Market research to inform expansion of service

Family support work

"The market research carried out by Action Planning gave us a strong insight into the other organisations that are carrying out similar work to us. As we have started to move forward, this work has been of great value to the organisation."


FSW, based in Brighton, has been helping vulnerable children and their families in Sussex since 1890. They work with families who are in or facing crisis and who need help to overcome multiple, complex issues. After several years of fluctuation, the charity had come into some capital from the sale of a property and wanted to explore the feasibility of expanding its operations into every Deanery in East and West Sussex. Knowing David Saint from his presentations at various  events, including the Christian Charities Fundraising Conference, FSW commissioned Action Planning to help gain a clearer understanding of its current position and future prospects.

FSW asked Action Planning to carry out research into all areas of its operations, including competitor analysis, to help them understand the need for and nature of provision for vulnerable families across East and West Sussex, and by how much the team needed to grow in order to meet that need.

We carried out extensive research across the Diocese, interviewing service providers and stakeholders, including the Bishop, trustees, fundraisers and other church representatives. Having gathered all available information, we compiled a comprehensive report that outlined existing needs and provisions, as well as highlighting FSW’s key points of difference. From our research and our extensive experience of helping Christian charities, we were able to put together realistic estimates of the growth and funding required.

FSW’s leadership were given a much clearer insight into the complexity of their market and the potential to expand the charity’s services. This laid the groundwork for the second phase of the project: exploring how the expansion might be funded.

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