Year) and strategic partnerships.
With proven expertise and a growing reputation within the not-for-profit sector, Oaks also now provides support to a number of major funders – ensuring your money makes the difference you want it to. This support takes many forms, including:
- Structuring the application process: Oaks is able to design and manage the entire grant-giving process, from the identification of outcomes and creation of the application form right through to filtering eligible applications and offering grants to successful applicants.
- Workshops and training: Utilising our extensive experience of project development and bid-writing, Oak is able to deliver pre-application training and workshops to potential applicants, ensuring the applications you receive are eligible, well-written and aligned more closely to your outcomes.
- Grantee Support: In many cases, Oaks works directly with organisations who have made successful applications – ensuring they are “grant-ready” and able to successfully deliver impactful, value-for-money projects. This work is bespoke to each organisation and includes business planning, governance reviews, financial modelling and organisational development.
- Monitoring and Evaluation: We are also experienced in working with organisations to ensure they are delivering the impact and outcomes they set out to and are managing their grants effectively. Oaks has developed a range of evaluation techniques including our own Social Return on Investment (SROI) tool that enable us to do this.
Oaks have recently been commissioned by a national funder to provide operational, on-the-ground support to a high profile grantee in central London.Read Full Case Study
To ensure effective and efficient business outcomes, it is crucial that learning and development is aligned to your goals and objectives at every level of your organisation. The most critical factor in overcoming your business challenges is people – you and your team. Regardless of the size of your organisation, we can provide your team with the desired learning opportunities to ensure personal development with sustainable business outcomes.
We can deliver our training in a number of ways; we are confident that our unique, flexible training delivery methods outlined below will assist your team members in achieving their personal and business potential:
- Bespoke workshops – we believe in a ‘learn by doing’ approach rather than by lecture alone. We’ve developed business-related practical activities because we know that training is more effective when it is enjoyable and interesting. We design courses to support all learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic) while ensuring a high level of interaction between your team in the form of group discussions, presentations, and games designed to support workshop content.
- Presentations – we can deliver interactive presentations on any one (or a combination) of our services. We will work with you to ensure that the presentation will result in the best learning opportunities for your team.
- Director mentoring – we can assist leaders and managers by providing sessions that are tailored, confidential and targeted to drive business insights, relevant skill development and strategy options to ensure long-lasting performance and improvement.
- Staff mentoring/one-to-one support – we can work with identified team members to assist with personal development through our one-on-one training sessions and support. Our goal is to ensure that your investment in developing your talent has been worthwhile.
- Facilitation of staff away days/team building – away days are crucial to the healthy development of teams in order to allow individuals to focus their energies, develop effective working strategies and provide a clear sense of direction.
In each of the past 3 years, a Borough Council’s Leisure Services department has commissioned Oaks to work with circa 15 sports clubs to deliver a series of club development workshops aimed at providing them with the skills, understanding and tools to secure grant funding.Read Full Case Study
Company and charity formations are increasingly comprehensive and complex undertakings that can be both laborious and challenging for all involved. For many organisations, it is this initial process that can often be confusing and off-putting – leading to poor or inefficient models of governance from the very start of an organisation’s journey. Fortunately, Oaks has developed a company and charity formation service that removes these challenges, reducing your own time commitment to the process and ensuring you are aware of – and able to manage – your organisation in line with best-practice governance models.
Oaks has extensive experience within the not-for-profit sector, working with a range of local, regional and national charities and community organisations of various size and profile. In the initial scoping phase of the project, we take the extra step to embed ourselves within your organisation – enabling us to gain an in-depth understanding of your charitable aims and objectives. Following this scoping phase, we will provide extensive support throughout each step of the formation process, including:
- Confirmation of your charitable objectives and motivations
- Weighing up the benefits and implications of specific governance types – allowing you to make informed decisions on which model suits your needs best e.g. CIO, CIC, CASC or Social Enterprise
- Creation of governing documents including constitution, memorandum and articles of association
- Recruitment and appointment of appropriate trustees/directors
- Completion of required charity commission/companies house paperwork
- Education and training on the income generation, cost saving and tax implications of certain governance models
In May 2011, we were approached by a group looking to establish a sports charity in the city of Birmingham. They commissioned us to support them in the incorporation, structure, governance, business planning and management of the organisation.Read Full Case Study
Oaks supports organisations and event deliverers to maximise the commercial income they can generate from the activities that they deliver. To do this, Oaks:
- Define the commercial inventory
- Undertake a valuation of the inventory
- Package the inventory making it appealing to commercial partners
- Create a compelling narrative which demonstrates commercial relevance and anticipated return on investment
- Unlocks commercial doors and negotiates commercial partnerships
- Provides commercial account management to deliver contracted rights and ensure that commercial organisations enjoy their partnership experience and generate the benefit they were expecting
- Develop case studies which demonstrate the organisation’s ability to deliver a breadth of return
In 2013 Oaks were retained by a University to develop and implement a commercial strategy relating to its sports activities and infrastructure.Read Full Case Study
From idea conception through to project completion, facility development projects are often long, complex and daunting processes to undertake. Fortunately, Oaks are here to support you every step of the way!
We have a wealth of experience in bringing facility development projects to fruition – from minor refurbishments through to complete renovation and new build – with a particular specialism in what is often the most challenging element: securing the funding!
We can manage the whole process or support you with specific elements such as:
- Project inception: defining the brief, scoping the outputs and outcomes, identifying provisional costings and identifying key milestones and timelines
- Feasibility study: identifying funding options, carrying out a risk assessment, undertaking an options appraisal, considering planning issues and assessing likelihood of success
- Stakeholder identification and engagement: from strategic partners and funders through to architects and quantity surveyors, we can help to identify and engage the appropriate partners required to drive the project to a successful conclusion
- Consultation: generating community buy-in and involvement is crucial to securing funding and ensuring the project’s viability and sustainability – we can help you to conduct that vital consultation process
- Securing funding: following completion of the feasibility study, we can manage the process of applying for funding, which could be in the form of grant, public, commercial or loan finance
- Budget management: once funding is secured, we can support you with the implementation of development and/or delivery budgets, ensuring the project meets its timescales and milestones and exemplary relationships with funders are maintained
In the summer of 2012, Oaks were commissioned by a renowned national sports charity to help secure the funding and partnership buy-in required to develop a new community education centre in the heart of their core community.Read Full Case Study
We work with a number of brands who wish to activate their business imperatives within the Oaks sporting client base. We help them to understand the mechanics of the sport and leisure industry and tailor their offer accordingly.
The range of brands we work with is varied and includes G4S Events who provide Stewarding and Security services to the sports stadia industry through to Intechnology Wi-Fi who offer high density Wi-Fi solutions. We have an e-commerce platform and a loyalty card/access control company who we also support.
We not only advise and support the deal flow for these companies but in many cases support them with activation and revenue generation which “bolt on” to their core offers. This could be through a sponsorship support package for the “not-for-profit” element of the business through to a commercial activation programme around a technology enabler.
We continue to create new partnerships particularly within the technology sector as spectator sport increasing recognises the value in this area.
The importance of good governance cannot be overstated: it is critical to safeguarding the integrity, efficiency and sustainability of your organisation. Whether you are operating in a heavily regulated or self-regulated sector, practicing good governance at all times will ensure that you mitigate the risk of non-compliance with your industry codes of practice and enable you to perpetually demonstrate best practice. Your governance should be regularly reviewed and refined to keep in-line with changes to regulation that may affect your organisation; it should be an underlying principle that informs all of your activities, processes and structures.
Governance Review – we will undertake a comprehensive review of your existing governance structure and assess its pertinence to you achieving your strategic and financial objectives. This will include a review of your constitution, organisational structure, job roles, make-up of your board/trustees, policies and processes and so on. We will make recommendations as to how you can improve your governance and increase your ‘investment-readiness’ – leaving you equipped with a more sustainable operating model.
Business Transformation – Oaks regularly supports organisations through a governance-change process which can include fundamentally redefining your constitution, moving you from ‘hosted’ to ‘independent’ status (addressing issues such as TUPE, procurement, redundancies, recruitment etc.) and supporting you every step of the way through what can be challenging and complicated transition processes.
Strategic Risk Management – we can help you to identify potential risks/threats to your organisation, evaluate their potential impact and devise strategies and solutions to mitigate against them.
In late 2010, worked with Oaks were approach by a member ‘owned’ sports club who required support with the development of a holistic club development plan.Read Full Case Study
Evaluating impact is a key component of the Oaks service offer. We understand and recognise that the organisations we work with deliver a fantastic range of interventions and programmes that make a genuine difference to vulnerable people, and we are determined to help you track, evaluate and quantify this impact so that you are able to showcase this to others. To make this happen, we have a team of researchers who are able to implement a variety of evaluation techniques, including:
Social Return on Investment (SROI)
We have developed our own Social Return on Investment framework, a model which uses monetary values to represent social, environmental and economic outcomes: enabling a ratio of benefits to costs to be calculated.
To apply this framework to your context, Oaks would:
- Establish the scope of the project and identify key stakeholders
- Develop an impact map which demonstrates the relationship between the project’s inputs, outputs and outcomes
- Design a data collection process which evidences and values each outcome
- Eliminate external change factors from consideration
- Calculate the SROI ration and test the sensitivity of these results
- Design a final evaluation report and case studies that can be shared with stakeholders
Whether your project is focused on social, economic or environmental impact, we are able to design bespoke evaluation systems that enable you to successfully track, report and adapt your initiatives and programmes. These tailored systems will help you to truly understand the outcomes of your work and communicate this to funders, beneficiaries and various other stakeholders.
Grant expenditure tracking and reporting
We have recently developed a tracking tool that enables organisations to monitor all of their grant expenditure and plan spending across the period of the project. This tool is capable of producing reports and alerts, alerting you to under/overspend and ensuring the grant funding reporting process is significantly easier to manage: saving you time and money!
Playground to Podium
Oaks, in partnership with Merseyside Sports Partnership, were commissioned to compile an Evaluation and Impact Report of a national disability sport initiative.Read Full Case Study
Marketing your brand is your opportunity to demonstrate and “shout” about the brilliant work your organisation does on a day-to-day basis – ensuring that all of your current and potential stakeholders, customers and partners know who you are and what you do week in, week out.
Whether you work in the non-profit, public or corporate sectors, there is an undeniable need for an attractive, relatable and clear brand that can help you grow your income, create a positive reputation, communicate your ‘expert’ credentials and build relationships and trust with your customer base.
In an ever-changing environment, it is important for your organisation to continually review its marketing strategy, ensuring you are constantly adapting to new circumstances and ultimately improving the quality of your operation. Oaks can assist with this by creating and implementing a marketing plan to help put your products, organisation and/or services on the map.
In order to achieve this, Oaks can perform a range of services including:
- A comprehensive review of your existing branding/marketing activity
- Consultation with a range of stakeholders to gain an understanding of how your organisation’s brand is viewed internally and externally
- Defining core messages and a new/enhanced brand definition (including a one-page brand identity kit)
- Creation of a communications strategy focused on fulfilling your organisation’s needs, achieving agreed objectives and hitting specified targets
- Website, newsletter and social media strategy, design and implementation
- Annual report design and content creation
To make this happen, Oaks has an extensive and cutting-edge track record in strategic and practical marketing across all of the sectors in which we work. We know how to apply tried and tested marketing approaches and our solutions are always bespoke to your needs.
In September 2014, Oaks were commissioned by a Volunteer Centre to develop a marketing and communications strategy on their behalf.Read Full Case Study
Sourcing grant funding is an increasingly complex and often laborious process that requires a great deal of time, resource and know-how; but if done successfully can truly unlock an organisation’s potential to generate income and contribute massively towards a sustainable finance model.
We take great pride in our ability to advise and support organisations from across the not-for-profit sector to secure new sources of grant income; successfully generating in excess of £10m from a variety of trusts, foundations, public, lottery and European sources. These grants range from relatively small scale awards (up to £10,000) through to significantly large investments upwards of £500k – all of which vary in depth, detail and difficulty.
To deliver such fantastic results, we take the extra step to embed ourselves within your operational team, engrossing ourselves within your company values, mission statement and strategic objectives – allowing us to develop a bespoke and unique relationship that truly reflects your needs and delivers highly successful funding returns.
Research, Project Development and Fundraising Strategies
We are able to effectively support you right from the start of your project ideas – helping you to collate the necessary research and consultation, shape budgets and delivery plans, and identify potential opportunities for income generation. We can then incorporate these opportunities into a short- or long-term fundraising plan – helping you to realise your fundraising potential and activate it over time.
Advice and Bid Writing
Whether it is top-line advice, application planning or complete management of the whole application process, the Oaks team is on hand to support you with your grant funding needs. This service can include:
- Access to our extensive database of local, regional, national and European grant funding sources
- Identification, planning, writing and submitting applications, dealing with feedback questions and completing any re-submissions where appropriate
- Governance review; is your constitution/governing document appropriate for the type of funding you will be applying for? Are your charitable objects suitable? Is your board of trustees diverse enough to satisfy potential charitable funders?
- Monitoring and evaluation; supporting you to successfully monitor and evaluate a project’s progress, satisfy a funder’s reporting standards and ensure that a lasting relationship is maintained
- Partnership development; linking you with key strategic and delivery partners to enhance your funding potential and strategic network
- Financial management – supporting you to maximize the benefits from grant awards, developing methods through which to offset operational costs and cost-relieve from core budgets
If you already have a project in mind, we are able to tap into our extensive database of funders and our years of experience to align the project with the most relevant and suitable funders, with an in-depth appraisal of their synergy with the project, the likelihood of success and how you would have to tweak/amend your project and application to increase chances of success
Oaks is embedded within a Football club’s community arm, providing regular funding support over the last four years that has helped the charity grow to be one of the largest sporting charities in the south-east.Read Full Case Study
Whether it is in financial sustainability, business planning, capacity building or any other business development component, our first step will be to help you to define the nature and scale of your challenge. We will work in partnership with you to create bespoke solutions to your challenges and bring innovative thought, years of hands-on experience and fresh insight to help you to exceed your business development goals in the short, medium and long-term.
We have developed the unique Oaks Business Development Planning Tool © which we use to facilitate the production of multi-year business plans that not only provide a roadmap to achieving financial growth and sustainability but also provide solutions to indirect factors – such as skills gaps and capacity building – and cultural implications, such as staff empowerment and speed of action.
We also regularly support our clients with the activation and implementation of their business plans: providing in-depth support through that critical transitional phase to ensure we leave you in a healthy position that is well on the way to achieving your long-term goals.
Whether it is helping you to develop 3, 5 or 10-year strategies or thinking through more immediate strategic challenges, we will support you to create fresh, insightful and practical plans to help you realise your organisation’s vision and exceed all of your strategic objectives.
We can steer you through difficult periods through the provision of business rescue and transformation support. This can be in the form of interim management, governance restructure, short-term income generation and debt management and consolidation. We will act as a critical friend to help you make the important decisions that will preserve the long-term sustainability of your organisation.
Oaks have been working with this particular County Sports Partnership (CSP) since 2012, which began with a comprehensive business planning process using the Oaks Business Development Planning Tool ©.Read Full Case Study