“The nonprofits selected this year serve a critical role in our community and as such we view their strategic challenges as our own,” said Natalie Tessler, Executive Director of Compass Chicago. “By partnering with nonprofit leaders, corporate partners, MBA alumni, attorneys, consultants and other business professionals alike, Compass creates ever-deepening connections to make our cities and communities stronger. This year, more than ever, we hope to draw from a talent base passionate about using their professional skills for the greater good.”
Compass will provide free consulting in the areas of board development, funding strategy, partnerships, collaboration & mergers, strategic alignment, strategic marketing, digital strategy and decision support. Compass consulting teams will be working with Chicago nonprofits to address some of the most pressing strategic challenges facing our community today, including education, homelessness and housing eviction, gang participation, racial inequity, workforce development, and underserved families and children. This year’s Chicago nonprofits include:
- Albany Park Community Center https://www.apccchgo.org
- Chicago Lights https://www.fourthchurch.org/chicagolights/index.html
- Claretian Associates https://www.claretianassociates.org
- Compass to Care https://www.compasstocare.org
- Crushers Club https://www.crushersclub.org
- Dare2Tri https://dare2tri.org
- Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing https://lcbh.org
- Little City Foundation https://littlecity.org
- Merit School of Music https://meritmusic.org
- North Side Housing and Supportive Services https://www.northsidehousing.org
- Reading in Motion https://readinginmotion.org
- Recipe for Change https://recipeforchangeproject.org
- Red Clay Dance Company https://redclaydance.com
- Share our Spare https://shareourspare.org
- Spark Program Chicago https://sparkprogram.org/
- Tech Corps http://techcorps.org
The Compass model achieves great success as it requires a solid commitment and direct line of input from nonprofits’ leadership seeking strategic consulting services. Compass then recruits, trains and supports teams of business professionals specifically curated for each individual project. Compass volunteers not only deliver focused analyses and recommendations, but also provide advice along the way, so nonprofits can internalize the most useful and relevant management principles. Moreover, 93% of clients recommend Compass to other nonprofits after completing their consulting program.
“Working with Compass was a game-changer for the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) as they assembled a truly dedicated and focused team, utilized their networks and developed foundational practices that really helped to further our mission,” said Shane Caterino, Managing Director, External Relations, AUSL. “What really set Compass apart from other like organizations was the team commitment. Compass also required our board members be involved throughout the engagement, which ensured future alignment on implementation.”
Compass is currently seeking Chicago volunteers to lead its 2020-21 pro-bono strategic consulting projects. Participants will work on teams of nine individuals, spending approximately two-three hours/week from November 2020 through May 2021 on a consulting engagement. With 94% of volunteers recommending Compass to colleagues, they reported that this unique experience has helped them to build their professional network, segue into nonprofit board membership and develop new skills outside of their ‘day job’ while learning more about nonprofit operations and supporting organizations that are vital to Chicago communities.
“Especially in today’s climate, there are a lot of nonprofits offering people an opportunity to give back,” said Cynthia R. Plouché, Board Chair for the Chicago High School for the Arts (ChiArts), who led former Compass projects for Facing Forward and Marwen. “Not only does Compass offer you a chance to ‘give back’, it connects you to a network of inspiring professionals and allows for you to fast track your efforts into real, meaningful impact by closely aligning with executive leadership within the nonprofits.”
Compass is also seeking Chicago corporate and academic partnerships and sponsorships, which are tailored to meet the strategic and social responsibility goals of each partner. Compass partners include top consulting firms, leading companies, local businesses, law firms, and universities.
“I have personally and professionally benefitted from bringing Compass to our Chicago operations,” said Michael Kaushansky, Capital One, Business Analyst Card Partnerships. “Day-of-Service initiatives are great for any organization or individual to give back. However, recruiting and leading volunteers for this unique, on-going opportunity has really raised my profile among internal leadership as they recognize the value of this partnership with what Compass brings to our community as well as the professional development of our employees.”
If you’re interested in volunteering, please visit the Compass website. If you’d like to learn more about leading a consulting project or about corporate partnership or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Natalie Tessler, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-848-1706.
With dedicated staffs in Chicago, Greater Philadelphia, and Greater Washington, Compass has been providing professional consulting services to local nonprofits since 2001. The organization has connected more than 3,500 business professionals to complete nearly 900 consulting projects for more than 620 local nonprofits, providing $90+ Million in pro bono consulting services. Today, more than 150 Compass professional volunteers now serve on over 100 nonprofit boards.
Kelly Harder Ferenc