Showing posts from July, 2014

The value of LinkedIn for Third Sector organisations

Having recently read Alex Swallow's post on 'How LinkedIn changed my life' it really struck me how valuable LinkedIn has been for Pro Bono O.R. (Operational Research). It has helped me build up connections with people I would never have been able to otherwise and has enabled me to explain what O.R. is and how it is and can really benefit Third Sector organisations in the UK. To then back this up I then received an email yesterday from Karen Weaver (CEO of HARCVS) who has written an article on how LinkedIn offers opportunities for charities: Linking In offers opportunities for charities 'Volunteers find their way to charities via many routes and of course take on a wide
variety of roles. In recent years social media has become a valuable additional channel and HARCVS has just benefited from excellent support from a volunteer which commenced with LinkedIn.'
To find out how Karen discovered Pro Bono O.R. and how the project went please read the following article on pages…

Sharing ideas between the Health and Third Sector O.R. groups was a great success

After a wonderful break away in sunny Somerset it's exciting to be back in the office and catch up with what's happening with Pro Bono O.R. 

We have 11 projects currently being carried out and have been thrilled to hear that both the volunteers and organisations are really enjoying the experience.

The idea of Pro Bono O.R. originally came about through members of the Third Sector group (part of The OR Society).

Back in June there was a joint meeting held between 2 groups at The OR Society.  The Health and Third Sector groups met to share ideas and learn from one another.  It turned out to be a great success with over 50 people attending. Speakers included Nigel Edwards (CEO, Nuffield Trust), Linda Henry (Director, Unique Improvements), Sam MacKay and John Newman (Apteligen)and Jérémie Gallien (Associate Professor of Management Science and Operations at London Business School)

Click on the link for the write up: link

Press release from decisionLab (Pro Bono volunteers at decisionLab helping make the world a better palce)

Press release from decisionLab: see how the OR consultancy firm are supporting Pro Bono O.R. by undertaking projects with Marie Curie and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
decisionLab problem solvers making the world a better place Where other supporters might run a marathon, shave a leg or bake a cake, decisionLab consultants are applying their problem solving skills pro bono, directly to the issues tackled by some of the UK’s best known charities.
Major corporations and government departments have long understood the benefits of better decision-making underpinned by Operational Research (OR).  Sometimes known as management science, OR uses maths, data analytics and computer science to help understand complex business problems and provide tools which improve decision making.
Specialist OR consultancy decisionLab has been instrumental in improving outcomes, and profits, in sectors ranging from aerospace to utilities.
Now decisionLab problem solvers are making better outcomes accessible to the th…

How small charities can have a big impact

Just came across this articlefrom The Guardian on the voluntary sector network blog. I have taken excerpts below...

'Small charities are increasingly having to innovate and do more with less to survive.

It is no secret that charities are facing tough times. Demand is up and funding is down meaning that charities – especially the smaller ones – are having to think outside of the box to survive.'

During a live debate hosted on 20th June the following questions were raised:

'• What innovative techniques small charities can use to maximise and measure their impact

• How small charities can cut costs while maximising social outcomes • Where to begin and what to consider when approaching impact measurement' If you missed it, don't worry.  These are exactly the type of questions that Operational Research can help you with.   O.R. is about finding ways to apply analytical methods to make better decisions. Third Sector organisations face extremely complex decisions about the direct…

Cranfield Trusts joins the debate: 'Are there too many charities?'

Interesting article from Amanda Tincknell, CEO of Cranfield Trust

How much is volunteering really worth?

Pro Bono O.R. is dependant on its volunteers in order to operate.  Without our volunteers, the third sector would not be benefiting from all the free consultancy hours.  These hours of face to face support and remote support that have so far been given to over 12 charities and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

We are currently trying to measure the 'economic value' that Pro Bono O.R. is worth by measuring the number of hours/days a volunteer works on a projects multiplied by the hourly/daily rate of an O.R. consultant/analyst.  We know that our volunteers are providing significant value but how much?  Read the interesting blog below from NCVO on how much volunteering is worth to the UK

“It’s the economic value, stupid”…but is volunteering really worth £100bn to the UK?