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UTS Report

In 2013, four students from the University of Technology's Graduate School of Business undertook a management consulting subject in partnership with MWF. The aim was to troubleshoot MWF's organisational development challenges and help MWF find a pathway forward.

You can download the full report here.

 Read an excerpt here:


Executive Summary


With demand for its services continually increasing and the board’s desire to grow, Making Waves Foundation (MWF) is at a pivotal juncture in its history. With the organisation surviving for almost 20 years on the efforts of a small few, the MWF business model has become unsustainable.


The question addressed in this report is … How can MWF become more sustainable?


To improve the sustainability of MWF, the UTS Consulting team has identified 4 areas of concern and provided recommendations for each. A summary of recommendations is provided below.

* Organisational Structure – adopt a ‘functional structure’ where a management ‘layer’ is added reporting to the MWF Board. The management layer includes the 5 functional areas of the organization requiring focus – Sponsorship & Funding, Boat Operations, Volunteer Management, Program Management and Administration.

* Recruitment & Retention – conduct a skills analysis of the organisation to determine gaps and recruit appropriately. The recommendation is to also implement a retention plan, inclusive of a rewards program in order to keep the existing base of volunteers engaged.

* The ‘Corporate Message’ – for marketing purposes particularly, it is recommended MWF undertake a process of identifying and communicating the organisation’s corporate message. This message should become embedded into all aspects of the organisation and will help facilitate areas such as sponsorship, government grants and recruitment.

* Stakeholder Engagement – to ensure MWF is in the best position to succeed and extract the optimal amount of value from each of its stakeholder groups, it is recommended the organisation adopt a ‘customised’ engagement plan. This involves analysis, development and implementation of an engagement plan for Clients, Donors, Members, Sponsors and Volunteers.

Evidence shows that there is a shared passion among the people involved with MWF to remove the stigma of disability from the consciousness of the community. This passion is a critical component for success, however some fundamental changes are required to ensure long term success. The above recommendations are targeted at creating a more sustainable organisation and achieve a sustainable organisation that can navigate the next 20 years and beyond.

UTS report


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