communications, marketing, fundraising - solutions

We help organisations to market their products and services, communicate the impact of their work and raise funds. Our clients are charities, social enterprises, public organisations and local businesses - organisations where values drive decision-making and which have the best stories to tell.

We work at a strategic level but can also be an 'extra pair of hands' to implement your work. So we can help to facilitate and write your strategies and business plans, design your fundraising and communications programmes or deliver areas of work for you. 

"Red Pencil has a very good understanding of the context in which organisations are working and the current funding challenges. We were delighted to be able to call on all their extensive expertise, knowledge and wisdom and look forward to working with Red Pencil again." Jan Knight, CEO, Camden CAB Services

Please take a look at the services we offer and call or email for a no-obligation discussion.

news blog

Participants at the Small Charity Brand Survey focus groupIt's all official - our session at this year's Institute of Fundraising convention is published.

Hope to see lots of familiar and new faces there and if you've got any pearls of wisdom to share - please get in touch! We'd love to hear from you.   


“Branding should be a critical issue for charities because it has been shown to impact dramatically on income generation.” (Hudson, 2008)

pound note black and white
Research among large charities has proved that a well managed brand can lead to increased income, more supporters and help charities to stand out from the crowd - all vital in tough times. However we could only find one study that has investigated whether small charities (with an income of £1 million or less) can gain similar benefits. If you work in a #smallcharity have your say at and read more on our blog.

Talking values with The Reading Agency

Staff at The Reading Agency selecting pictures that represent the organisations values
We did a really interesting session with The Reading Agency, as part of our work to implement their branding. It was the first time we'd helped to embed values by thinking about what they mean in terms of the images that a charity should be using. 

See if you can spot The Reading Agency's five values in the photos on our blog and say hello on @RedPencil_ and Facebook.

Lining up the ducks

ducks in a row image(Couldn’t resist the Easter-themed picture)

Systems and being systematic makes a significant difference to effective fundraising. This fundraising co-ordination spreadsheet has been developed by Red Pencil associate director, Alec Leggat, based on his hands-on experience of being the sole or senior fundraiser in small to medium-sized charities. 

If you’d like to use it please send us a ‘like’ on our facebook page and let us know how you get on. We’d love to develop it in light of your feedback. 

our services

We have been around since 2002 and work across the communications, marketing and fundraising spectrum. Please read more about the services we offer below and get in touch if you think we can help you.

Getting the direction right

Everything should flow from and relate back to how you see the world. Connecting your vision, mission and values to the every day operational reality of  your work makes all the difference to how you market your services, communicate your messages and raise funds.

We work with charities to define and write communications, marketing and organisational strategies, using well-established strategic planning tools to ensure your strategies are targeted, practical and measurable.

We can also write tools and action plans to help deliver and monitor strategic priorities on time and budget.

"We've been impressed with the way that Red Pencil has got to grips with our organisation and this brief. You have helped us to write our three-year strategy and we are looking forward to how your work to develop our brand, new website and marketing strategies will have on our the people who use our services." Kirsty Rowlinson, Community Action Hampshire

Strategy clients include: Bassac (now Locality), Community Action Hampshire, Campaign for National Parks, Donald Woods Foundation, National Empowerment Partnership, The Reading Agency and Skills - Third Sector

Raising funds sustainably

The single best fundraising tool you have is your passion for your cause. That’s yours and it fuels everything you do.

We can bring a whole set of knowledge, skills and experience to help you communicate that passion. We can get your message out to donors in a clear, concise and compelling way that will make them understand and share your cause. It will also help them see why they should be funding your work.

We can help with analysing your funding needs, prospecting donors, conducting case studies, writing cases for support, devising fundraising campaigns, organising events, devising and implementing supporting social media campaigns, approaching donors and measuring the results.

"Red Pencil are expert in sustainable funding strategies, funding application techniques, and meeting funders’ requirements. They are highly professional." Jan Knight, CEO, Camden CAB Services

Fundraising clients include: Camden CAB, Ezer Leyoldos and Why Me?

The DNA of your organisation

We believe passionately that strong brands are build on, and communicate, the values of your organisation and the difference you make. We have worked with numerous organisations as they rebrand or refresh their existing brands - helping to articulate vision and values statements, writing guidelines and tools to support consistent brand application and guiding internal communications programmes to implement and roll out brand changes.

We have a particular interest and expertise in supporting smaller charities and businesses to strengthen their brands in cost effective ways that deliver measurable results.

"Red Pencil has worked strategically with us to develop and build our brand, including leading on our brand guidelines, style and tone guidelines and supporting us to embed our values into our culture and working practices." Penny Shapland-Chew, director of HR, The Reading Agency

Brand clients include: Campaign for National Parks, Community Action Hampshire, Fair Train, Greenvoice, Minster Centre, National Empowerment Partnership, The Reading Agency, RedR, Skills - Third Sector and Sound and Music

Building virtual conversations

Social media is a very cost-effective way of connecting with a large number of stakeholders and supporters, promoting your products and services and taking part in conversations on the topics that interest you. However, social media takes time and needs a strategic approach.

We can help you write social media strategies and action plans or we can run your social media accounts for you. If you need help getting set up on social media platforms then get in touch because we can help with that too.

"Red Pencil provided professional and constructive support services that were instrumental in enabling Skills - Third Sector to take a step forward in its external communications work.  In particular our use of social media was extended with a significant increase in our Twitter followers." Keith Mogford, CEO, Skills - Third Sector

Watch this case study of how we are working with Why Me? to help build their social media and online connections.

Social media clients include: Campaign for National Parks, Protimos, The Reading Agency, Skills - Third Sector and Why Me?

Analyse and advise

Fundraising and communications audits provide an invaluable objective analysis, which allows you to analyse your organisation, set your objectives, identify target audiences, define your messages and identify effective ways of developing relationships.

We actively engage stakeholders and staff in audits through focus groups, telephone interviews and questionnaires, as well as conducting expert reviews and desk research.

At the end of an audit, you will be presented with comprehensive recommendations, many of which can be implemented in-house.

"Through the communications and brand audit, Red Pencil has provided The NAS with the evidence, knowledge and tools to improve our communications - both their quality and our systems for producing and distributing them." Kathryn Quinton, brand and publications manager, The National Autistic Society

Audit clients include: Community Action Hampshire, Community Alliance, National Autistic Society, RedR, Saferworld, Skills - Third Sector and Why Me?

From development to delivery

The Reading Agency front page image

Dementia Friends website front page image

We have developed, project managed and/or written websites for many charities and small businesses. Your website is the first window people have into your work. It's crucial for it to work as a fundraising, marketing and business tool. It needs to support you to tell your stories and build the relationships you need to make your organisation a success.

We can help you to write a brief, commission website developers, identify the optimum structure to help your audiences engage with your work and write your website copy.

Our most recent website writing and development work can be seen at:

Other website clients include: East Dulwich SNUB, entitledto, Lambeth Voluntary Action, Fair Train, fishneedwater, Kids, Protimos, PRS Members' Fund, Skills - Third Sector and Turn2us

Connecting with your audiences

We have over 20 years' experience of writing and editing offline and online copy for diverse audiences - adults, children and young people. Knowing how to write for different audiences is vital to getting your message across effectively.

We have written and edited literally hundreds of publications and websites including booklets, newsletters, factsheets, advocacy publications, direct mailings, marketing materials, catalogues, classroom support materials, annual reviews and corporate reports. We also have experience of writing commercial books.

"Red Pencil produces high quality work, on time and are a delight to deal with." Sue Elliott, writer and consultant

Clients we have written publications for include: Bassac (now Locality), Campaign for National Parks, Community Action Hampshire, Community Alliance, Institute of Voluntary Action Research, Gaia Active, Granada TV, ITV, Kids, Pro Medical Solutions, One Plus One, RedR, Skills -Third Sector and Streatham & Clapham School 

current clients

We are incredibly lucky to work with organisations who are driven by their vision and values - and who care about making a measurable difference to people. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning (regardless of what time we went there)... Thank you.

The Reading Agency

Screen grab of new Reading Agency website home page

We are currently providing interim digital brand consultancy to The Reading Agency leading on the online and offline brand strategy and implementation. We are also supporting the development and delivery of the wider digital strategy.

During the last six years we have researched new markets, written brand guidelines, launched an electronic newsletter and written digital communications and marketing strategies. We are currently project managing the Reading Groups for Everyone website - the online reading groups campaign - and leading the next stage of its strategy and digital development.

"Red Pencil is a popular contributor to our team. You are very supportive of colleagues and very flexible in how you work with individuals and teams. I highly recommend you.Penny Shapland-Chew, HR Director, The Reading Agency

Community Action Hampshire

Community Action Hampshire is the infrastructure organisation for the region, supporting local charities and voluntary sector organisations deliver effective services and activities.

We are delighted to have won the contract with Community Action Hampshire to support their branding, marketing and communications. Our role includes leading a branding refresh and writing new guidelines, supporting Community Action Hampshire to develop an organisational strategy for the next three years, helping to commission a new website and writing a marketing strategy to reach new markets.

Post-it notes from strategy facilitation

Alzheimer's Society

Dementia Friends website screen grab

Dementia Friends is a new initiative from Alzheimer's Society that is helping to create dementia friendly communities with the help of one million Dementia Friends.

Building on the market research carried out by the Society, we have been shaping the 

key messages and external communications, including writing the online copy, external newsletters and advertisements, as well as copy editing internal briefing and training materials.

Following the launch of the new website the bounce rate improved by over 30%.

"Working with Red Pencil was a joy. They got to grips with the requirements and challenges of this new, high profile initiative very quickly and acted like an extra member of the team: exactly what I needed at the time. Red Pencil always made sure they understood what was needed – indeed helped us establish what was needed – and produced excellent copy to fit the brief." Melior Whitear, interim project manager

Why Me?

Why Me? is a small charity fighting for the rights of victims of crime to be offered restorative justice. As the 'voice of the victims' we have been working with them to develop and build their social media activity so they are more effective at telling their stories and building relationships. We have also carried out an audit of their existing website and produced a report with recommendations for refreshing their online presence. 
Why me screen grab of current website

Front cover of Viewpoint members magazine

Campaign for National Parks

We are working with the Campaign for National Parks providing interim communications consultancy services. Our brief covers strategic and external communications including writing communications strategies and planning, PR and editorial services.

To date we have commissioned and produced their annual reviewmembership magazineFriends leafletlegacy leafletpromotional programme leaflet, gained media coverage for the 75th anniversary and developed their social media reach and impact. We have lead a brand refresh to integrate their campaigning and community engagement work.

who we are

Red Pencil is an independent consultancy run by Natasha Roe and Alec Leggat - between us we have nearly 40 years of experience of working with and for charities and social enterprises of all sizes. During this time we have gathered trusted networks and colleagues who we team up with to deliver larger projects or initiatives that require expertise outside our own.  

Natasha Roe (MSc, MInstF Dip)

Natasha is founding director of Red Pencil. Her background is as a published author and writer so much of our consultancy is based on language and words and the impact of communicating in powerful, strong language. 

She holds an MSc in Charity Strategic Marketing and Fundraising from Cass Business School and the Institute of Fundraising's Diploma of Fundraising Management and leads on most of Red Pencil's work. 

Alec Leggat (MA)

Alec has held sole and senior fundraising positions in the sector over the last 14 years, raising million of pounds.

He uses his strategic experience and insight to advise non-profit organisations on how to develop mixed fundraising approaches or to fundraise for specific areas of work. His work is based on aligning organisations' visions and values to donors' interests - thereby bringing the donor closer to the cause.

in safe hands

To offer our clients protection we carry both public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance and, as a member of the Institute of Fundraising, abide by the Fundraising Code of Practice.

say hello

@RedPencil_ on Twitter

020 8425 2406
07528 663141 (comms and marketing)
07812 150229 (fundraising)

5 Tyrrell Road, London SE22 9NA