News and Recent Updates

Thank you Turner for your generosity

Our sincerest thank you to Turner Broadcasting for their donation in helping support Houston's homeless population through Star of Hope Mission. We are grateful for your donation and support.

Helping Houston's Homeless

INFORMS, the leading international association for analytics and operations research professionals, partnered with Star of Hope Mission, an organization dedicated to meeting the needs of Houston’s homeless men, women, and children, to provide much needed hygiene and toiletry supplies, donated by the INFORMS conference community, corporate donors, and the Marriott Marquis Houston.

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, INFORMS members donated thousands of dollars to purchase the supplies for 1,000 toiletry and personal hygiene kits. Throughout the four-day Annual Meeting, attendees from around the world, INFORMS and Star of Hope leadership, and representatives from the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics program, volunteered their time to help with the assembly of the kits. These kits contained items ranging from toothpaste and soap to socks and feminine hygiene products. 

Find out more here.

 Whether you donated or helped us build a kit (or both!), we are grateful for the generosity and support of those who joined us on our mission to make a difference for those who truly need a helping hand.

Special thanks to our corporate donors: Marriot Marquis Houston, AMPL, Artelys, FICO, Frontline Solvers, GAMS, Gurobi Optimization, Lindo Systems Inc., Simio, and Turner.

Additional thanks to Brian Gurbaxani and his 10 year old son, Caleb - for Caleb's 10th birthday party he asked for and raised money to donate to Star of Hope. Our sincerest thanks for his kindness and generosity. 

Pro Bono Analytics Makes a Difference in Nashville

Lots of INFORMS Annual Meeting attendees contributed their time, enthusiasm – and artistic talent – to Safe Haven Family Shelter, a Nashville nonprofit organization that helps families move from the street to the shelter and then on to a permanent housing.

Meeting attendees stopped by the Pro Bono Analytics table in the INFORMS Center to create cards of encouragement for Safe Haven families and learn more about the program. It was also an opportunity to learn about Pro Bono Analytics, an INFORMS initiative that will become a permanent program in January 2017. More than 50 new volunteers signed up for Pro Bono, bringing the total of interested volunteers to nearly 300!

Pro Bono connects INFORMS members and other analytics professionals with nonprofit organizations working in underserved and developing communities. Our volunteers have the satisfaction of giving back to the community by applying their skills and knowledge to the nonprofit world. Volunteers also gain great experience by being exposed to new and interesting problems, taking a project from problem definition to solution, and expanding the depth of their CV. Click for details on Pro Bono and how to become a volunteer.

Types of Projects


Here’s sampling of the types of projects for which nonprofit organizations seek Pro Bono Analytics help: 

Center in the Park (CIP), located in Philadelphia, is a senior community center that has gained local and national recognition for successful implementation of a "wellness center" model of programming. When you walk into the Center, you won't see "seniors" watching television – instead older adults will be Skyping in the "digital aging mastery program" or exercising in the "enhance fitness" class. Our volunteers are helping CIP to better measure the value of their health promotion and evidence-based programs by determining the benefit/cost.

Family Service of Greater Boston (FSGB) has focused on improving the lives of at-risk urban children, youth and their families since 1835. They currently provide services through three main programs: an outpatient mental health clinic, in-home therapy team, and a residential program for teens. FSGB asked for analytics help in developing a data management strategy that can standardize data collection, better coordinate care across programs, and better serve their clients.

Community Empowerment Solutions empowers community members in countries like the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Guatemala, and Nicaragua to implement high social impact technologies that address education, economic, energy and health challenges. CE Solutions had designed a survey to assess the outcomes of their program. The Pro Bono Analytics volunteers are helping them review the survey design, ensure that it meets best practices, and that it asks questions that will yield accurate and useful data for assessing their program.

American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) is facing a large decision. Should a Board Certified Music Therapist have a Master’s degree or be allowed to continue to practice at Bachelor’s level? AMTA is now working with an analytics coach, one of our volunteers, who is helping them define the issue, identify relevant data, and develop a decision model to support an informed decision that is in the best interest of their members and the general public seeking their services.

Indiana Association for Community Economic Development (IACED) is an intermediary agency, working with local communities and regional, state, and national stakeholders around economic development. The Pro Bono Analytics volunteer is helping them design a common outcome framework that will assist Indiana-based nonprofits to report, track, and measure performance outcomes.

On The Rise is a homeless shelter for women and children. Our volunteers are helping this small organization to better understand and use the data they collect.