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Apax Foundation backs Operational Excellence Practice acceleration initiative for non-profits

16th October 2023

The Apax Foundation is proud to have supported a pioneering initiative developed by Apax’s Operational Excellence Practice, harnessing the OEP’s operating expertise, digital capabilities and network of vendors to increase the impact of the Apax Foundation’s funding to non-profits.

The initiative was piloted in partnership with Operation White Stork, a US veteran-led non-profit organisation delivering life-saving medical equipment and humanitarian aid to Ukraine’s front lines.

Sourcing medical equipment

A challenge identified by the White Stork team who travelled to Ukraine at the start of the war was a lack of high-quality Individual First Aid Kits (IFAKs) and mass casualty kits for Ukrainian soldiers and civilians on the front lines.  When the OEP team became involved, White Stork had been purchasing IFAKs to deliver to Ukraine at a unit cost of $137.  By deconstructing the kits into the component parts and sourcing each element individually, Will Harman and the OEP Procurement team were able to reduce the cost of these kits from $137 to around $60.  The individual components were tested by Ukrainian combat medics to ensure the right standards were met, packed into IFAKs by an assembly line of volunteers, and sent to the front lines through White Stork’s in-country network.  Over 16,000 ‘Apax sourced’ IFAKs have been delivered to the Ukrainian front lines since the start of the project 5 months ago.

Digital acceleration

The OEP team had identified a lack of digital maturity in the non-profit sphere in areas such as website development, search engine optimisation and marketing, and conversion optimisation.  Dave Burgess and Jon Simmons focussed there in their work with White Stork.

White Stork’s funding at the start of the project came from a small number of large donors.  The team’s ambition was to develop a financial model with long-term sustainability by attracting a large donor base making regular, smaller donations.  The vehicle for this was White Stork’s website, and the OEP team engaged partners from their preferred vendor network to transform the website into a platform for digital fundraising.  The team’s project partners worked with White Stork to refine their key messages, and design and build a new website, optimised for SEO.  They then embarked on paid digital marketing campaigns with a Return on Investment target.

The resulting increase in website traffic has substantially widened White Stork’s donor base and is currently generating as much as $10,000 a week in donations from a standing start 5 months ago.  White Stork recently signed a long-term agreement to work with Exactius – a preferred digital agency partner in the OEP team’s vendor network – to sustain this momentum going forward.  

“Kudos to Seth Brody and the whole Operational Excellence team for developing this incredibly exciting initiative.  It was a team effort across the board, bringing the Apax values of ‘Insight and Tenacity’ to bear, leveraging their procurement skills, depth of digital knowledge, and vendor network to increase the impact of the Apax Foundation’s funding to Operation White Stork”, said Rohan Haldea, Apax Foundation CEO.

For more information on Operation White Stork, please visit: https://whitestork.us/  


The Apax Foundation is the channel for Apax’s charitable giving worldwide. It focuses on social mobility in under-served communities and has developed active partnerships with charities in countries where our team are based. The Apax Foundation aims to make a meaningful difference in the communities where we work and live, and supports firm-wide volunteering initiatives as well as the personal philanthropic activities of the Apax team globally.