This case study looks at how business planning and mentoring inspired Collingwood Children’s Farm to review its constitution and improve its financial management, creating a sustainable organisation for the future.
The challenge of long-term survival
Established in 1979, Collingwood Children’s Farm is a much loved community farm that lets city children experience animals, nature and the outdoors.
From the mid-1980s to the early 2000s, the farm struggled against the threat of closure due to lack of funding. Around 2009, Farm Manager Alex Walker and his team developed a strategic plan for the farm’s sustainable development.
In 2012, Alex attended a professional development day, which led to business mentoring sessions that focused on assessing the effectiveness of the strategic plan.
Support through business planning and mentoring
Between November 2011 and June 2013, the former Office for the Community Sector, in partnership with Small Business Victoria and the Small Business Mentoring Service, delivered the Business Planning for Not for Profit Program.
The Program featured ten business planning seminars and individual business mentoring sessions across Victoria to support not for profit community organisations improve business practices. This case study was one of the participants in the program.