Previous webinars

Our series of webinars was designed to help charity and not-for-profit organisations, big or small, understand where to start with complex problems. For example, you might have a data problem, but have no idea how to begin solving it, and what information you might need to give to an expert to help. These webinars will help to answer these kinds of questions by addressing the common themes that our analysts have faced whilst working with the charity sector.

Strategic planning in uncertain times

15 July 2021

Ruth Kaufman presents a session that explains how OR - the science of better decision making - can help organisations, decision-makers and planners move forward with confidence to set targets and outcomes, despite uncertainty. 

Who is this webinar for?
Senior employees and trustees of a charity looking to set their strategies and plans or adapt them to deal with the changing world. This webinar would also suit managers needing to set targets when they are unsure of what is achievable. 

Ruth Kaufman, OBE, FORS, FIMA, CSci

Ruth's professional experience includes OR, strategy and change management in a number of public sector organisations. She received an OBE for services to OR in 2016, and chairs the OR Society's Pro Bono Steering Group

How to use simulation modelling to perform better

1 July 2021

Tom Stephenson and Naoum Tsioptsias explain how Crimestoppers used discrete event simulation to become more efficient and effective with the help of The OR Society's Pro Bono OR scheme. The session will also discuss how other charities could make potential improvements to their own operations. 

Who is this webinar for?
Charities with more than 20 staff/volunteers will be able to investigate how to make better use of available resources, by using modelling to improve processes and efficiency.

Tom Stephenson, Head of Simulation Excellence Team in Simul8

Over the past decade, Tom has overseen 100+ simulation projects across healthcare, contact centres, manufacturing and logistics.

Naoum Tsioptsias, Simulation Consultant

Naoum is a Simulation Consultant at Simul8 with a background in finance, informatics and Operational Research. 


How to use modelling to improve efficiency and effectiveness 

10 June 2021

Computer modelling is a way of representing how we think something works and is a way to understand the likely effect of change. Jane Parkin leads this webinar to explain how models can help improve areas such as logistics, planning and staffing. 

Who is this webinar for?
This webinar is for charities that want to investigate ways of working better and will explain how computer modelling can be used to help with this. 

Jane Parkin, Independent OR consultant at Carr House Consulting

Jane has a wide professional experience of modelling in the public, private and third sectors. Examples of her work with the third sector include helping to improve staffing at a call centre, the operations of a food bank, and the processes for a skills-based volunteering charity.


Measuring the impact of charitable investment 

20 May 2021

Jamie Douglas explains how Pro Bono OR volunteers conducted an impact evaluation for Bullion Community Resource Centre and how this work proved the social impact the centre had on the community, with this data then available to use for future funding bids. 

Who is this webinar for?
Charities looking to understand the value of their charitable activities. You will understand how to do an impact evaluation and how to use data to measure social impact. 

Jamie Douglas, Operational Research Analyst at the Department of Work and Pensions.

Jamie works on disability welfare policy, and has previously worked on digital service delivery, customer satisfaction surveys and benefit appeal processes. 


Making sense of data - top tips to get you started 

22 April 2021

Many third sector organisations are nervous about delving into data collection and analysis. This session will cover some principles and tips for getting better insights out of the data you may already have and pointers to get you started on data collection, whether that's for impact measurement or improving operational performance.

Who is this webinar for?
This webinar will benefit anyone with an interest in or responsibility for impact measurement and reporting. 

Ian Seath, independent consultant at Improvement Skills Consulting Ltd. 

Ian's experience covers business strategy, performance improvement and change management. He is a member of the OR Society’s Pro Bono Steering Group and has experience of supporting Pro Bono projects across a wide range of charities including animal welfare, social care and international development.


Our volunteers are ready to help you!

The Operational Research Society's Pro Bono OR scheme connects volunteer analysts with good causes. Analysts donate their time and skills to help charities or other voluntary organisations facing difficult decisions or looking for improvement.

To continue to help charities, we ran a series of webinars to explain how the scheme works and how operational research can help the third sector through post-COVID-19 recovery. 

  • Explain what operational research is to charities that might not have heard of it 
  • Demonstrate how operational research can be used to problem-solve 
  • Help charities to understand how to move forward with a complex issue  
  • Encourage charities facing difficult challenges to get in touch with our expert volunteers

Watching one of our webinars will give charities the support they need to solve problems and build back better after COVID-19 with the power of Operational Research


Charities we have worked with:

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What is operation research and why is it relevant?

We understand that most charities may not have heard of operational research, and therefore might be confused about how it can help them. 

Operational research (often referred to as "OR") is the science of problem-solving. OR uses advanced analytics, modelling, problem structuring, simulation, optimisation and data science to determine the best solution to the problem and the best practical course of action.

Operational research is relevant and helpful to charities as it helps inform strategic, tactical and operational decisions.


All about The OR Society's Pro Bono Scheme

If you are considering using The OR Society's Pro Bono Scheme to gain valuable expertise and help, there is a simple four-step process to follow. 

4 step process

Contact Us 

Either by email [email protected] or using the form on this page. Let us know what you want to discuss with us – at this stage, this can be as specific or vague as you wish.  

Explore your needs 

The OR Society will connect you with a volunteer who will talk through your situation in detail and help to flesh out the requirements that you have, and whether or how our volunteers may be able to help.  


If you decide to go ahead, The OR Society will turn to our pool of 1,000 volunteers, calling for individuals with the time and skills to address your problem and the enthusiasm and motivation to volunteer for your organisation. We’ll put you in touch with respondents so that you and they can see if you think it will be a good fit.

Project start 

If you and the volunteer(s) agree, we'll be in touch to get the ball rolling and help you achieve your goals with the help of our Pro Bono volunteers.

Make contact today!

Pro bono enquiry form

If you have a question about Pro Bono OR please fill out this form and someone will get back to you

Watch how we can help you

Operational researchers are explaining what is operational research and how they have helped a range of charities big and small to solve problems, increase donations, clean their data and more.  

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Information for charitable organisations

Learn more about how OR actively supports the third sector and how our Pro Bono scheme works.

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View Impact Magazine Case Studies

Download our Pro Bono case studies that were featured in one of The OR Society's publications, Impact Magazine 

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Take a look at our Twitter account and follow us for dedicated updates on ongoing Pro Bono projects and more. 

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