Compass provides team-based pro bono consulting services to nonprofits whose work benefits the local communities of Greater Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
On an annual basis in each city, Compass selects nonprofit clients through a rigorous application process. Compass offers different types of projects across six service lines: Strategic Planning, Strategic Alignment, Board Development, Funding Strategy, Strategic Marketing, Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.
Once clients are selected, Compass recruits volunteers with a wide variety of business experiences and places them on teams assigned to serve the nonprofits. Compass works closely with the local alumni clubs of its 17 partner graduate business schools:
Compass Project Leaders work closely with nonprofit client leadership to refine project scope and with their team of volunteers to guide the work plan. Most Compass Project Leaders are graduates of one of our partner business schools and have significant business experience. Project Leaders typically spend three to five hours per week on project work. Compass selects Project Leaders in August and September. Prospective Project Leaders rank their interest in projects on the Project Leader application, which will be available on the Compass home page in late August. Compass conducts in-person interviews with new Project Leader applicants.
Compass was founded by business school graduates and many of our volunteers have an MBA. Compass also accepts volunteers who have another relevant graduate degree, as well as those with significant relevant work experience. For non-MBA applicants, preference is given to applicants with consulting or nonprofit experience. Volunteers spend on average two to three hours per week on projects. Compass recruits volunteers in the early fall, announcing final team assignments in mid-October.
Compass is not just a matchmaking service between business professionals and local nonprofits. The Compass program has been fine-tuned with proven processes ranging from client and volunteer selection to project implementation. Compass provides trainings for all team members with additional training for Project Leaders. Compass provides access to veteran Project Leaders who act as Advisors to current teams. Compass further supports projects by providing access to data and information relevant to projects in an online Toolkit available to all volunteers.
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“The knowledge, skills and abilities that this team brought into our small non-profit were invaluable and will help us move to the next step of successfully developing a program.”
--- Executive Director, Compass Client
“Volunteering with Compass is such a rewarding experience. Compass provides valuable services to its clients and truly makes a difference to the nonprofits it works with. I’m so proud to be a part of the Compass community.”
--- Project Leader
How to Volunteer
Compass conducts nine-month projects, lasting from early fall until late spring, in the Greater Washington, Philadelphia, and Chicago areas. Compass also conducts four-month projects (January – May) in Greater Washington.