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Kevin Scott

Research Statistician, SAS Institute

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How can we assist non-profit organizations in optimally allocating their resources and services equitably to those in need?

Corporations and Large Commercial firms spend significant amounts of time and money on technology and R&D to determine how to rationally allocate product/service capacity to their customers for the purpose maximizing revenue and/or profit. Many non-profit organizations face the same inventory allocation problems (e.g. foodbanks, medical etc.) but with different objectives: which in general are to ensure an equitable distribution of goods and services to agencies and individuals in need.

Non-profit organizations are also in general limited by budgetary constraints which do not allow them to invest in the technology needed to maximize the objective of equitable distribution.

How can we make the technology and methodology for finding the optimal allocations accessible and usable for non-profits?

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  • Nov 24 2011: My suggestion is to volunteer if you have the skill set. If you do not, but you know who does, perhaps act as an advocate for the charity of your choice to perhaps persuade those with the appropriate skill set to help out in a way that would optimize their contribution. A lot of times companies will match or otherwise assist in the volunteer efforts of employees.

    Working with Non-Profit professionals that understand the overall needs of the charity and the problems that challenge them is the best way to go to prevent some small administrative glitch from frustrating your specialist volunteers.
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    Dec 24 2011: I think one can link the organizations with the resources they need, volunteer own time and resources to fill in the gaps, get others to volunteer as well. But all this sounds too broad. Hence, one has to first conduct a complete assessment of an organizations strengths, limitations, challenges and opportunities with participation of all the stakeholders. Then prepare a plan of action accordingly to fill the gaps. sometimes, we may offer something that we might consider best but it may not be so in that context. Hence, do ASK and CONSULT first.