Friday, 16 December 2016

Pro Bono O.R. Christmas message

As the end of 2016 draws near, we are writing to thank you for being a Pro Bono Volunteer. Whatever level you have been involved at - whether you have completed a Pro Bono project, or put your name forward but not been selected, or are still waiting for a suitable project to come along - we appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time and expertise. The OR Society’s Pro Bono initiative is only possible because you and others like you offer your commitment.

Over the last year, we have completed 24 projects, representing a total of 135 person days, for charities as varied as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: for example “the volunteers were very dedicated and committed to the project skills gap in our team so added great value for data/insight-driven decisions” and “the work has allowed us to step back and take a bold decision in the way forward. One that we hadn't anticipated.” And we know that the volunteers who have been involved have generally been excited and inspired by the experience.

The scheme has been beneficial not just for the charities who have benefited directly, and for those volunteers who have had the chance to take part, but also for the visibility of O.R. itself. The Pro Bono O.R. initiative has been publicised widely in third sector discussion fora, publications, and by word of mouth. It is visible not just to charities, but to their trustees and other supporters whose day job is in other sectors of the economy, and to other specialist volunteers through our collaboration  with organisations such as DatakindUK (an equivalent initiative in the Data Science area) and the Government Statistical Service. And we are particularly proud that in this last year, we have spawned similar initiatives from INFORMS and APDIO, our US and Portuguese sister societies, respectively.

So whatever your involvement has been so far, we do hope that you will continue to stay involved during the coming year, and to keep in touch with Pro Bono’s successes and opportunities.
Wishing you a very merry festive season, and all the best for the New Year

Ruth Kaufman (OR Society President) & Felicity (Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager)