Monday, 5 November 2018

New Pro Bono OR Project: Project Girl Foundation


Project Girl Foundation
Impact Measurement and Business Planning

Project:
To help new charity Project Girl Foundation develop a solid basis for future Impact Measurement through developing a framework based on Theory of Change, and a business plan to see it through the first 18-24 months of operations
Project description:
It is anticipated that the work will include:

1. Impact measurement: the volunteer should work with the trustees to establish an outline Theory of Change and use that to identify sensible outcome measures and how they should be used to assess the charity’s impact.

2. Improve the robustness of the short-term business plan: help the trustees to review their activities to make sure they are confident that these are the right activities, that each has a reasonable time frame, clear purpose and target outcome; and review the resource plan to make sure resources (in particular finance) will be available when needed. A spreadsheet model of high-level financial inflows and outflows over time is likely to be useful, to enable exploration of ‘what-if’ questions such as whether or not certain grants are received, or the future financial commitment implied by steps such as buying trucks or employing staff.

Skills required: workshop facilitation; financial modelling; knowledge of impact measurement/theory of change or ability rapidly to get to grips with that; business or project planning

This may suit two volunteers, dividing the work between them. Please say when applying, if you are only interested in doing one or the other part of the project. 

Time commitment
Initially 5 days: 
  • 2-3 days to produce high-level Theory of Change and recommended measures, and
  • 2-3 days to review business plan and provide simple spreadsheet
If more detailed work is needed, that can be arranged by the volunteer(s) or a follow-on project can be specified
LocationThe project needs some face-to-face time with trustees, estimated at 1-2 hours for initial meeting to decide exactly what is to be done; 2 x 2-3 hour workshops to review Theory of Change and business plan respectively; and 2 hours for reporting at the end. The volunteer can work remotely for the rest of the time.

NOTE: If all trustees are to be involved, the meetings may need to be in the evening rather than during the working day in London, SW9 6EX

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 19th November.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 
The Project Girl Foundation aims to transform girls’ education and empower them by providing them with sufficient skills and resources to enrich their lives and the lives of their families. The Foundation To empower girls from poor and deprived areas in rural Nigeria via education by building schools, providing effective family planning, teaching and implementing self-reliance and continuous professional development for all teaching staff.

For further information about the Project Girl Foundation, please visit www.projectgirlfoundation.com or email info@projectgirlfoundation.com

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Thursday, 30 August 2018

New Pro Bono OR Project: RFSA Foundation Project


Royal Female School of Art (RFSA) Foundation Project

Strategy and business planning

Project:
To help the Board with the creation of a short and long-term strategy, and a business plan to accompany this.
Project description:
It is anticipated that the work will include:
  • A meeting with Cat Armstrong, the secretary & grants manager, to gain information about the charity, its activities and the available documentation
  • Aiding the planning of a Strategy Away Day for the Board which is scheduled for 29/10/2018 (10am-4pm) in - central London
  • Facilitation of the Strategy Away Day
  • Writing up a summary of the outcomes of the Away Day

Once the new strategy has been agreed upon by the Board, it would be helpful if the volunteer were able to consider how the impact of this could best be measured. Alternatively, this may involve a second follow-up project.

Requirements: experience with facilitation and strategic planning

Time commitment4 days for the core tasks (extra days would be needed to examine impact measurement).
LocationThe volunteer would need an initial face-to-face meeting in central London and would also need to attend the Away Day. All other work and communication could be carried out remotely.

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 17th September.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 
The Royal Female School of Art Foundation (RFSA) is a small grant-giving charity based in central London. The Foundation provides grants (via colleges and universities) in order to support art and design students living or studying in Greater London.

For further information about the RFSA Foundation, please visit http://www.rfsafoundation.org/  or email admin@rfsafoundation.org

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

NEW Pro Bono OR Project: Acknowledging Youths CIC








Acknowledging Youths Project
Activity Impact Measurement Analysis

Project:
Measure the impact of activities and services Acknowledging Youths CIC provide, in support of gaining funding and creating a strategy for continuous improvement.

Project description:
Acknowledging Youths CIC (Community Interest Company) support young people experiencing disadvantage to attain employment. This support includes training (assertiveness, time management, customer care, communication) CV writing, and interview skills. This service is achieved primarily through government and community based funding.
In any competitive environment, it is important to be able to provide details of demonstrable services and quantify their impact.

Acknowledging Youths CIC has collated data from all its activities. This data can be used to support bidding for future funding and also to support the development and growth of their strategic plan.

A volunteer is required to conduct an impact measurement analysis of the existing data.
The analysis will provide quotable evidence that can be used to support future funding bids. The analysis will also provide insights that will inform and develop their strategic plan by highlighting areas of strength and providing a focus on the areas that would benefit from improvement.

The volunteer will be required to provide a report detailing the analytical techniques used, the criteria defined to assess the impact and the outcomes of the assessment.

Time commitment: 5 – 7 days 

Location: The project requires two visits to the London office located on Aylesford St, Pimlico, London. These visits would be, firstly, to launch the project and collect the data, and secondly, to provide the deliverables. The organisation is willing to work flexibly (e.g. via Skype calls).  All other work can be done remotely.  

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Friday 31st August.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation:
Acknowledging Youths (AY) CIC are a pioneer socially responsible training and recruitment service. Set up in 2012, AY CIC was created to support young people experiencing disadvantage and to assist them in attaining employment. This support includes training (assertiveness, time management, customer care, communication), CV writing, and interview skills. Their approach has always been personal; offering a tailored one to one approach to enable the individual to work through what their motivations and barriers are and identifying what they need to do next to move forward. AY Group understands the barriers many young people face – mainly because of Chief Executive Danny’s own challenges in life – and therefore successfully engages those most vulnerable. Since 2012 the company has evolved so that Acknowledging Youths CIC exists to support and develop young people ready for transition into adulthood and AY Recruitment CIC exists to prepare people more specifically for employment using accredited training, volunteering/

For further information about Acknowledging Youths CIC 
visit:   https://acknowledgingyouths.org/

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono or email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com

Friday, 20 July 2018

NEW Pro Bono OR Project: OR in Schools


OR in Schools Project
Matching volunteers to events through data analysis

Project:
Review and analyse data currently held and collected on events and volunteers and make recommendations for improvements.

Project description:
OR in Schools (ORiS) is the outreach and education aspect of the OR Society that aims to raise awareness of the importance of the real world applications of OR and highlight potential careers in the field of study. This is done by arranging for practitioners and academics to visit various schools, colleges and universities, to talk to students about what OR is, how they got into it and how they use it in their professional lives. ORiS currently have a register of about 300 people who have volunteered for these events.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to match volunteers to events and on these occasions, students miss out on the opportunity of an ORiS visit. Therefore, ORiS have asked if a pro bono volunteer can help improve the effectiveness of the current process used to match up events and potential volunteers. They would like the pro bono volunteer to suggest ways in which they could improve both the information held on volunteers, and the ways in which this data is managed and used.

Suggested outputs of the project include:

·       a review of the information currently held

·       an analysis that determines the key criteria that needs to be known about volunteers to enable them to be effectively matched to events (e.g. location, time restrictions)

·       an assessment of how well the on-line form currently in use collects those criteria

·       a report setting out the findings and any recommendations for improvements.

It might also be helpful to consider how often volunteers should be asked to update their data.

This project will need the volunteer to be able to draw upon a range of statistical skills such as regression or cluster analysis. The volunteer will also need to be sensitive to general data protection requirements.

Time commitment: Approximately 5 days

Location: The project can be undertaken remotely subject to compliance with data protection requirements

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 6th August.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation:
OR in Schools (ORiS) is run by the education department of the The OR Society; the professional body and oldest learned society for operational researchers. ORiS promotes operational research (OR) in education to raise awareness of the importance of its real world applications and highlight potential careers in the field of study. We do this by visiting schools, colleges and universities, attending careers fairs, running interactive workshops and giving presentations on recent projects. They have the stretch goal of “every school child knows what OR is” and have created resources to support this.


For further information about OR in Schools:


Visit OR in Schools OR Society webpage: https://www.theorsociety.com/Pages/ORinSchools/ORinSchools.aspx 

Visit OR in Schools blog: https://orinschools.blogspot.com/

Contact The OR Society’s Education officer Sophie Parker: Sophie.parker@theorsociety.com or 0121 234 7816

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com


Monday, 2 July 2018

NEW Pro Bono OR Project: ChaplaincyPlus









ChaplaincyPlus Project

Analysis of Communications Data for Continuous Improvement

Project:
Undertake data analysis to quantify the impact and benefit of social media and email communications, and produce recommendations for continuous improvement.

Project description:
The charitable service that ChaplaincyPlus provides is reliant upon the utilisation and maintenance of its network of people within the professional sector of Birmingham. Gaining maximum impact and benefit from all forms of two-way communication tools is essential to the continued success of ChaplaincyPlus.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Email via MailChimp, are currently used to communicate to this network. A website and the management of financial and fundraising software, is also used as further support. All these tools can collate data that can provide feedback and useful information that shows the impact of the communications, highlight areas of best practice and where improvements are required.
The Task
A volunteer is required to conduct analysis of the collated data and to provide recommendations on how to maximise the impact and benefit of the communication tools to the ChaplaincyPlus network.
Suggested outputs include:
Core
·        Analysis of the data and feedback collated from MailChimp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
·        Final report detailing the analytical method, the findings of the analysis and recommendations for improvements
Desirable
·        Analysis of appropriate data from the website and fundraising management software
·        Summary brief to ChaplaincyPlus
·        Knowledge share of analytical techniques

Time commitment5 days for the core tasks and up to 5 days for the desirable tasks.

LocationPrimarily remote working with 1 day on site to commence project and collect the data from the different tools and ½ day on site to present analysis and recommendations if time permits.ChaplaincyPlus, Floor 8, One Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2BJ

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 16th July.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation:
ChaplaincyPlus are a Christian charitable organisation run for the Birmingham business community, irrespective of faith. Day-to-day they offer a neutral and confidential space for you to explore issues of life and work – whatever your background or beliefs. They are non-denominational and are predominately funded by donations from individuals within the business community. Their vision is that through supporting people, encouraging organisations and believing in the city, people will be able to live life to the full.

For further information about ChaplaincyPlus please visit http://chaplaincyplus.org.uk/

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com


Friday, 8 June 2018

New Pro Bono Project with RNIB




Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) Project
Prioritising areas of focus for RNIB’s new 3-year strategy

Project:
RNIB are launching a new 3 –year strategy.  For their “Changing Society” strategy strand, they want the new strategy to prioritise removing the barriers that people with sight loss face in participating in society.  As part of this, they are seeking guidance as to which barriers to focus on, to optimise where the charity places their resources.
They would like to develop a systematic approach to options appraisal for this strategic prioritization, seeking input from stakeholders; which may include their staff and volunteers, their Board of Trustees, their Executive Board, and the wider community of blind and partially sighted people. Initially, they would like help on structuring the approach to the prioritisation, and then on-going advisory support as they implement whatever method is chosen. Ideas they have considered include Theory of Change and Multiple-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA), although they are open to all options.
The OR volunteer would not be expected to run the whole options appraisal, but rather suggest the approach and then provide advice. RNIB are capable of running workshops or undertaking the appraisal themselves, with some support from the OR volunteer.

Time commitment: 5-7 days

Location: One or two visits to the London office may be required, but these are limited (to potentially a few hours).  The organisation is willing to work flexibly (e.g. via Skype calls, by travelling to the location of the volunteer for meetings).  All other work can be done remotely.

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 18th June.

The OR Society and RNIB Fully support equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation:
RNIB promotes the interests of blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss, across the UK. They are led by a trustee board with over 80% blind and partially sighted people.  Over 33,000 people are part of RNIB Connect community, the vast majority of whom have sight loss. RNIB’s ambition is to change the world for those living with, and at risk of, sight loss. They take action to prevent avoidable sight loss, provide support and services to enable independence and campaign to create a fully inclusive society.

For further information about RNIB please visit https://www.rnib.org.uk/

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme please visit:
www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

New Pro Bono Project with Sabeel-Kairos




Sabeel-Kairos Project





Developing Policies and Procedures to Support Effective Governance


Project:
Sabeel-Kairos have identified a need to develop a set of policies and procedures (P&Ps) to ensure and support effective governance. The volunteer would work with the Trustees to agree priority areas based on a gap analysis that has recently been conducted. There is a need to research and identify standards and styles that will be appropriate for a small charity and then to write the initial drafts for approval by the trustees and staff.
Sabeel -Kairos has recently formed due to the merger of Friends of Sabeel UK with Kairos Britain (though the charity’s operating name remains as Friends of Sabeel UK). As such, they are in the early stages of defining their strategic and business plans.
The scope for the project is wide-ranging and could include P&Ps for employment, finance, procurement, IT and data protection. The project would be suitable for a volunteer with experience of governance and/or broad business management expertise such as setting-up systems for new organisations and HR.

Time commitment: 3-5 days

LocationPredominantly remote working, with communications facilitated through skype and/or email.

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to amy.hughes@theorsociety.com by Monday 18th June.

Information about the organisation:
Sabeel-Kairos is a small and energetic UK charity committed to supporting peace and justice in Palestine. They are a network of individuals, organisations and communities of all backgrounds across the UK who stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people by promoting and advocating on the messages of Kairos Palestine and Sabeel Jerusalem here in the UK.

For further information about Sabeel-Kairos please visit http://www.kairosbritain.org.uk

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme please visit:
www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Pro Bono OR Spotlight May - Translating your experience across contexts







Pro Bono OR Spotlight May
Translating experience across contexts: Tips for helping charitable organisations and employers understand your CV and application
The OR’s Pro Bono work harnesses our volunteers’ expertise to solve some of society’s most pressing challenges.  Our previous volunteers have used their OR expertise to improve public health, strengthen communities and support educational programming for disadvantaged youth.
Hundreds of professionals from across the field of OR serve as volunteers with a wide range of deserving third sector organisations, including charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups.  They use their own approaches and skills to tackle challenging, often specialised operational issues that help make our third sector partners more efficient, equitable and effective.
Partnering the right volunteer with the right charitable organisation is central to what we do.
Translating experiences across professional and volunteer contexts, however, is often challenging. Volunteers are usually established professionals with long experience and weighty CVs.  However, when it comes to communicating with the third sector about volunteering, there may be more that you need to consider. Equally, it is not always obvious how to translate your pro bono volunteer experiences into meaningful professional contributions.
Translating your professional experience for the charity sector
One of our simplest strategies for partnering volunteers to charities involves sharing your single-page application form and CV with our partners (emailed via Pro Bono lead, Amy Hughes).  This allows them to consider the range of skills and candidates available to them, so they can choose who they would like to work on the project. Who better to know who would work best in their place of work that the organisation themselves.
However, while charities are often in desperate need of OR expertise, most are largely unaware of the related skills, specialisations and…jargon.
Operational Research, like any field, is full of specialised language.  This extends into professional CVs and - often - our volunteers’ Pro Bono applications.  Our third sector partners regularly struggle to interpret these minefields of OR ‘buzzwords’.
So here are some tips for prospective applicants to help ensure their CV and application translates across contexts:
●   Translate key professional jargon (skills, techniques, software and programmes) into language that you think non-experts are likely to understand.
●   Provide examples of key skills and methods so that non-experts, even if they do not immediately understand the concepts or terminology, can recognise their real-world value.
●     Adapt your CV to the role. What knowledge and skills do you have that this project requires? Volunteers may have some impressive experiences in the field of OR, but they may simply be redundant information to charities choosing the best applicant for their specific problem.
●     Do not be afraid to get personal - if you have a connection to the charity, share it! They want to know that you are as invested in their cause as they are.  
●     Get to know the charity. Remember charitable organisations are value-driven, each with a distinct vision and mission statement, so do your research and figure out if you’re a match. Then tailor your approach to the application accordingly, appealing to the aims and objectives of the charitable organisation you’re looking to work with.
●      Provide details about how you would approach the problem(s) identified in the charity’s project advert, and explain why you this is the most appropriate strategy.  Again, consider that your readers are likely to have a limited understanding of the OR field, so moderate your language and consider direct means of presentation, such a bulleted lists.
●      Also highlight other translatable skills that you think will compliment the organisation. The third sector is incredibly versatile, so show them that you are too.

Translating your volunteer experience for your professional CV
The Pro Bono OR process is constantly being refined to make it a mutually beneficial scheme. We recognise our volunteers’ enthusiasm and contributions, but also the importance of ensuring these experiences are meaningful, skill-building and helpful professionally.
It is not always immediately obvious, however, how to translate your volunteering into professional contexts.
Volunteering can offer a range of personal and professional benefits, including:
●      The opportunity to use your professional skills in an applied case that likely differs from your ‘everyday’ context.  Highlighting this versatility can be a valuable contribution to a professional CV, where employers often value adaptability.
●      Additional training. Charities regularly provide internal and external training to their volunteers and can contributing to your skillset.
●      Development of interpersonal skills. Employers want people who can work comfortably and constructively as part of mixed teams.
●      Experience in supervising, mentoring and coaching.
●      Knowledge about other sectors. Many of our volunteers come from the private sector, and volunteering can offer new exposure to the third sector, ranging from local community trusts to national public health initiatives, that can help build a rounded professional profile.
●      Light touch project management, including influencing others’ decision making and engaging with stakeholders from other sectors and fields.
●      Finally, the extensive skills list - Consultancy skills, Time management, priority management, problem-solving, strategic planning ability, flexibility and the ability to cope with pressure and challenges
Translating experiences across sectors and fields is essential to the success of OR’s Pro Bono work, ensuring the right match between volunteers and charities, while ensuring that volunteer experiences are professionally meaningful.
To sign-up for more information about Pro Bono OR, including upcoming volunteer opportunities email amy.hughes@theorsociety.com.
To apply for a specific project, fill out our single-page application form.
These simple steps are all you need to join a project that will change your outlook, your CV and a charitable organisation’s ability to succeed.

New Pro Bono OR Project: Project Girl Foundation

Project Girl Foundation Impact Measurement and Business Planning Project : To help new charity Project Girl Foundation develop ...