Strategic Plan

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Developing a strategic plan for

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About is a leading executive consultancy and production company with more than 20 years expertise in online community and cultural media. provides clear, honest and informed research and strategic advice on information communication technologies and their use in the cultural and community development sectors. applies its expertise to screen industries, civil society groups and local government advising on strategic use of open content platforms, free and open source software and social media networks. specialises in:

  • advisory and production services on public authoring and social media;
  • mixed media installation and production;
  • open content / platform research;
  • rights management, media arts sprints.

Background was founded in 1997 with the view that it would establish a national version of the Association for Progressive Communications, taking on the ICT rights advocacy work formally undertaken by Pegasus Networks.

It began trading under the name Community Communications Online (c2o) providing hosting services, technical development and consultancy up until 2006 when c2o was decommissioned.

In 1999 it acquired the assets of Toy Satellite, providing the arts and cultural media group with the company structure it required. In 2005 Toy Satellite celebrated its 10th year and began the process of archiving its decade of contribution to new media art in Australia.

In 2005 re-focused on its core entity and changed its legal status to that of a private company trading as Toy Satellite and Secession Records.

In 2008 undertook clarification of its primary functions and re-visioning of its identity (Advisory, Production, Commons Australia) which was quietly launched in 2008,'s 11th year.

Organisational structure is a fully Australian owned company that leverages Information Technology to operate in an environmentally friendly virtual manner, without a dedicated office and with staff members operating around the world as required by our projects. Registered sub-divisions of include Toy Satellite and Secession Records, all of which are governed by a minimalist organisational structure.

Executive management

  • Andrew Garton - Director, Producer, Executive Consultant
  • Grant McHerron - Director, Executive Consultant, Technical, Project Management


  • Accounting - Ibbotson & Moscatelli (reporting to Directors)
  • Bookkeeping - Amalia Zaharias - Financial Controller (reporting to Directors)

Project team

  • Sub-contractors contracted on a project by project basis

Informal advisory board

Consulted on an informal basis by Directors.


The utilisation of appropriate technologies enables to maximise gains for society and individuals whilst minimising impacts on our environment!


Facilitating the implementation of commons based solutions by encouraging ongoing support for, and uptake of, open licenses, open publishing platforms and FOSS software solutions.

Commons based solutions build on and improve social relations and attitudes towards our environment, honouring local knowledge and community values towards the collective management and development of our resources.


Open Business

Establish an open business model that provides:

  • operational transparency
  • open access to the company's project development processes
  • policies and procedures developed with partners and associates and available via appropriate CC license
  • equitable income model that supports project development, administration and salaries for project leads
  • business model that supports innovation, inspiration, openness and range of free services / products


Sustainable planet

  • environment
  • water
  • carbon footprint / trading

Access to Knowledge

  • ICT Rights
    • IGF
    • ICANN
  • Lobbying/advising politicians on ICT matters
  • Free speech
  • Freedom of the press
  • Creative Commons licensing

Social Justice

  • UN universal declaration of human rights
  • APC's Internet Rights Charter

Secession Records

  • Progress Secession Records towards the ideals captured in the SR_plan



Action Plan

  • Action step(s): What will happen
  • Person(s) responsible: Who will do what
  • Dated completed: Timing of each action step
  • Resources required: Resources and support (both what is needed and what's available )
  • Barriers or resistance, and a plan to overcome them!
  • Collaborators: Who else should know about this action



Notes taken from presentation by ... given at the APC staff and board meeting, Ithala 2008.

The ABC of mobilising resources


  • Resource mobilisation
    • You want to shift donor agenda's
    • They should be aware if they wish to fulfill their goals they support your overall vision and program agenda.

Putting your house in order

  • Due diligence and accountability mechanisms (governance, finance, legal)
  • An integrated management information system
  • A summary of the strategic plan (keeping the receiver in mind)
    • a clear focus wand unique positioning
    • inspiring goals and strategies
  • Case statement - everyone should be able to express this
    • 2-3 minute message that makes a clear and compelling case for APC
    • Should include the following elements:
      • The problem we address
      • The change we want to produce is...

Researching potential donors

  • Learn about them: sites newspapers, annual reports
  • Find out about them from colleagues, council members, peer organisations (ask about their funders...
  • Who are the person behind the donor (and build institutional memory)

Making contact

  • The donor's unspoken questions:
    • Who is contacting me?
    • How much do you want?
    • Why do they want it?
    • What will they do with the money?
    • How does this fit in with our priorities?
    • Do they have the capacity to spend the money?
    • Who do they know in my networks?

Managing the relationship

  • No cold calls
  • Seek an introduction
  • Answer the donors unspoken questions
  • Keep it short, solicit interest
  • Don't run down other organisations
  • Do not make claims you cannot substantiate
  • Instead, know they need you as much as you need them
  • Inspire them, make them curious, offer the and opportunity to make a difference
  • Homework
    • Know the person
      • Google him/her
      • ask others about their style, interests, experiences
      • Assume they researched you as well
    • Know the organisation
      • History, policy areas, current issues
      • Messages and language
      • Find the right fit
  • The right dress code
  • The right representative
  • Be on time
    • The meeting
      • Introduce yourself
      • Agree on next steps
      • show leadership
      • be graceful if NO
      • ask for potential other donor's
      • End on time
  • Thank the donor within days after the meeting
  • Create and update donor profiles
  • Stick to promises and be timely
  • Keep the donor informed and involved
    • tie their interest to a recent success, to events and type of information (tailor-made versus standard); send invitations
  • Refer to them in publications, etc.



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