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.

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Volunteer FAQs

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.

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 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.

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.

What do the teams look like?

A Project Leader leads each team. Classic Projects also have a Deputy Project Leader. 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.

Where do the teams meet?

Each team decides on a convenient location for team meetings. Teams visit their client site occasionally, but do not meet at the client site.

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 at least once every two weeks, ideally with in-person meetings at least once per month.

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

Volunteers must live in the greater metropolitan area of a Compass city to work on a Compass project as teams frequently meet in person.

When do you recruit volunteers?

Recruiting for Classic Project volunteers 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 volunteers for Micro Projects in December and January.

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

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