Open Volunteer Opportunities
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There are no projects seeking volunteers at this time, please check back at a later date.
Sampling of Projects Currently in Progress
Note:These projects are currently in progress and are no longer seeking volunteers. Please view the following to exemplify the wide variety of projects from nonprofit organizations that benefit from the work Pro Bono Analytics volunteers.
LET’S GO Boys and Girls is working to break the cycle of poverty through STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and workforce development. Based in Baltimore, LET’S GO inspires and supports participation of low income/high risk students in activities that help them develop a STEM identity leading to improved academic achievement and career success in the 21st Century information age.
LET’S GO tracks students from the time they register in one of their informal STEM education activities (typically in elementary school) though middle, high, and post-secondary school and ultimately entrance into the workforce. They need a database system to track demographics, history of participation in activities, academic record (grades, test scores, attendance, and disciplinary record), high school and post-secondary school completion, and entrance into the workforce.
LET’S GO would like to work with Pro Bono Analytics volunteers to improve their ability to measure program impact. They currently track students from the time they register in one of their informal STEM education activities (typically in elementary school) though middle, high, and post-secondary school and ultimately entrance into the workforce. They are planning to improve their data collection and data storage, and would like to use this opportunity to explore improved outcome measurement options. Key questions include:
- Is there evidence that low income/high risk students’ participation and persistence in informal STEM education activities leads to improvement in students’ academic achievement and life skills?
- What is the necessary quality of STEM activities and dosage/duration of delivery of activities for low income/high risk students to develop a strong enough “STEM identity” that motivates students to improve their academic achievement and life skills putting them on a pathway to success to economic prosperity?
- Does participation and persistence in informal STEM activities lead to the desired end goal of low income/high risk youth breaking out of generational poverty?
Volunteer Request Form - Lets Go Boys and Girls
The Chrysalis Center Inc. provides social services and develops affordable housing options to over 4000 individuals annually. They are a socially innovative multi service agency based in Hartford, CT. Their clients are individuals that are struggling with mental health and substance abuse, homelessness, veterans, those that are unemployed and under employed, and those with food insecurity. Their services spread across six main categories: Community Support Services and Case Management, Employment Services, Supportive Housing, Affordable Housing Development, Recovery Services, and Community Connections.
Chrysalis Center currently uses Carelogic (Quailfacts) as their Electronic Health Record, the report writer for the database is called Pentaho. The report writer is very limited and does not meet their robust reporting needs so they wish to expand their reporting capabilities through a direct connect to their data located in Qualifacts data warehouse.
In conversations with Qualifacts, they can accomplish this through a JDBC connector. Additionally, their Data Analyst provides comprehensive dashboards to their Program Managers that enable them to ensure funder requirements are being met.
At this time the analyst spends a significant amount of time refreshing the data manually to ensure the dashboards are up to date. They need the capability to create their own reports and have them refresh automatically. They are requesting volunteer help to assist with the JDBC connection, identification of important data elements, and report development and scheduling
Volunteer Request Form Chrysalis Center
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Central Arizona (https://www.bbbsaz.org/) matches volunteer adults (Bigs) with youth (Littles) that need mentors. They recently implemented a Big Futures Program to help high school students improve their education, career options, and life enrichment.
The Big Futures mentoring program is designed to facilitate guidance between Bigs and Littles to help prepare for adulthood, the workforce, financial security, and independence. Through their Bigs and the BBBSAZ staff, Littles will be encouraged to stay focused on their academic and professional success. Big Futures programming provides enhanced training and support to matches that are focused on the student’s graduation from high school and progression into college, military and/or career. Participating matches receive resources and networking opportunities that provide guidance on college admission, financial aid and scholarships, as well as information about careers and workforce development opportunities, financial literacy, military service, and professional and technical training programs. Littles will also participate in group or cohort events quarterly, including college tours, career nights, resume writing, interviewing skills training, and leadership academies. Parents of the students and mentors will be provided with resources and education on how to best support the youth in college and career readiness. Most importantly, Bigs provide much needed mentorship, as Littles navigate opportunities that could positively shape their lives. For some, this could mean preparing for, and passing, their high school equivalency exam and enrolling in community college or a four-year college.
BBBS of Central Arizona would like to use participant surveys to assess their Big Futures Program. The main purpose of the surveys is to enable reporting of impact to stakeholders. The organization has example surveys from the national BBBS and other regional BBBS nonprofits. They are seeking a Pro Bono Analytics volunteer for the following:
(1) Assistance in development of the survey instrument, including consideration of a pre-test and post-test survey structure.
(2) Advice on database tools for storing and handling survey data.
(3) Development of a data analysis procedure to enable reporting impact and training staff to independently conduct data analysis.
Volunteer Request Form BBBSAZ
Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels is an organization focused on bringing dignity and comfort into the harsh world of childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. They address the "here and now" of the whole family and support them throughout their battle with cancer. They provide fun t-shirts and clothing, teach families to have a voice, provide financial assistance to families, train health-care professionals to offer Family Centered Care, and provide behavioral health counselling to the patients and their families.
They want to be able to be able to communicate their data more effectively with grant funders, donors, stakeholders, and the community. Amanda Hope would like to request volunteer help to start with goals to consolidate all of the organization data into a cloud data-warehouse, to automate reporting, ensure accuracy, and eliminate data silos. Volunteers will be asked to:
- Develop the metrics that best convey the impact and value of the services they offer to grant funders, donors, stakeholders, and the community.
- Work with Amanda Hope to best identify the data need to analyze and develop the metrics. Use/enhance data currently being collected, and if needed, identify what other data should be collected and how.
- Develop surveys and procedures to collect the data.
- Develop the tools to input and analyze the metrics translating them to meaningful information in a way that is easy to understand.
- Create a system that is sustainable, simple to operate, and able to grow with the organization.
- Create a user instruction sheet at a level easily understandable by the lay person.
Volunteer Request Form Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels
Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) celebrates Maryland’s industrial legacy and shows how innovation fuels ongoing progress. Their exhibitions, educational programs, and collections engage visitors in the stories of the people who built Baltimore and those who shape the region’s future. BMI is currently working to implement a new strategic plan which charts a bold course for the museum’s future, envisioning the BMI as a community anchor where pride in Baltimore’s industrial past fuels imagination and inspires innovation.
BMI currently tracks revenue and the number of people served by some of their programs, but there is clearly a richer set of metrics that can expand and improve the understanding of their impact on the community. Pro Bono Analytics is seeking one or more volunteers to provide BMI with support in defining and modeling metrics that can form a comprehensive dashboard to measure, across the organization, outcomes that demonstrate both the quantitative and qualitative impacts that tie directly to its strategic plan. Please view the complete form for tasks that the INFORMS Pro Bono Analytics volunteers will be asked to perform.
Volunteer Request Form - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Young Audiences of NJ & Eastern PA (YA NJ/EP) inspires young people to expand their learning through the arts. They do this by bringing arts experiences by professional teaching artists directly to students; making the arts accessible regardless of socioeconomic background, geographic area, and ability.
YA NJ/EP would like to work with an expert in decision analysis to help determine whether they should continue to host Dazzle, a large-scale annual fundraising event. Dazzle, a “Dancing with the Stars” type event involving donors and other supporters, raises general operating funds needed for running the organization. Dazzle also raises awareness of the value YA NJ/EP contributes to arts education. Dazzle is a highly visible event that helps strengthen ties between the organization and its sponsors. However, Dazzle has been held for six years, and there are divided opinions on whether the significant resources needed to host the event could better be used on other activities. Since this decision has direct impact on the annual budget, donors and community outreach, it is critical for YA NJ/EP to carefully evaluate and justify all aspects of the decision. You can learn more about YA NJ/EP at their website (yanjep.org) and the Dazzle website (dazzleya.org).
The goal of this project is to systematically work through the decision process, arriving at a clear rationale for whether YA NJ/EP should continue to host Dazzle or whether they should apply the resources to other activities. YA NJ/EP will look to the Pro Bono Analytics volunteer to suggest the best format for this decision process.
If you are interested in helping YA NJ/EP with this critical decision involving the future of Dazzle, please forward your resume and/or CV with a brief paragraph explaining your interest and qualifications. A brief description of how you might approach this decision process would also be beneficial.
Young Audiences Volunteer Request Form
Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap provides educational materials for students and teachers. They aim to reduce the burden of teachers spending their own money on supplies, and ensure that teachers and students have the supplies they need to be successful. They collect donations from teachers, schools, businesses, and individuals who have excess office supplies, arts and crafts materials, and classroom supplies and make them available to Baltimore City teachers and students through their brick and mortar store or delivered through their free store "on wheels."
Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap would like to work with one or more volunteers to look at the data they have collected and currently collects on an ongoing basis; determining whether that data would be appropriate for grant requests; and determining whether additional data should be collected, potentially by communicating with funders BTSS is interested in pursuing.
Young Audiences of NJ & Eastern PA (YA NJ/EPA) inspires young people to expand their learning through the arts. They do this by bringing arts experiences by professional teaching artists directly to students; making the arts accessible regardless of socioeconomic background, geographic area, and ability.
YA NJ/EPA would like to work with one or more Pro Bono Analytics volunteers to help design a monitoring system for inclusion in their grant application, which is due by April 30, 2018. This system will use a mixture of qualitative and quantitative information to assess the program impact. In addition to data provided by the local school board, the monitoring might include periodic surveys of students, parent and/or teachers, conducting focus groups, mining of social media data, etc. Again, the goal of this project is to design, not build, an implementable and practical monitoring system.
Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania Volunteer Request Form
Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH) Volunteer Services Department is responsible for providing engaged, well trained and resourceful volunteers who produce exemplary and meaningful service and support while demonstrating ICARE values to their patients, guests and the hospital they serve. HMH would like to work with a Pro Bono Analytics volunteer to better understand how to interact with existing and potential volunteers in three primary areas:
- Engagement – The list of volunteers contains a mixture of (a) people regularly volunteering for specific assignments, (b) people volunteering only once or twice, and (c) people never volunteering for a specific assignment. There are cases where volunteers receive training yet never sign up for an event. What are the reasons behind different levels of engagement?
- Communication – HMH uses a variety of methods to advertise specific volunteering opportunities. These include email, website postings, social media, etc. However HMH, currently does not utilize text messaging as an avenue for communication. How effective will text outreach be in communicating with volunteer? Which methods are most effective, and how does this differ by demographic?
- Branding – Although HMH is a well-known and respected organization, it still must compete with other international, national and local non-profits for volunteer time. What methods are most effective for encouraging volunteers to sign up?
Houston Methodist Hospital Volunteer Services Department Form
John Jay College of Criminal Justice seeks support to conduct a comprehensive review of the College’s academic and support programs for students, including examination of student outcomes disaggregated by race, sex, income, and other factors. Ideally, such analysis would also include support creating a process that could be used by the College in the future, and in creating data visualizations of the analysis in order to make the data accessible and understandable to internal and external audiences. Goal is to use the results of this analysis to help transform student outcomes at John Jay by:
- identifying any hidden access or outcome gaps by race, sex, income, and other factors;
- increasing our understanding of – and testing our assumptions about – challenges and risk factors facing John Jay students;
- facilitating problem-solving to address identified challenges in order to achieve dramatic gains in success outcomes for all students; and
- launching a campus-wide improvement effort grounded in data and focused on increasing student success rates.
In addition to enhancing administrator, faculty, and staff understanding of student challenges and successes at John Jay as described above, the data analysis and visualizations would also support John Jay’s critical fundraising goals by helping John Jay tell the story of its students and their successes and challenges to potential donors.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice Form
Friends Life Community is an organization dedicated to offering skill-building to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to decrease dependency, improve socialization, and increase community inclusion. They provide day programs that include art classes, life skills classes, community outings, volunteer work in the community, social clubs, and one-on-one coaching services.
They are seeking volunteer help to provide observation and analytics to help refine their data selection and reporting in an effort to improve communication around mission impact. They want to accurately showcase the progress of clients to their clients and the clients’ families and be able to make data-driven decisions about programming. They would also like to use their data to inform donors of progress in a way that helps them understand the impact they are making with their funding.
A key element to this project is that they propose one volunteer to visit onsite and observe programming to have a clear picture of the work being done. That volunteer will then be able to make recommendations for data collection and their staff will be able to either produce the specific data or will be able to make revisions to current data collection systems.
Once the important questions are identified and the data is produced, the volunteer would work as a team with another volunteer with experience in human services to analyze the data and make recommendations for reporting methods, such as a spreadsheet, to present information to clients, management, and derive information for donor communications.
This is a little different than our usual projects in that we are seeking a volunteer who is local to Nashville, Tennessee and would be able to volunteer some of their time on-site at Friends Life Community’s headquarters. In addition they are seeking another volunteer with experience in human services.
Friends Life Community Form
The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab at NYU School of Law is designing and building a mental health screening tool for police officers to identify and divert individuals suffering from mental illness out of the criminal justice system and into treatment. This tool will be a mobile and desk top application that can be used by officers when they first engage with individuals. The tool will determine whether or not an individual should proceed through the traditional criminal justice system or should be diverted to a nearby mental health treatment facility for treatment.
This project represents an effort to move upstream to treat the underlying causes of crime, and to ensure that those individuals who can be safely diverted to mental health treatment are diverted at the earliest point in time. For this to happen, we need to provide tools to police officers so that they can identify and divert individuals at the initial point of contact.
Although mental health screening tools exist, these tools have not been designed or validated for use by police officers during a street encounter. Relying on existing research and a team of excellent clinical practitioners, we are presently designing a mental health screening tool that can be easily used by police officers in any location. They have built this project in partnership with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, where they anticipate testing and implementing the tool.
They are seeking an operations research specialist to make this process effective and efficient. Police officers will need to operate this tool with ease and the screening must be brief and accurate. The logistics of diverting someone to a mental health facility also need to be designed. They believe that an OR specialist could greatly assist in helping us build an innovation solution for responding to and treating mental illness. Further, they believe that this could serve as a national model for police departments across the country.
Criminal Justice Innovation Lab at NYU School of Law Form
The Criminal Justice Innovation Lab at NYU School of Law is designing and building a mental health screening tool for police officers to identify and divert individuals suffering from mental illness out of the criminal justice system and into treatment. One set of volunteers is working on developing this physical tool and another set is working to developing the Assesment Intervention Center (AIC), a key component of the mental health diversion aspect of the criminal justice reform in Indianapolis. The AIC is a choice for clients, it is not a mandatory treatment component, not a secured facility and clients can choose to leave at any time with an anticipated that lengths of stay will range from 1 to 14 days. It will operate during regular business hours with outpatient services that are rooted in an intensive case management model. The goal is stabilization and (re)connection to services in the community. Located in close proximity to the AIC will be an overnight facility for people are engaged in services who need a place to stay while they are being (re)connected to services. The AIC will be operated by Midtown Community Mental Health Center through Eskenazi Health (the public hospital system for Marion County) and will facilitate the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's mental health screening initiative.
Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA) is dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by schizophrenia-related brain illnesses through support programs, education, collaboration and advocacy. SARDAA is looking for help in reviewing their data and then creating a plan for moving forward. SARDAA data is currently accessed using Salesforce.com as the underlying infrastructure. The current contact database includes members, supporters, stakeholders and other interested parties. In addition to gaining a stronger understanding of the information in the database (e.g., geographic distribution, completeness of the data, etc.), the project will include investigating options for potentially expanding but more importantly using this data to benefit the organization by improving operational performance and supporting decision-making. Initial ideas suggested for consideration are creating a profile of members and using better visualization and communication tools to share this information with managers and leaders within SARDAA. SARDAA is also considering a survey of their membership, e.g., to gain a better understanding of the interests of those currently in their database and how that differs by various factors such as location, type of member, level of support, and other features in the database. This project would begin with a focus on the Salesforce data; the next step would be to help SARDAA create a plan for moving forward with some of the other ideas mentioned.
SARDAA Volunteer Request Form
Nashville Zoo is a progressive and dynamic zoological park serving Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and hundreds of thousands of tourists who travel to Nashville every year. The zoo’s Education Department is working on a comprehensive evaluation methodology for all their programs that will measure knowledge, attitude, and behavioral change among participants. The zoo has developed a uniform approach to evaluation and has tested several methods. The biggest hurdle is quantifying the results. At this point, they are relying on Survey Monkey for basic data management, but would like help in improving the data analysis and the overall program evaluation process. The goal of this volunteer project is to pull all department surveys into a program such as Tableau to generate regular reports on program effectiveness that would help the zoo make strategic decisions about improving programs and also provide information to funders.
Nashville Zoo Request Form
LawNY: Legal Assistance for Western New York – LawNY is a nonprofit legal firm that provides access to the justice system for low-income people and other vulnerable populations who have civil legal problems. In 2015, the firm closed 8,877 cases benefiting 18,246 people across Western New York. LawNY is seeking analytics help in developing a business process map of the intake system used in its seven offices, analyzing where barriers exist, and making recommendations for improvements. Their ultimate goal is to improve the intake system so it works as efficiently and effectively as possible for its clients, intake workers and advocates. See more details in the Volunteer Request From.
LawNY Volunteer Request Form
SkillWorks at The Boston Foundation is a multi-phase initiative that began as a $25 million public/private partnership in the Boston area designed to meet worker and business needs while developing pathways out of poverty in an economy where growth is for middle to high-skill jobs, while a large percentage of the workforce is unprepared for those jobs. The initial engagement would focus primarily on understanding Skillworks' data, formulating and investigating options for storing this data and for automating production of performance metrics that are consistent with the organization's budget, and, finally, helping SkillWorks put together a more comprehensive plan for moving forward in meeting its strategic objectives as a more analytic and data savvy organization.
Meals on Wheels for Western New York is an essential program that delivers meals to members of the community who need it most. Their mission is to enrich lives and promote independent healthy living by offering nutritious foods and a friendly visit. Our volunteers are working to help them improve their processes for maximizing their warehouse space. They are working to improve storage and efficient use of space.