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Volunteer FAQs

Volunteer FAQs

Read below for general information and follow the links for details about the volunteer roles and application process in Chicago, Greater Philadelphia, and Greater Washington.

What is the difference between a Classic Project and a Micro Project?

Micro Projects are offered in Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia. Classic Projects are for nonprofits with budgets over $750,000. These projects run from September through May and are staffed with eight volunteers. Micro Projects typically are for nonprofits with budgets below $750,000. These projects run from January through May with four volunteers on each team.

When do you recruit volunteers?

Recruiting for Classic Project volunteers begins in September, shortly after we select and announce our new clients. We recruit volunteers for Micro Projects in December and January.

What do the teams look like?

Classic Projects have a Project Leader, Deputy Project Leader and six or seven Team Members. Micro Projects have a Project Leader and four Team Members. Our volunteers have diverse backgrounds and skills. Many of our volunteers work full-time, while others are retired executives or stay-at-home parents with relevant professional experience.

What do you look for in volunteers?

Our 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. We also try to place one person on each team who has nonprofit experience.

I don’t live in the metropolitan area – can I serve on a Compass team?

While Covid continues to prevent in-person meetings, Compass is pleased to consider applications if you live outside the metropolitan area.

If I do not have an MBA, can I still apply?

Absolutely! We place non-MBAs on each team, with preference to lawyers and those who have consulting or nonprofit experience. Non-MBAs should have at least two years of work experience.

If I am currently in school, should I apply?

We do not accept anyone currently in undergrad, graduate school, or other executive education programs.

What is the time commitment for volunteering?

On average, Team Members spend two to three hours per week on their Compass project. Project Leaders average three to five hours per week.

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 weekly.

Where do the teams meet?

Compass teams typically meet and engage with their nonprofit clients in person. Compass was able to seamlessly shift to all-remote work in response to the pandemic and we anticipate continuing remote work due to Covid-related restrictions.

Read first-hand accounts about volunteering with Compass:

Click here to read about a volunteer’s experience with Hopeworks Camden during Philadelphia’s 2018-19 project year.

Click here to read about a volunteer’s experience with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia during the 2019-20 project year.

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“I learned so much about consulting, homelessness in DC, and the overall nonprofit space. All of my team members were so intelligent and passionate.”

HOMELESS CHILDREN’S PLAYTIME PROJECT, Team Member