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St Mary's Relief in Need

St Mary’s Relief in Need is a Nottingham based charity which can trace its origins back to the C16th. It makes available grants to people in the city who are facing economic hardship.



The Charity’s Board of Trustees was interested in ideas about different ways its funds might be administered within the community, and whether any alternative methods of distribution might offer a greater impact in the lives of people it supports.

The Trustees challenged a team of NBS MSc Finance students to identify ways that it could use its annual income to maximise the impact of the Charity. It helped the team to gain an understanding of its context within the not-for-profit sector, and also offered the students a chance to talk to the Charity’s legal partner which administrates the fund, and so gain a better understanding of the legal context too.


A team of students, studying a variety of master’s level Finance related degrees, conducted both primary and secondary research analysing the challenge. In addition to conducting a financial trend analysis, exploring a range of investment and donation models, and examining partnership models, the team presented a range of recommendations the organisation might adopt.


Trustee, Len Simmonds, said of the team’s work, “All the Trustees who saw the students’ final presentation felt the team had really grasped the challenges of this historic charity well. They made some astute observations and recommendations about how to ensure it has a continuing role in the community. Their presentation was well structured and offered multiple, plausible ideas about how the Charity could develop in the future.”

This project has been one of my favourite modules, if not my overall favourite module of both my postgraduate and undergraduate studies. I can remember at first feeling a bit daunted by the idea of working for a real-life client and at times the workload felt stressful. However, I have been pleasantly surprised and pleased by the entire experience. Our Project Supervisor assigned by the Business School was really supportive and guided us well, and in the end the project experience has proved extremely beneficial for me and for my personal development. I have really enjoyed this way of learning.”

MSc Finance and Accounting student, Jack Shipp, who was one of the six strong project team