About Us

We’re experts in charitable governance and organisational effectiveness with significant experience helping charities achieve transformational success. We understand the practical realities of running a charity with a small staff team and highly limited resources, and we bring the expert knowledge of the standards and regulations you need to meet so that you can stay focused on your cause.

About Us

We’re experts in charitable governance and operational management with significant experience helping charities achieve transformational success. We understand the practical realities of running a charity with a small staff team and highly limited resources, and we bring the expert knowledge of the standards and regulations you need to meet so that you can stay focused on your cause.

 

Felicia Willow

Consultant and Owner, Willow Charity Consulting
Felicia has CEO-level experience transforming small-to-medium UK charities. She brings a range of skills— including crisis management, strategic planning, financial overhaul, sustainability planning and excellent analytical skills thanks to her legal qualifications—to help charities achieve their full potential.
 
The author of our Charity Health Check tool, Felicia is an expert in leading and implementing major organisational reviews—including needs assessments, strategic planning and charitable governance. She is highly skilled in interim crisis and change management, project evaluation and staff and Board engagement.
 
Felicia has worked for 11 years in the UK charity sector, with 9 years in international criminal law, international development and human rights. An excellent strategic planner, Felicia has worked as an expert consultant to major organisations including the United Nations Development Programme, World Vision, UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration, and Addaction, as well as successfully delivering a wide range of consultancy support for small-to-medium charities based in the UK. As you will read in the case studies below, Felicia is a proven expert in leading charities to transformational success.

Felicia Willow

Consultant and Owner, Willow Charity Consulting
Felicia has CEO-level experience transforming small-to-medium UK charities. She brings a range of skills— including crisis management, strategic planning, financial overhaul, and excellent analytical skills thanks to her legal qualifications—to help charities achieve their full potential.
 
The author of our Charity Health Check tool, Felicia is an expert in leading and implementing major organisational reviews—including needs assessments, strategic planning and charitable governance. She is highly skilled in project and programme design, management and evaluation, as well as change and crisis management.
 
Felicia has worked for 13 years in the UK charity sector, with 9 years in international criminal law, international development and human rights. An excellent strategic planner, Felicia has worked as an expert consultant to major organisations including the United Nations Development Programme, World Vision, UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration, and Addaction, as well as successfully delivering a wide range of consultancy support for small-to-medium charities across the the UK. As you will read in the case studies below, Felicia is a proven expert in leading charities to transformational success.

Testimonials

“I have never met anyone with such a diverse range of well-honed skills; the ability to really listen, to make you feel like you are the only person in the world when she is talking to you, empathising, caring, personable and fun too!

Those skills really make a difference in delivering any ‘leadership’ role – our staff truly like and respect her. A professional lady who has so much knowledge in her field, who is strong enough to challenge and change deep seated unhelpful thinking – to respectfully tenaciously then carry that forward. Her ability to assimilate information and use it intelligently at speed is extraordinary. She has done so much since joining us on a strategic level, project work, Board tasks, bringing the team back together. ” Anonymous, interim crisis management role

“As a former CEO of a charity, Felicia really understands what charities need — the challenges that any organisation faces in terms of funding and cash flow, and also the issues of growth. Where Felicia really shines is in her knowledge of governance and making connections between that and operational output, which overworked staff (and trustees) may not have had time to consider.

Furthermore, Felicia is kind, fun, knowledgeable and incredibly patient. It’s been an absolute joy working with her. I would strongly recommend her!”Annie Vickers, The Harbour Project for Swindon Asylum Seekers and Refugees

“Felicia has been both constructive and challenging for our way of working, management regime and staffing structure. This had been enormously helpfully at a difficult time for our organisation.”Dave Marr, Chair, Young People First (Midlands)

CASE STUDY 1

Felicia led the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum through a change management period, transitioning from one permanent CEO to the next.

The Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum (FOWA) is a £1.2 million charity that aims to increase public engagement and support the tree collection at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt. It does this through promoting and engaging with its 32,000+ members, raising funds, and working in collaboration with the Forestry Commission to identify and deliver appropriate projects within the arboretum.

Felicia’s achievements as Interim CEO at FoWA included:
• undertaking a detailed Health Check to feed into strategic planning and identify areas for immediate attention
• planning and implementing a staff restructure to improve sustainability and effectiveness while reducing costs
• conducting a thorough review of financial management processes, overhauling the budget process and developing a new Chart of Accounts
• improving staff cohesion and satisfaction
• supporting the Board to identify areas for its own development.

Throughout the work, she applied the same key aspects of organisational effectiveness and charitable governance she has incorporated into her comprehensive Charity Health Check. This increased FoWA’s’s efficiency, professionalism and productivity, as well as improving staff satisfaction.

CASE STUDY 2

Felicia transformed Fly2help from a small, local organisation to a national operation, tripling their beneficiaries.

Fly2help is an aviation charity that uses the wonder of flight to improve the lives and lift the spirits of people living in difficult situations, as well as provide opportunities for young people to pursue a career in aviation.

Felicia’s achievements as CEO at Fly2help included:
• doubling beneficiaries in her first year and tripling them in her second
• pulling the charity out of its reserves and into a positive cash balance of over £170,000 within three years of appointment
• producing an ambitious, expansion-focussed three-year Strategic Plan, then delivering or exceeding all targets
• reducing overhead costs by almost 25%
• implementing a full suite of internal policies and procedures
• expanding the Aim High programme, including adding two new scholarships
• expanding to 13 new airfield bases, and
• achieving a stable, profitable and diverse financial and fundraising system.

She realised this incredible success by assessing the same 8 key aspects of organisational effectiveness and charitable governance she has incorporated into her comprehensive Charity Health Check. Proven to work, her method (i) increased Fly2help’s efficiency, professionalism and productivity, which led to funding being won more easily; (ii) increased the number and quality of charity events; and (iii) significantly reduced the risk the charity was facing.

CASE STUDY 2

Felicia transformed Fly2help from a small, local organisation to a national operation, tripling their beneficiaries.

Fly2help is an aviation charity that uses the wonder of flight to improve the lives and lift the spirits of people living in difficult situations, as well as provide opportunities for young people to pursue a career in aviation.

Felicia’s achievements as CEO at Fly2help included:
• doubling beneficiaries in her first year and tripling them in her second
• pulling the charity out of its reserves and into a positive cash balance of over £170,000 within three years of appointment
• producing an ambitious, expansion-focussed three-year Strategic Plan, then delivering or exceeding all targets
• reducing overhead costs by almost 25%
• implementing a full suite of internal policies and procedures
• expanding the Aim High programme, including adding two new scholarships
• expanding to 13 new airfield bases, and
• achieving a stable, profitable and diverse financial and fundraising system.

She realised this incredible success by assessing the same 8 key aspects of organisational effectiveness and charitable governance she has incorporated into her comprehensive Charity Health Check. Proven to work, her method (i) increased Fly2help’s efficiency, professionalism and productivity, which led to funding being won more easily; (ii) increased the number and quality of charity events; and (iii) significantly reduced the risk the charity was facing.

CASE STUDY 3

Felicia led Stepping Stones Nigeria from the brink of bankruptcy to a flourishing charitable operation with a positive cash balance of £60,000 pounds (with a further £80,000 pounds committed) after only 5 months of implementing her recommendations.

On her first day as interim leader of this UK-based international child rights charity, Felicia discovered the charity had less than six weeks of funding left before it became insolvent. On her second day, she discovered that projects overseas had been misappropriating charitable funds for several years prior to her arrival.

Using her Charity Health Check tool to conduct a risk-management review of policies, procedures, projects and practices, charitable governance and other factors, she was able to swiftly identify the issues that were plaguing the charity and make a plan to lead the charity to robust and stable success.

Felicia’s achievements included:
• avoiding the charity’s imminent insolvency through an emergency budget and fundraising plan
• restructuring the charity to increase its professionalism (including introducing best-practice HR and organisational policies and procedures)
• implementing a risk-management system to deal with and reduce the risks facing the charity
• diversifying fundraising to include commercial activity and corporate sponsorship along with a focus on grants and trusts (achieving £80,000 committed in 5 months)
• developing a comprehensive 3-year strategic plan to ensure stability and tailor effective programmes going forward, and
• establishing a stable budget and accounting system to ensure the ongoing success of this small charity (approximately £250,000 per year).

CASE STUDY 3

Felicia led Stepping Stones Nigeria from the brink of bankruptcy to a flourishing charitable operation with a positive cash balance of £60,000 pounds (with a further £80,000 pounds committed) after only 5 months of implementing her recommendations.

On her first day as interim leader of this UK-based international child rights charity, Felicia discovered the charity had less than six weeks of funding left before it became insolvent. On her second day, she discovered that projects overseas had been misappropriating charitable funds for several years prior to her arrival.

Using her Charity Health Check tool to conduct a risk-management review of policies, procedures, projects and practices, charitable governance and other factors, she was able to swiftly identify the issues that were plaguing the charity and make a plan to lead the charity to robust and stable success.

Felicia’s achievements included:
• avoiding the charity’s imminent insolvency through an emergency budget and fundraising plan
• restructuring the charity to increase its professionalism (including introducing best-practice HR and organisational policies and procedures)
• implementing a risk-management system to deal with and reduce the risks facing the charity
• diversifying fundraising to include commercial activity and corporate sponsorship along with a focus on grants and trusts (achieving £80,000 committed in 5 months)
• developing a comprehensive 3-year strategic plan to ensure stability and tailor effective programmes going forward, and
• establishing a stable budget and accounting system to ensure the ongoing success of this small charity (approximately £250,000 per year).

A few of the organisations we’ve worked with:

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