42 charities benefit from Aardvark Marketing support

Gill Hutchinson, director of Aardvark Marketing, is just completing the final few projects for Worcestershire County Council’s Changing Futures Fund. Over the last 3 years, she has supported 42 charities and not for profit organisations all over the county, to set better strategic goals, plan their marketing and make their marketing activity more professional through this excellent scheme.
“It’s been a privilege and a great pleasure working with CEO’s and managers of these organisations, and I often leave them feeling inspired myself” said Gill. “The Changing Futures Fund was created to support the voluntary and community sector, who provide so many valuable services within our communities, with professional advice and skills training. It’s allowed them to adapt and to thrive in a world where grant funding is increasingly difficult to secure. It’s been great to see the expansion and the successes of so many of these organisations over the last few years. Their impact on local communities is testament to the vision of Worcestershire County Council when the Fund was set up”. This special fund of £750,000 was set aside in 2012 to deliver targeted support packages in financial planning, organizational set-up and start up advice as well as marketing.
The work the charities have done with Gill ranged from strategy, research, planning and new branding through to very practical issues such as building websites, using PR effectively, using social media and digital marketing. Every organisation presented different business organisation and marketing challenges to be solved, which made every project unique. Ruth Krivosic, CEO at the Emily Jordan Foundation explained the role of the fund “The CFF provides small CIC’s the opportunity to learn from other experienced people in business. When developing new business its hard to get the idea’s off the page into a sustainable business model which can be delivered in a coherent way. Knowing what you want to provide or deliver and being able to turn that into a business model requires guidance, support and challenge. The CFF made this possible through their free program. Gill and I developed a straightforward practical approach in which the EJF can evidence the great service we offer. Until I met Gill our marketing and media strategies were incomplete. With this support we now have built an approach in which we can evidence the impact of the service we offer, everyone is becoming involved with our social media campaigns ….We look forward to the new year as we begin our launch.”
Helen Hurdman, manager at Working World was delighted to have been accepted. “I chose Gill Hutchinson for the Marketing package and I am delighted that I did. Gill helped me get a clearer understanding of marketing. She explained everything with total clarity and moved at my pace to support me. She spoke to numerous people including clients, parents, carers and work providers to gain information and testimonials. She worked tirelessly on the new website, which everyone is delighted with. Our press release was published in the local paper and we know how to use Mailchimp which makes out communication more professional. The work she did with me in a short space of time was invaluable.” Working World, now in its eight year, continues to go grow and develop better services for the clients who have mild to moderate learning disabilities.
Many new starts ups were supported. One was Active Youth Outreach services, providing mobile youth support for councils, larger charities and local community police. The co-director, Rob Delahay, found the scheme “fantastic” and “extremely beneficial”. He commented “Without the CFF process I do not feel we would be in existence. Gill was instrumental in the development of our logo, website and marketing strategy. I found her very approachable and easy to work with and her advanced knowledge of marketing allowed me to pull together all my ideas and thoughts in to a manageable process. Without Gill’s support I feel AYOS would still be struggling with an online presence”.
Changing Futures has allowed Aardvark Marketing to continue its long tradition of working with charities and community interest companies in the West Midlands and we look forward to working with more into the future. Currently Gill is working on a pro bono basis with Birmingham charity RSVP, with the specific aim of improving communication with Birmingham business community sponsors.