Volunteer FAQs

Read below for general information. For specific details about volunteer roles and the application process in your city, visit: Chicago, Greater Philadelphia, Greater Washington, or Minneapolis-St.Paul.

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

Classic Projects are for nonprofits with budgets over $500,000. These projects run from September through May, and are staffed with nine volunteers.

Micro Projects typically are for nonprofits with budgets below $500,000. These projects run from January through May, and are staffed with five volunteers. Micro Projects are offered in Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia.

When do you recruit volunteers?

Recruiting for Classic Project volunteers begins in August, shortly after we select and announce our new clients. We recruit volunteers for Micro Projects in December and January. Please visit your Compass city page for specifics (Chicago, Greater Philadelphia, Greater Washington, or Minneapolis-St.Paul).

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?

We take particular pride in the diversity of our community of volunteers, which includes proven consultants and business professionals, MBAs, lawyers, and professionals with advanced degrees – of all ages and from various career tracks.

Our professionals represent the breadth of strategic know-how found within the business community, boasting capabilities across a broad set of functional areas, including strategic planning, finance, marketing & communications, change management, technology, operations, and consulting.

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

Absolutely! Compass seeks professionals who have expertise in strategy, finance, technology, HR, marketing, fundraising, law, and other areas, as well as individuals with board and nonprofit experience. All volunteers must have at least one year of post-undergraduate work experience.

If I am currently in school, can I still apply?

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

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

The Compass program will be hybrid this year. From our experiences over the past two years, we know that Compass can work well virtually, but we also know the experience is greatly enhanced by in person touch-points. This year, all Compass trainings will be provided live over Zoom, and we will hold some social and networking events in person. Volunteers can expect that most team meetings will be conducted virtually, after work hours on weekdays. However, we strongly encourage teams to visit clients sites and occasionally gather in person in accordance with public health guidelines and individual circumstances.

Applicants outside of the geographic area may still apply to volunteer, but may miss out on in-person team gatherings.

What is the time commitment for volunteering?

On average, Team Members dedicate two to three hours per week and Project Leaders dedicate 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 will continue to do so if necessary.

Read first-hand accounts about volunteering with Compass:

  • Read about a volunteer’s experience with Hopeworks Camden. Click Here.
  • Read about a volunteer’s experience with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia. Click Here.

Interested in getting involved with Compass? Join our mailing list below.

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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.”