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Anthony Nolan

Case study: Engagement Strategy Development at Anthony Nolan

Anthony Nolan is the leading UK charity working in the areas of leukaemia and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It recruits individuals to a national donor register and carries out research to help make bone marrow transplants more effective.

Their vision is to save and improve the lives of everyone who needs a stem cell transplant. To succeed in this ambition, they decided to improve in a number of key areas: build significant income growth; develop stronger stakeholder relationships, including transplant centres and policymakers; invest in staff development; and promote better engagement with supporters. As part of that transformation journey beginning in May 2016, the existing Communications and Marketing Division and the Fundraising Division were merged to work around one overarching idea – to inspire a community of committed supporters to help them save and improve lives.

Anthony Nolan fundraising

Director Richard Davidson, leading his team in this radical approach, was keen that the new unitary Engagement Division, work in a more collaborative and integrated way. Part of the ambition was to produce an integrated strategic plan that showed how the two divisions would now work as one.

=mc’ s brief

=mc was asked by Director Richard Davidson to work with him and the senior leadership team of the division to facilitate the development of this integrated supporter engagement strategy. He wanted an approach that was disciplined and rigorous – but at the same time flexible as the division worked though the ambitious approach. For a variety of reasons, as is often the case, the time scale for the project was short – and a number of other major initiatives were also being developed by the team.


What we did

The =mc consultants suggested Anthony Nolan use a specialised version of the strategy map and balanced scorecard =mc has developed for charities. (To find out more about this approach see our article ‘An introduction to Strategy Maps and the BSC in charities‘ ) We used a workshop-based approach for maximum involvement by the senior team, and over three highly intense sessions the leadership team created:

  • a set of drivers – key issues that the charity would need to address and the key questions the strategy would need to answer
  • a one-page strategy ‘map’ linking four key perspectives – key stakeholders; core competencies; people and culture; and resources and investment
  • a draft scorecard showing how the objectives and ambitions set out would be delivered and impact identified

The flexible but robust nature of the model, skilful facilitation by =mc, and the workshop approach ensured that the Richard and his leadership team were able explore the potential of different approaches and weigh up options.

Anthony Nolan engagement strategy


The result was a written plan on a single page, with linked scorecards and initiatives which are now being implemented. It also provided the context for a longer, more detailed Engagement strategy. The leadership team supported the implementation of the overall plan by developing a shorter, accompanying People Plan which covered staff and skill recruitment, development and support.

Richard Davidson, Director of Engagement at Anthony Nolan says:

“We were delighted with =mc’s ideas, facilitation, approach and speediness. It meant we were able to meet our ambitious deadline for developing the strategy. We also made sure that the team, especially the Heads and Managers were involved in the strategy detail and implementation. We’re excited about the potential of this new approach. And the proof of the pudding is that the new approach is being rolled out, helping us to deliver on our ambitious vision.”

If you’re keen to find out how the Strategy Map and BSC can help your organisation, call us on 020 7978 1516 or email Bernard Ross, Director on

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