Pro bono consulting

Our pro bono social impact work focuses on areas where we can leverage our expertise, and on the social and environmental issues and challenges that matter most to our staff.

Read on to find out how we operate, who our key partners are, and the types of social impact projects that our staff have worked on.

We boast a proud history of putting our skills, resources and expertise to work to maximise our positive societal impact

Focus areas

We are focused on four key areas, as voted for, and selected by, our staff:

  1. Environment and Sustainability
  2. Education and Training
  3. Children and Youth
  4. Mental health

How we operate

We have a dedicated pro bono committee, compromised of 14 staff from a range of tenures, backgrounds, and roles, who help to ensure our pro bono work is as impactful as possible. Our committee help to select our partners, scope projects, track impact and organise other initiatives with our charity partners.

We aim to run around 3-4 strategic support projects for our key partners each year, alongside other initiatives such as hackathons. In addition, we also provide ad hoc strategic support to organisations where we feel our expertise can be leveraged to deliver real impact.

Partner organisations

Over the last decade, we have provided strategic advice and business planning support to over 30 charities, working closely with Impetus PEF to support organisations dealing with a range of matters from youth conflict resolution to rehabilitation of prisoners and ex-offenders, and helping those suffering from eating disorders.

We are proud to now be strategic partners to the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) and the NSPCC UK.  Over the course of the coming years, we will work closely with our social impact partners to use our commercial skills, expertise, and resources, to help deliver real impact to their communities, through a combination of strategic support, training, mentoring and fundraising.

The Youth Endowment Fund was founded with a ten-year government investment of £200m and a mission that matters. They work to prevent children and young people from getting drawn into crime and violence. They do it by funding and evaluating projects, listening to young people and using data and evidence to find out what works. They also work together with partners to build a movement committed to putting that knowledge into practice.

 

Registered charity numbers 216401 and SC037717.

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)is the UK's leading child protection charity. It provides services across the UK to help children who’ve been abused, protect children at risk and find the best ways to prevent child abuse from ever happening. They aim to transform society for every childhood.  

Our recent work

Below you can find out a bit more about some of our recent Pro Bono work from the last couple of years:

 

Registered charity numbers 216401 and SC037717.

NSPCC: We recently supported one of our key account partners, NSPCC, in undertaking insights and scoping work to support the development of their Secondary School 'offer' to help prevent abuse. As part of this, we also supported in establishing effective routes to market for the offering. We are very excited to have helped devise a solution which will have a real impact for children and young people.

"Working with the team at OC&C has enabled us to progress the NSPCC secondary school offer project so that we will be able to move towards offer development and implementation several months ahead of schedule. OC&C quickly grasped the project brief and worked at pace, with energy and focus to produce a set of clear, detailed recommendations that really demonstrated their understanding of the NSPCC. This has been a remarkable piece of partnership work which has added significant value to the organisation," Karen Squillino, Head of NSPCC’s Schools Service

In Kind Direct: In Kind Direct take surplus product from retailers and FMCG companies and distribute it through their network to thousands of charities in the UK, enabling the vital work those charities do. Initially founded on environmental principles to save waste from going to landfill, they increasingly play an important social role as a B2B provider to the charity landscape. We recently supported them to define their 5 year strategy, ensuring they maximise their positive impact on society, whilst moving to a sustainable and scalable operating model.

 

The Tutor Trust: Working with Impetus PEF, we supported Tutor Trust, a UK charity which delivers small group tuition to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, to help build a sustainable 3 year growth plan considering everything from geographic focus to tutor training and recruitment and the potential growth constraints of fundraising income

"The work you did for us has set us up very nicely for a remarkable period of growth and innovation, not least in locking in our partnership with Impetus...and allowing us not just to survive but to thrive," Co-Founder and CEO, Tutor Trust

What our staff say

“Working on a pro-bono project for a charity which delivers tuition to children from disadvantaged backgrounds was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at OC&C to date. We helped the organisation devise a strategy to reach as many pupils as possible, in a financially viable and sustainable way. I realised during this project that whilst charities do incredible work, they often lack the resources needed to really optimise their approach. As a result, the benefit we can bring as an external advisor is invaluable. I really felt that we had helped to shape their thinking and together devised a path to maximising their impact within their means,” Lucy, Consultant

"Being able to work with the NSPCC has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The NSPCC does some incredible work in primary schools, and we worked with them to help design an offer that extends and builds on their current work to help children in secondary schools. The project involved speaking to schools, local authorities and central government across the UK which really helped shed a light on how valuable the work the NSPCC does today is, but also on what some of the critical challenges in safeguarding are today. The NSPCC is a very large and complex organisation which relies heavily on fundraising and volunteers. As such they can really benefit from external support from organisations like OC&C who can apply their strategic thinking to quickly draw insights and make recommendations that can help make a real impact." Dan, Associate Consultant

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, Associate Partner 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 one of our Consultants, 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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