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About

Frequently Asked Questions

Volunteers
Clients
Donors

Volunteers

What is the time commitment for volunteering?
On average, Team Members spend 1-3 hours per week on their Compass project. Project Leaders average 3-5 hours per week. However, there will be some weeks that require more involvement, while others require less.

If I do not have an MBA, can I still apply?
Absolutely! We put non-MBAs on each team, with preference to those who have consulting or nonprofit experience.

If I am currently in school, should I apply?
We recommend that persons working full time and attending graduate school not apply to participate with Compass. We do not accept volunteers who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree.

What do you look for in Volunteers?
Compass’ volunteer program is best suited for individuals with significant experience in the business world. We give preference to applicants with an MBA from one of our partner schools, or to lawyers and consultants from firms with whom we have a close partnership. Within those categories, we look for a wide variety of skills depending on our clients’ needs. These include finance, marketing, organizational management, among others. Non-MBAs should have at least two years of work experience. We also try to place one person on each team who has experience working with or for nonprofits.

What do the teams look like?
Classic project teams are composed of a Project Leader, a Deputy Project Leader and six Team Members. Compass volunteers have diverse backgrounds and skills. Many of our volunteers work full-time, while others are retired executives or stay-at-home parents.

Where do the teams meet?
Teams will meet at their clients’ site at least once. After that, teams decide on a location most convenient for them. Some teams meet every week at a coffee shop, or a team member’s home or office.

How often do teams meet?
Each team decides on a schedule that works for its team members and work plan. We encourage teams to touch base in person or by phone at least once every two weeks. Some teams meet in person once a month and have a conference call once a month. Other teams meet in person more frequently.

What is the difference between Classic Projects and Micro Projects?
Classic Projects are offered for nonprofits with budgets over $750,000. These projects run from September through May and are staffed with eight volunteers. Micro Projects are for nonprofits with budgets between $400,000 – $750,000. These projects run from January through May, and have a total of four volunteers on each team.

For a list of this year’s Clients, follow these links:
2017-18 Classic Projects – Greater Washington
2017-18 Projects – Greater Philadelphia
2017-18 Projects – Greater Chicago 
2017 Micro Projects – Greater Washington

When do you recruit volunteers?
Recruiting for Classic Projects begins in September, shortly after we select and announce our new clients. Each fall, we host a Project Launch event where prospective volunteers can learn more about Compass and meet the current clients.

We recruit for Micro Projects in December and January.

If you are interested in volunteering with Compass, please feel free to email us at any point. If we are not in the process of recruiting at that time, we will put you on our email list to make sure you receive communication about volunteer opportunities when they arise. Our contact information can be found here: Contact Us

Clients

What does the application process look like?
Compass begins accepting client applications in the spring. Our application is placed online in April and due mid June. In July and August, we interview the Executive Director and the Board Chair of each applicant. We select clients in mid-August. Projects begin in September.

What is the difference between Classic Projects and Micro Projects?
Classic Projects are offered for nonprofits with budgets over $750,000. These projects run from September through May and are staffed by eight volunteers. Micro Projects are for nonprofits with budgets between $400,000 – $750,000. These projects run from January through May, and have a total of four volunteers on each team.

For a list of this year’s Clients, follow these links:
2017-18 Classic Projects – Greater Washington
2017-18 Projects – Greater Philadelphia
2017-18 Projects – Greater Chicago 
2017 Micro Projects – Greater Washington

What are the requirements of Compass Clients?
Compass clients are asked to sign an Engagement Letter with Compass, provide information packets for team members, attend a Client Orientation in the early fall, complete a Mid-Project and End-of-Project survey, and attend our Volunteer Celebration event in May. We ask that our clients be open and accessible to their volunteer teams.

Can former Compass Clients apply for an additional project?
We encourage past clients to apply for additional projects. However, most clients benefit from taking at least one year off between projects.

Donors

How is Compass funded?
Compass is funded like any other nonprofit. We receive support from foundations, corporations and individuals. If you know of any foundations, corporations or individuals who support capacity building for nonprofits, we would appreciate an introduction. Every $1 contributed to Compass provides $14 in pro bono consulting services back to the community. This multiplier effect guarantees donors of a solid investment.

How can I donate?
We’re happy you asked! You can find all of our donation information here.