Celebrating Pro Bono Week 2021

The RSS is celebrating Pro Bono Week (1-5 November 2021) by sharing the positive impact that our Statisticians for Society initiative has had on third sector organisations.

Statisticians for Society is a pro bono scheme to support small charities and social enterprises that are in need of statistical expertise.

Since the scheme launched in 2017 it has:

  • Matched 85 organisations with 101 volunteer statisticians
  • Completed 52 projects (as of October 2021)
  • Subscribed 622 RSS fellows to the Statisticians for Society mailing list

We have received positive feedback from organisations that have participated in this scheme as the initiative has connected charities with statisticians willing to help improve their use of data and evidence in decision making.

One of the charitable organisations matched with a volunteer statistician was Odd Art, a charity based in Manchester that aims to deliver creative programmes for vulnerable and excluded groups. ‘The person we were matched with threw themselves into understanding our organisation and its values, as well as providing us with impartial, external and very professional guidance, tips and information. We have kept up some of the data practices first introduced through this scheme and have a long-term relationship with the RSS volunteer.’ 

Citizen Advice Portsmouth, a charity that provides free advice to the general public, also requested support from the initiative for their client needs survey. ‘The statisticians advised us on the question wording and sampling frame and carried out local demographic analysis, making comparisons with our client base and drawing conclusions,' says Jan Thomas, Business Development Manager of Citizen Advice Portsmouth. 'They also analysed the index of multiple deprivation and provided commentary on our local issues. The work has provided valuable insight into local knowledge to help us identify groups we might not be reaching and to better understand the survey results.’ 

We will be sharing more positive experiences from participating charities on social media and you can follow the conversation on Twitter at #ProBonoWeek.

Statisticians for Society is funded by National Lottery Community Fund. Read case studies from organisations that have benefitted from the scheme.

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