Industry experience

At AWA, we understand not-for-profits. Over the last 8-10 years, we have worked with this sector in the UK, the US and globally.

Our experience and knowledge around not-for-profit governance structures, complex stakeholders, brand and security issues, advocacy and fiscal responsibility in funded environments has allowed us to provide exceptional value to hospitals, universities and charities.

We appreciate that the vision you project to the world must attract supporters and funding to your cause as well as recruit the talent required to fulfill your mission – and strike the right balance between all three.

To that end, our work with not-for-profit organisations endeavours to support change in all aspects of the business. We help you build hybrid models of work and place to support high-performance, equitable cultures that empower your people to further the mission of the organisation.

Industry challenges

Not-for-profits are arguably more susceptible to the vagaries of social and economic change than many of their for-profit counterparts.

Clear and consistent messaging helps not-for-profits to survive and thrive. Clever marketing efforts that include the use technology, research data and social media platforms target donors and expand audiences. Savvy organisations even engage in co-opetition – partnering with synergistic organisations to share costs and further enhance visibility.

But messaging is not just an external function. Internally, vision and mission permeate every aspect of the organisation and encourage employees to become ambassadors to the cause. By reflecting and promoting a culture of philanthropy both within and outside of the work environment, employees become de facto recruiters of new colleagues and donors alike.

Not-for-profits that elicit this kind of enthusiasm from employees support and promote a sense of purpose and meaningful work for individuals – as well as the community. Employees seeking purpose and meaningful work, however, may also expect greater flexibility regarding when, how and where they work. This dynamic is prompting a shift in thinking around how the workplace can and should be used.

We used to think of ‘place’ as just where we ‘go’ to work. Today ‘workplace’ can be used both to support your workforce as well as function as a shared community environment for clients, beneficiaries, funders and partners.


“Leading a major change management project in complex international organisation is challenging undertaking. I knew it would involve multiple stakeholders, take wide-ranging collaboration and that we would need some expert, confident experience to help steer and deliver it. AWA has provided that, not by steaming in and dictating how things should be based on their ideals, but by listening to us, learning, understanding and advising. I have enjoyed working closely with them on this project. I have felt supported, they have always been available to discuss challenges and options and have always responded promptly, constructively and positively with solutions and alternative ideas for consideration.”

Tom Crame Head of Global Workplace, Amnesty International

“We have worked with AWA for more than five years and value the collaborative partnership we have with them. They have supported the ongoing evolution of our workplace, providing deep insights and extensive expertise. With their help, we’ve been able to create a transformational space which supports our hybrid working approach and transforms our culture and ways of working to become more agile and innovative. This helps us recruit and retain the best talent, which supports our core purpose of funding research to save lives. None of this would have been possible without the help of AWA.”

Kerry Smith Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation

“Mintel has worked successfully with AWA for over a decade on several major projects. We chose them for their expertise and experience at the cutting edge of understanding workplaces. They lead the industry with well-crafted research to understand the dynamic workplace landscape and help solve the real-world issues of operating successfully in a changing world. Along with data and insights they bring practical processes that involve everyone from grass root team members to the most senior executives, developing effective change to meet all parties’ goals. They have become trusted advisers around not only workplace matters but in behavioural change.”

Peter Haigh Chairman, Mintel

“AWA has been a great resource of global data and research for us regarding agile, hybrid and the world of working. They are responsive, willing to question assumptions, and work as a partner to help us make good decisions.”

Neil Austin VP Real Estate Portfolio Management and Transaction Services, Omnicom Group

“We were really keen to understand how the learnings and behaviours of Covid enforced home working would affect the post-pandemic return of staff and in particular to our Sheffield campus as we have plans to restack and refurbish the office space. AWA’s detailed and in-depth engagement process allowed us to reach out to all levels of occupants and really understand staff perception on what will be needed to create a new working environment that would align with business requirements and where changes in behaviour, management style and space might be appropriate. Their insights also allowed us to create a blueprint of alternative space types that we’ve used to inform the repurposing of space across our nationwide estate.”

Steve Chapman Interim Head of Estates ICF Security, Estates and Information Directorate, Home Office