Showing posts from October, 2014

Is O.R. consultancy for the 3rd sector different from OR elsewhere? Ruth Kaufman says yes – and no

The keynote talk from Ruth Kaufman at The OR Society's annual conference (OR56)
What’s so special about the Third Sector? Ruth Kaufman Chair of Third Sector Special Interest Group
Abstract The OR Society’s Third Sector initiative has two main components: a Special Interest Group, and a Pro Bono scheme, matching O.R. volunteers with third sector organisations needing their input. But is there really any difference between doing OR in the third sector and doing it with a government or private sector organisation? Is “it’s for charity” really a good enough reason to work for free? This talk explores these challenges, taking charities as an example of third sector organisations. It considers three areas of inherent difference between charity, private and public organisations – legal form, governance, and resourcing – and other factors such as organisational size, culture, and business environment. It goes on to consider the implications for practising OR in th…

Pro Bono O.R. making a difference

It's so rewarding to get such great feedback from the organisations Pro Bono O.R. works with.

Here is some feedback from two projects we've recently completed:

Fly2help is a small charity supporting families and individuals facing a wide range of trauma or tragedy and encouraging aerospace careers.  The charity was about to embark on an expansion of its services and wanted reassurance about their plans. When talking about their Pro Bono volunteer they said this: 'He was absolutely brilliant. He was able to review complex issues and get straight to the heart of what was going wrong. He was then really flexible and agreed to work with the Chair and myself to resolve our roles and move forward together.'

The Dachshund Breed Council
DBC is a community group that works with breed clubs and breeders to improve dogs’ health and welfare.   The problem they faced was that some Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds suffer from a form of epilepsy called Lafora Disease.  2 DNA tests ar…

Free event: Using Knowledge Management To Increase Third Sector Resilience

Venue: RNLI Boardroom, 124-126 Webber St, London SE1 0QL 
Speaker: Gillian Ragsdell & Moya Hoult
Date: Monday, 10 November 2014 at 12:30 - 15:00

How can sharing information help build resilience in the voluntary sector? Gillian Ragsdell and Moya Hoult will be discussing their experience of a Big Lottery funded project entitled ‘Charnwood Connect’ to show how knowledge management practices can help to build and sustain meaningful partnerships, and, in turn, lead to increased resilience. Charnwood Connect, launched on 1st October 2013, aimed to encourage voluntary and public sector organisations to work together to achieve more for service users and service providers, building on the success of the well-established advice providers in the Borough. With collaborative working becoming an increasingly important cornerstone of the voluntary sector, it is timely to reflect on the benefits and challenges of Charnwood Connect and to share lessons from the early stages of the project. Gillian R…

Helping AYME (Association of Young People with ME) focus on the future

After hearing about the project Pro Bono O.R. carried out for 'Work for Us' and the very positive feedback, Vanessa (Deputy Chair) at AYME got in touch.  AYME needed to revise its 3-5 year strategy in the light of changing circumstances and several new trustees.   Pro Bono O.R. provided an external facilitator who ran a half day strategic planning workshop. The slide below provides a summary of the project.  

In order to receive Pro Bono O.R. support please send an email to
For more information please visit the webpage which has details of how to get involved, all the case studies and latest news.

Join the Social Impact Analysts Association for Talking Data this November

Talking Data is the fourth international annual conference from the Social Impact Analysts Association (SIAA) on the 3rd and 4th November in Toronto, Canada. Join impact analysts from across the globe to discuss questions around how we can ensure that the data we collect is creating the most social impact or value.

Help drive the impact agenda forward across charities, businesses, and governments at this fantastic international opportunity to participate in two days of workshops, dialogue and networking at an international level.Find out more information here:
Why are we Talking Data?
Collecting data is not enough. Data will not speak for itself. Work needs to be done to ensure that measurements deliver the right message. From writing social impact reports for our funders to telling stories to inspire our stakeholders, how we present data has a huge effect on how it is interpreted and then used. This is why at SIAA’s annual conference this year we will be talk…