Friday, 30 January 2015

The business case for employee volunteer & skills giving programs

I came across this great article by Sarah Ford which talks about how having an employee volunteer program could actually help an organisation save money.

A PwC study revealed, “Employees most committed to their organisations put in 57 percent more effort on the job—and are 87 percent less likely to resign—than employees who consider themselves disengaged.” 

So where do employee volunteer and skills giving programs factor in? It’s an excellent, relatively low-cost way to engage and retain employees.

For the full article click here

In order to sign up to the Pro Bono O.R. (skilled volunteering) initiative please get in touch or visit Pro Bono O.R.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Pro Bono O.R. is here to help you!

Do any of these statements sound familiar:

  • We have lots of different options for the future but it’s impossible to decide which to choose in such uncertain times.

  • We’re under huge pressure to do more with less, and we don’t know how we’re going to do it.

  • It’s hard to stay objective when we’re faced with such emotionally charged decisions.

  • We know we’re doing a good job – but how can we prove it?

If your answer was yes and you are a UK based, third sector organisation then get in touch to find out Pro Bono O.R. (a free consultancy service) could address these issues.

The OR Society launched its Pro Bono O.R. initiative for UK based third sector organisations in September 2013. The society wants more organisations to benefit from operational research and recognises that third sector organisations have an even greater need to reduce costs and increase efficiency and effectiveness.

No matter what size or at what stage your organisation is, no matter what kind of decision, problem, or opportunity you face, there’s probably a way for Pro Bono O.R. to help.

O.R. is about finding ways to apply analytical methods to make better decisions. Third Sector organisations face extremely complex decisions about the direction they should take and how to allocate scarce resources.  

To find out more and to request Pro Bono O.R. support please Pro Bono O.R. or email

Additionally if you would like to volunteer you time to work on projects then please do get in touch.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Make your new year's resolutions count in 2015

As we start 2015 most of our new years resolutions will go something like this: 'I must try and eat less', 'I must exercise more', 'I must drink less', etc.

Let me set you a challenge and give you two alternative new years resolutions for 2015 that could make a real difference for both yourself and others around you.

1) Volunteer

Use your skills to help third sector organisations.  There are many ways which you can do this; if you have Operational Research/analytical skills then why not get involved with Pro Bono O.R.?  Pro Bono O.R. worked with over twenty UK based third sector organisations in 2014.  The volunteers were able to provide a wide range of support from problem structuring, facilitation, data analysis, strategic review, impact measurement and much more.  The volunteers all reported a positive experience, here's what a few of them had to say: 

"Working as a pro bono volunteer is a great way to contribute some professional expertise to some truly worthwhile causes.  The Third Sector is full of people who feel passionately about their Mission, so working with them is invariably a positive learning experience"

"I've really enjoyed working with third sector organisations and found the staff extremely positive about the contribution we make"

"Being a volunteer was a great way to make a real difference for an organisation with people that were clearly passionate about what they do. At the same time I've added some interesting people to my network and expanded the breadth of projects I've undertaken on my CV"

To see more about becoming a volunteer and to see some of our completed case studies, please visit the webpage

2) Charities/third sector organisations look into Pro Bono O.R.

UK based organisations in the Third sector can  benefit from O.R. consultancy at no cost. The Operational Research society is offering third sector organisations the opportunity for free consultancy to help reduce costs and improve utilisation of limited resources.  

Pro Bono O.R. completed 10 projects in 2014 and the feedback we had was overwhelmingly positive:

"We are enormously grateful for being able to benefit from the advice and support of such a knowledgeable and experienced professional, who was able to raise challenging issues in a
sensitive and helpful way"

"We've benefited hugely from your work and support in all areas of the project, and from an organisational perspective you've enabled us to take a highly professional approach to increasing the efficiency of our charity"

So what are you waiting for, surely you should be saying 'I must volunteer more' and/or 'I must take up the free support to help my organisation to be more effective and efficient in 2015'

Please visit the webpage to find out more, or follow me on twitter (@FMcLeister) or LinkedIn (

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Helping food banks prepare for increased demand

Happy new year and thank you to all those who read my blog in 2014.  I hope you will enjoy reading new posts in 2015.  Please do get in touch and let me know if there is anthing in particular you would like to hear about.

As we look back on 2014, the number of people using food banks dramatically increased. See how Pro Bono O.R. helped one food bank prepare for this increased demand  #thisisOR

A couple of O.R. volunteers are currently talking to several other food banks to see if Pro Bono O.R. can help.  Watch this space for more information....

Build Your Impact with Pro Bono Operational Research: Free half-day workshop for charities

Operational research is the science of better decision-making. Pro Bono OR was created to allow UK-based organisations in the third secto...