Alan Lawrie


I have worked as an independent consultant for over twenty years. My main specialisms are:

  • Strategic and business planning: I work with around twenty organisations each year on reviewing their role, identifying opportunities and setting strategy. Much of my recent work has been on testing new ideas for income development and developing a broader income base.
  • Commissioning and bid writing: I have a sound understanding of the commissioning and public sector procurement process. I regularly train and support commissioners and bid writers in the process of developing, writing and analysing a bid.
  • Governance and organisational development: Much of my work is about the management of small to medium voluntary organisations. Key themes include; building trustee boards that have a clear strategic role, developing ways of working that reduce dependency on a key manager and helping organisations make their case for investment.


Citizens Advice, Bond, Gateshead Carers Centre, National Pyramid Trust, Community First, MIND, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Riverside Housing, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, British Red Cross, National Childminding Association, Homestart Kirklees, Age UK, NHS North West, Disability Action West Lancashire, Sport England, Voluntary Action Cumbria, Lancashire County Council, Carers Trust, Bournemouth Churches Housing Assoc. National Lottery Charities Board, Directory of Social Change, Bradford Playhouse & Film Theatre, York Aids Action, Tyneside Housing Advice Centre, County Durham Foundation, Out of School Network – Sheffield, Manchester Met Students Union, Healthwatch England, 3rd Sector Lancashire, Manchester Refugees Support Network, Kings Fund, Liverpool Specialist Advice Services, European Commission, Chapter Mental Health project, The Men’s Room, Tempus Novo, Just Life, Foxton Centre, Family Tree Wirral, Advice UK, Carers Leeds, Manchester Alliance for Community Care.


I have had published the following books:

  • Managing quality of service (1984), - An introduction to evaluation and quality assurance.
  • The complete guide to business and strategic planning (1988) (2004) (2008) (2016)
  • A practical guide to how to develop strategy and produce useful business plans. Creating and managing new projects (1999) (2003) (2009) – A guide to the processes involved in setting up sustainable projects.
  • Developing your organisation (2001) – An introduction to organisational development.
  • Surviving Contracts (2010) – A comprehensive guide to commissioning and bid writing.
  • The complete guide to collaboration (2013) – A guide to creating alliances, joint ventures and mergers.


Recent projects have included:

  1. Work with the trustees and staff team of a charity that felt "stuck in a rut" to develop a realistic future vision and clear strategy to renew it.
  2. Testing the feasibility of a income generation idea and developing a business case to take it forward.
  3. Work with the leadership of social care charity to get it into a position where it could successfully bid for and win public sector contracts.
  4. Advising on and navigating a three way merger with local mental health agencies to establish a more effective organisation better able to meet community needs.
  5. Carrying out a review and supporting a change project to improve how a community development agency planned and managed fixed term projects.