Social impact

OC&C boasts a proud history of putting our skills to work for the benefit of others. While conscious that we work in a very specific part of the business environment, we have found that the application of our approaches and people can help charities and not-for-profit organisations achieve step changes in their performance.

At the same time we are enriched considerably by the experience of working with this diverse range of organisations. OC&C have a long-standing relationship with Impetus PEF, pioneers in venture philanthropy, through whom we have given strategic due diligence and business planning support to over 20 charities dealing with youth conflict resolution, rehabilitation of prisoners and ex-offenders, and helping those suffering from eating disorders.  

We take pride in putting our skills to work for the benefit of others, helping charities achieve a step-change in their performance

What's it like to work on a Social impact project?

Power2 - Teens & Toddlers

Power2 is a non-profit organisation dedicated to unleashing the power of children and young people to improve their lives and the lives of others through mutually beneficial relationships.

We spoke to Pontus, Manager who told us about his latest project work with the charity.

Q: Charity you worked with:

A: Power2 (previously Teens & Toddlers)

Q: What was your role on the project and how did it progress?

A: I was a consultant at the time, and this project gave me the opportunity to step up to a project manager role – one of the big advantages of pro bono projects is the ability to work on stretch roles, and it helped me accelerate my development. It was a fantastic opportunity.

Q: Did anything about the experience surprise you, and, if so, what?

A: Charities do great work, but I realised that they often lack the resources to optimise and hone their approach – this means that an external advisor can truly help shape their thinking, and ensure they actually maximise their impact with their limited means.

Q: What was the most rewarding part of your project and why?

A: It was a combination of factors really – the feeling of being able to contribute to a good cause, the stretch role I was in, and the very appreciative client (pro bono clients are incredibly grateful for anything you do!).

Q: How did Impetus-PEF support you or your team during the project?

A: They were involved in all our meetings, and they were particularly helpful in ensuring that Power2 thought of and understood the implications of our recommendations – they wanted to ensure it resulted in real change and improvement.

Q: Will your pro bono experiences have any impact on your day job? Why or why not?

A: It has mainly provided me with perspective of how useful the skills we learn are – the commercial skills you learn in a consulting firm have wide applications and will be valuable in many stream of life, so it’s the best starter-training for any career I’d say.

Find out more about Power2.

City Gateway

City Gateway is a charity that provides training for disadvantaged young people in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and other boroughs of Greater London.

We spoke to Thayne, Consultant who told us about his latest project work with the charity.

Q: Charity you worked with:

A: City Gateway

Q: What was your role on the project and how did it progress?

A: City Gateway is a charity based in Tower Hamlets providing training for disadvantaged young people. Through running traineeship and apprentice schemes, training courses, and youth work City Gateway helps its students to bridge the gap to gaining further employment, education or training. Often families don’t know where to turn and job opportunities for young people and women can be hard to access – in stark contrast with the affluence of Canary Wharf visible from the borough City Gateway works the most in.

Q: Did anything about the experience surprise you, and, if so, what?

A: I focused on two core areas: understanding the ‘internals’ of the charity, and interviewing external partners such as corporates and charity partners. Our aim here was to undertake a thorough diagnostic prior to developing strategic recommendations: Where are the charity’s strengths? Where could they do better? What do corporate partners (who provide placements for apprentices and can be a major source of funds) want? As the project progressed, we synthesised these findings in to clear recommendations moving forwards, with the ultimate aim to create a more effective channel to help more students’ progress.

Q: What was the most rewarding part of your project and why?

A: The most rewarding part was the general feeling that we could add a huge amount of value in a short time frame and really change the future direction of the charity. And that the value we were creating wasn’t shareholder, or financial – it was social impact. How can we help the maximum number of target students in the most effective, lasting way? At OC&C, a lot of our clients are already successful private or public businesses and have been for a number of years. City Gateway was facing some real, significant problems, caused by a number of factors out of their control. Providing a diagnostic and concrete recommendations felt like together we created a successful path out of the recent difficulties and outlined a roadmap to increase future successes.

Q: How did Impetus-PEF support you or your team during the project?

A: Impetus-PEF helped us through providing examples of best practice from their portfolio of charities and putting us in touch with the right people at them. Realising the synergies – of swapping best practice between charities – is an underlooked but very useful way to quickly create value.

Q: Will your pro bono experiences have any impact on your day job? Why or why not?

A: The experience has made me think of the wider, social impact of what I do (both inside and out of work). On a day-to-day basis, it was a great learning opportunity for me and I was able to learn new skills that I use; including interviewing key stakeholders and wading through some fragmented internal data sets!

Find out more about City Gateway.

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