Off The Grid Adventures (OTGA) is an outdoor-based Community Interest Company delivering engaging, creative and innovative projects for a range of mainstream & vulnerable groups. Initially the company worked only in Northumberland, but this has now spread to cover much of the North of England, led by a team with many years’ experience managing and delivering projects for voluntary sector services.
Following a period of organic growth, Project Director Paul Kirkpatrick felt that the time had come to create a more formal and forward-looking business plan to set a clear direction and support future growth. It was hoped that this three year roadmap would provide a solid business case for grant funders who may then invest in new and additional projects, while maintaining the organisation’s successful trading arms of freelance project management, woodland management and the development of community gardens.
Matt Curtis, Cranfield Trust’s Project Manager in the North East, discussed the charity’s needs with Paul and matched him with volunteer consultant, Jon Snell. Exploratory meetings tuned Jon in to the business model and Paul’s expectations for OTGA. Challenges were set to clarify the organisation’s capabilities and purpose. “This helps better explain the service package and anticipated outcomes to potential funders”” said Jon. “From there, OTGA could evaluate and prioritise its opportunities”.
Paul worked on OTGA’s positioning and service proposition, focussed on the question, “why should OTGA be the preferred choice?” Jon continues, “Paul already knew the unique strengths of OTGA. Together, we created a framework to present an easy-to-understand picture for clients. The business plan effectively rolled out of this work and the new priorities Paul set for OTGA.”
Jon was delighted to support OTGA, saying "The nature of their work is inspiring, and the leader Paul Kirkpatrick is a pleasure to work with, focused and creative."
In summing up the impact of the project, Paul commented:
“Working with the Cranfield Trust has been a very positive & rewarding experience, they helped us to take a look at what we deliver and why we do it and then went on to help shape and launch a very success business plan and strategy that is helping to significantly grow the business!
We felt Off The Grid Adventures had an amazing future with so many exciting potential projects in the pipeline, but we were struggling a little with how best to turn a large number potential ideas into successful deliverable community projects.
Working with our mentor Jonathan over the 6 month period, helped us to take a detailed look at our community activity offer and translate it into a very clear and deliverable business plan which was put into place with immediate effect!
As a result of having a clear and defined business model and plan, we have been successful in securing over £27,500 of external grant funding in the last 3 months.”
You can find out more about Off The Grid Adventures on their website.