Impact Consulting: Pro-bono consultancy dedicated to social impact

16 April 2021 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read
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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, consultants have played a vital role in keeping many social impact organisations operational, providing pro-bono services in order to do so. Jack Casey, the Founder and CEO of global network Impact Consulting, spoke to Consultancy.uk about how the organisation helps provide essential expertise to good causes around the world, while imparting vital experience to the next generation of global consultants.

In the chaotic economic environment of the coronavirus pandemic, non-profits and social impact organisations have been under pressure to deliver a greater number of services, while having to contend with big falls in the funding their work depends upon. At the same time, aspiring consultants have found their usual opportunities to enter the industry by way of internships has dried up, thanks to the lockdown restrictions of the last year.

Impact Consulting is a global network which looks to address both these issues. The network comprises of aspiring and professional consultants, while providing pro-bono support to social impact organisations. The demand for both these services was so intense that the organisation had to quickly move to find new ways to accommodate the needs of both consultants and clients.

Impact Consulting: Pro-bono consultancy dedicated to social impact

Speaking to Consultancy.uk, Founder and CEO Jack Casey explained, “Firstly, [we aimed] to support socially driven organisations who were facing unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid-19, while simultaneously providing students and working professionals with a keen interest in consulting, with opportunities to gain real-world experience, which had become hard to come by.”

“Within months, to help expand and improve our network, we developed an online platform where aspiring and professional consultants could view our upcoming projects and join those they were most passionate about, access training from industry experts and network with our global community, which has now grown to 2,500+ consultants from 90+ countries.”

Currently undertaking an MSc in International Management from CEMS and the University of Sydney, Casey is an experienced (student) management consultant, who has worked in government, telecommunications, fast moving consumer goods, and retail, with a focus on business strategy and operations. His background is reflected by Impact Consulting, in that it both provides consulting services, and a means for those entering the industry to learn key skills for advisory work.

“Through our online platform,” Casey expanded, “we provide our consultants with extensive e-learning consulting skills training for them to complete before their project, developed by industry experts with experience at the likes of McKinsey, BCG and Bain. This training covers various topics such as problem solving, excel modelling and even slide-writing.”

“We have also brought on-board several industry experts on to our platform, who can provide instant feedback to our Consultants when they are in need of help on their project. Through this, Consultants can direct message experts on our platform with questions and even jump on a call with them at any time during their project.”

Impactful projects

All of the projects Impact Consulting has worked on have been with organisations which contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including groups tackling issues as diverse as de-forestation, gender inequality, poverty and climate change. Typically, these focus on business strategy, operations, marketing, transformation and fundraising – and have included cases such as helping an education charity in Kenya to expand into new countries in Africa, developing a fundraising strategy for an NGO tackling de-forestation in the Amazon, and helping a Norwegian start-up in its mission to reduce plastic waste and rural poverty in India.

At the same time, Impact Consulting has not only seen aspiring consultants join up. It has also benefitted from a wealth of experience arriving with a number of experienced consultants who have joined its projects so far. According to Casey, “some of them [arrive] with up to 20+ years’ experience,” having been inspired by the opportunity to dedicate a few hours a week to use their skill sets to lead projects for social causes, as well as helping to develop the next generation of consultants and expand their professional network. According to Casey, clients have noted that this diversity of experience is one of Impact Consulting’s key differentiators.

“For us, having a large presence of working professionals as well as professional consultants on our projects has had a huge influence on the quality of our projects. Not only has this provided great value to our clients in having an experienced professional provide them with pro-bono support, but it has also provided our younger students with a fantastic learning opportunity, by enabling them to have the opportunity to work alongside more experienced professionals on a project.”

He concluded, “In addition, the international diversity across our project teams has helped us provide our clients with a range of innovative perspectives and ideas, which they have really valued so far.”