FAQ: Consultancy

What is the aim of the RSSAF Consultancy?
Why was the RSSAF Consultancy founded?
What organisations are eligible to participate?
What do organisations gain by participating?
What do consultants gain by participating?
Are there financial benefits for participating organisations?
When does the RSSAF Consultancy take place?
How do we communicate with organisations?
How large are the RSSAF Consultancy teams?

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What is the aim of the RSSAF Consultancy?

  • The RSSAF Consultancy aims to assist non-profit organisations and social enterprises that work to improve the lives of people in Sub-Saharan Africa through the provision of free, non-professional consulting services from Rhodes Scholars resident in Oxford.

Why was the RSSAF Consultancy founded?

  • Whereas the original functions of RSSAF included raising and distributing funds for small-scale community development in Sub-Saharan Africa, Scholars felt that they could strengthen and expand RSSAF’s impact by providing non-material, non-financial assistance in the form of strategic support. Additionally, volunteer consultants would gain experience in non-profit consulting and have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Scholars from different years and constituencies.

What organisations are eligible to participate?

  • Organisations eligible to participate in the RSSAF Consultancy are those aiming to assist people in Sub-Saharan Africa in ways that align with the RSSAF Mission. Furthermore, priority is given to organisations who:

    1. Are unable to access consultancy services elsewhere,

    2. Are working on innovative, high-impact initiatives that would most benefit from the consultancy relationship, and

    3. Are willing and able to communicate regularly with the consultancy team, preferably via voice calls.

What do organisations gain by participating?

  • Organisations receive free, non-professional support from creative, committed, flexible teams with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The organisation-consultant relationship is intended to provide an opportunity for organisations to discuss new ideas, reflect on challenges, map out solutions, and incorporate fresh perspectives from the consultancy teams. As the RSSAF Consultancy moves forward, our growing record of past projects provides a wealth of information and experience for new organisations.

What do consultants gain by participating?

  • Volunteer consultants gain exposure to non-profit consulting and deepen relationships with other Rhodes Scholars while working together on a meaningful project. Additionally, the RSSAF Consultancy encourages consultants to attend various training modules, which are run by individuals who have extensive experience in consulting or non-profit management.  Where consultants lack knowledge in a specific area, they have access to the rich resources of a world-renowned university and a growing alumni network of Rhodes Scholars.

Are there financial benefits for participating organisations?

  • No. The RSSAF Consultancy aims to furnish organisations with non-material, non-financial strategic support. Consultants may assist organisations in developing their fundraising strategies, improving the sustainability of existing financial plans, or locating potential funders, but services do not include fundraising on the organisation’s behalf. Clients seeking monetary support from RSSAF are encouraged to apply for an RSSAF grant.

When does the RSSAF Consultancy take place?

  • Organisations interested in participating in the RSSAF Consultancy should apply by October 18th via the online application form. The annual project cycle runs from the University of Oxford’s Michaelmas term through Trinity Term, e.g. October through June. However, consultants and organisations may negotiate a shorter consultancy period, if desired. Consultants may agree to continue working with an organisation after the end of the cycle in Trinity, but they must do so individually and independently from the RSSAF Consultancy.

How do we communicate with organisations?

  • Consultants meet organisations in person whenever possible, but because most of our organisations are located in Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of interactions occur via free voice-over-IP software such as Skype and Viber. Most organisations have permanent access to computers fitted with this software. If they do not, they should at least have regular access to email so that periodic calls can be scheduled in advance, giving organisations time to make arrangements to access the required software.

How large are the RSSAF Consultancy teams?

  • The size of RSSAF Consultancy teams varies by year, depending on the number of consultants who volunteer for the project and the number of organisations accepted. At minimum, a team will consist of one experienced team leader and two consultants. Team size may vary depending on the needs of a particular client organisation.

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