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Royal Voluntary Service: Changing direction to improve fund-raising and attract more volunteers

David McCullough, The Royal Voluntary Service [WIShEaR1QWg]
David McCullough, The Royal Voluntary Service

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) does valuable work helping older people to stay active and lead purposeful lives. They’ve been doing it for over 70 years. More people needed their help, but their volunteer numbers were falling. Key income streams e.g. small shops and cafes in hospitals or high street shops faced increasing competition as more hospitals brought in branded coffee shops and retail in high street locations stays under economic threat. RVS developed a new model for the organisation designed to cut overhead costs, bring in more volunteers and safeguard their future. But they wanted reassurance that the plan was robust and far reaching enough as well as help putting the plans into practice.

They asked PA to review their operating model and develop the programme to deliver it. They also sought an assessment of their ability to carry it out to the timetable they’d set out. We analysed their proposals and explored the environment they’d be operating in. That meant we could identify whether they’d missed any opportunities and check they had the capacity to fulfil the plans. We worked with RVS alongside another external partner that was reviewing their finances. Together we supported the Executive Team in delivering  recommendations for the future to the Board of Trustees. Our recommendations included refining the operating model to focus on developing tight-loose controls and accountability across centralised and localised functions; a route map to realise in year benefits and development of a practical and standardised programme management function and capabilities to ensure delivery was completed. The Board approved our proposals and asked us to help them implement the changes. We set up the project management office (PMO) and worked closely with their teams to set things in motion, training members of the internal team as we did so. We developed guidelines for introducing the PMO changes that could be adapted for local use and later trained the management tier in its application.

With our help, RVS has become a stronger, more cost aware and cost effective organisation that can continue to support people in need for years to come.




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