Shortly after September 11, 2001, several Harvard Business School alumni in Washington, DC, recruited friends and colleagues to volunteer on consulting teams for five local nonprofits. The founding group discovered that the service filled a great need within the nonprofit sector, as well as with business school alumni. Compass now serves over 80 nonprofits each year across three cities.
Compass has expanded to meet the changing needs in our communities. Our three core service lines help strengthen the foundation of all nonprofits: Board Development, Funding Strategies, and Strategic Alignment. In the past few years, we added three new service lines to more fully meet the strategic needs of nonprofits: Strategic Marketing, Partnerships & Collaborations, and Strategic Planning. In 2014, Compass added a Board Matching program called On Board, which connects individuals in the business community with nonprofits needing qualified board members. In 2017, Compass launched the Sorkin Center to support nonprofit boards with specialized training for board members. In response to the Covid-19 crisis, in spring 2020 Compass rolled out On Demand projects, new short-term pro bono services. On Demand projects helped nonprofits address urgent challenges brought about by the pandemic with support from seasoned business professionals.
Recognizing that our successful model of tapping into the experience of business professionals and their desire to give back to their communities in a meaningful way translates across geography, Compass has expanded nationally. We launched in Philadelphia in 2013 and in Chicago in 2016. Since 2001, Compass has brought over 4,341 highly skilled business professionals into the nonprofit sector to serve more than 725 nonprofits through 1,077 projects, with many more to come.