A case study with Vicky Maloney, Chief Executive at Early Break – one of our clients for the Full-time MBA Not-for-Profit Consultancy Project. Early Break is a charity offering free information, advice and support for young people and families with substance misuse-related issues
The Alliance Manchester Business School (Alliance MBS) Not-for-profit Consultancy Project harnesses the expertise and research capabilities of MBA students and uses their skills to help third sector groups, businesses and charities with free recommendations and insight.
Taking part in the consultancy project has certainly helped Vicky Maloney, CEO of Early Break, who has implemented visible improvements at her organisation as part of the project.
“Following our involvement in the Alliance MBS Not-for-profit Project,” she said, “we’ve implemented a new financial reporting system and remodelled that area of the business. We are also in the process of embedding further recommendations, made by the students, for fundraising compliance and regulations; we now feel assured that this area of the charity will continue to be fit-for-purpose.”
After making connections with Alliance MBS in early 2016, Vicky worked with programme leaders at the business school to better understand what Early Break’s needs were, and develop a clear brief for five MBA students to tackle as a group.
Students took on challenges to develop research-led solutions in two key areas: financial reporting, and development of a fundraising policy based on investigation of the legal and regulatory implications of current and planned activity.
“It was a great opportunity for us as a service to work through some of the constructive challenges and questions the students gave us. It was also interesting to get an international perspective from the students, to understand cultural working practices and ideas with a range of professionals from across Alliance MBS’ global bases.”
The benefits for both Early Break and the students didn’t stop there.
“Our particular group of students communicated really well, keeping us up to date on emerging themes and issues. The piece of work was particularly useful as it encouraged us to take a wider view of our issues and potential solutions. Overall, we found the not-for-profit consultancy to be really positive and meaningful.”
By the end of the eleven-week process, Vicky and Early Break reflected on their experience:
“This was a positive learning experience for our organisation and we engaged respectfully in the whole process. We took away some meaningful ideas and information that strengthened our position. We would happily work with Alliance MBS again in the future.”
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