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Should My Organization Apply for a Compass Project?


How do I know if I need a Compass Project?
How can Compass help my organization fulfill its mission?

Each year as Compass prepares to open client applications, prospective nonprofits often ask us how Compass can help their organization. For more information about the nonprofit eligibility requirements, click here. Below are questions to consider about your organization across Compass’ service lines. For more information about the project application process, click here.  If you have further questions, please contact Compass at

Board Development

How active and engaged is your board?
How diverse is your board (e.g. ethnicity, gender, age, and tenure)?
Does your board composition support your organization’s mission?
Do your board members understand their role in fundraising?
Do you have updated by-laws? Do you have a sound board committee structure?
Do you have term limits and a board leadership succession plan?
Does the board evaluate itself? Does the board evaluate the ED?

Funding Strategy

Are you overly reliant on one source of funding, such as government or an individual donor?
Is there any risk to your primary revenue stream(s)?
Are you considering launching an earned income venture?
Do you think there an opportunity to new cultivate individual donors? Major donors?
Are your donors highly segmented by a particular age range?
Do you use social media effectively? Do you communicate your impact externally?

Strategic Alignment

Do your programs support your organization’s mission?
Are your organization’s resources (i.e. people, processes, and technology) aligned appropriately across your programs?
Do your resources support the programs that most fulfill your mission?
Are you considering launching a new program or expanding services?
Do you have a process for evaluating new program opportunities?

Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations

Do you want to understand if there is an opportunity to collaborate with other local nonprofits to accomplish shared goals?
Do you have a specific nonprofit(s) in mind with whom you would like to collaborate or partner? Would you like to understand what the opportunities may be with that organization?
Are your funders asking you for ideas on how to collaborate with other local nonprofits?

Strategic Planning (Greater Washington only)

Is it time to revisit your organization’s mission and vision?
Do you have a strategic roadmap for the next 3-5 years?
Do the board and staff agree on the organization’s priorities?

Strategic Marketing 

Do you have a strategic marketing plan in place?
Do you want to understand the opportunities to expand existing programs into new markets? Or deeper into existing markets?
Do you want to understand the opportunities to launch new programs into existing markets? Or new markets?
Is there an opportunity to strengthen your positioning?