Woodville Alliance are a mid-sized not-for-profit based in vulnerable communities in south-west Sydney, in the areas of mental health, disability services, and early childhood learning. TDi were brought in after the senior management team at Woodville Alliance realised that their initiatives and impact had room to grow, and that they could use this as an opportunity to diversify the organisation’s revenue. Woodville were aware that as an organisation they had traditionally been reactive to funding opportunities, rather than being proactive and predicting what the community might need or want next. Woodville wanted to assess what resources they had in their business already, and how they could use these and innovate, to help them do good and make money.
“I originally felt quite skeptical about the outcomes of the training. But I was very pleasantly surprise when as each segment unfolded I was feeling more and more confident that as a group we would leave the experience with a solid understanding of how to build a sustainable business as well as having a detailed plan to commence scoping out our own social innovation project” – Veronique Besnard, Woodville Alliance
The ‘Nitty Gritty’
Over three days, TDi principal consultant, Anthea, and TDi consultant, Caroline, undertook a series of workshops, discussions and processes with Woodville Alliance’s senior management team. They began with a session on Intent, to help Woodville Alliance connect with their vision and community context. On Day 1 they also completed an asset assessment and opened the floor to Woodville Alliance’s team to see what opportunities they saw for improvement in their organisation’s programs and initiatives and identify what methods and structures were required to put these opportunities in action.
Day 2 focused on business modelling and refining all of Woodville’s ideas and opportunities for growth. Using the Business Model Canvas, the session aimed to understand how each of the innovative ideas could be implemented into the business. By day 3, two key opportunities had been identified. Chris Vanstone from the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) was brought in by TDi to speak to Woodville Alliance about the importance of piloting and testing new ideas in an efficient way. Woodville then left with a three month plan of how to test out their two key ideas.
“We went into Day 1 of the workshops with Woodville thinking we would need to run activities to bring out ideas for sustainable enterprises from the group. Within an hour we realised every single person had an idea and there was not one person that wasn’t committed to getting something out of the workshops” – Caroline Sanz, Enterprise Consultant
For an service delivery community organisation like Woodville Alliance, being able to remove themselves from the day to day operations of their organisation, and focus on strategy and growth with TDi and TACSI, was really valuable. Through the three days, Woodville were able to create a solid plan for the future, specifically focusing on how they could deliver services to their community more efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to this, Woodville Alliance also found a couple of new ways to generate meaningful revenue for their business.
The new initiatives, that the organisation will be testing over the coming months, allow for strong community connection, create safe spaces for women experiencing domestic violence or isolation, and promote diversity in the workplace throughout their area. Woodville Alliance’s commitment to their community, and making real difference, made them an ideal client to achieve doing good and making money.