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Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
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Client Applications Available
Compass Service Lines
Amazing Project Leaders
Pilot Projects
Now That's Impact
Thanks to B-School Clubs
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Vol. 7, No. 1
May 2010
Do you think philanthropy and innovation go together? It turns out they do go together, and that message came through loud and clear at Compass' last workshop, "Trends in Nonprofit Fundraising." Two outstanding speakers entertained, informed, but mostly inspired. 
Dennis Whittle, CEO of GlobalGiving, spoke about his 24-year career that took him from the World Bank (where he introduced events that gave away $5 million in a day) to his decision to co-found GlobalGiving. GlobalGiving is the world's leading marketplace for international philanthropy. It allows qualified community-based groups around the world to post projects, and anyone in the world to fund them. Tens of thousands of individual donors, as well as many leading Fortune 500 companies, use GlobalGiving.
Tobin Van Ostern spoke about using new media and social networking tools for nonprofit fundraising. Tobin co-founded and became the National Director of the student wing of the Obama Campaign, Students for Barack Obama. Tobin served as a National Co-Chair for the Obama for America campaign, and presently serves on the Board of Advisors for Politics Under 30, an organization dedicated to "Helping the Young People of Today Become the Political Leaders of Tomorrow." Tobin gave helpful tips on using email for fundraising, and provided great examples from the incredibly successful Obama campaign. In addition, he explained how Facebook and Twitter could be used as part of a fundraising campaign.
These two men left the audience feeling that change is in the air, and that this change is hopeful. Although I am not particularly comfortable with technology, I have a new perspective on the possibilities that technology can bring to nonprofit organizations. A great idea - from anyone - has the potential to create impact worldwide.
Compass is currently accepting applications from nonprofits interested in working with a Compass consulting team starting September 2010. We try to be responsive to the nonprofit community and the economic climate when we start a new year, so we're trying some innovation ourselves. See the stories below on our new Strategic Planning service line, and our new Micro Projects. We've been inspired by people who have reached new heights. It's only appropriate that we try to keep up.
Enjoy spring, and tell your favorite nonprofit about Compass!
Compass' client application for 2010-11 is now available and online! The deadline for applications is June 15, 2010. All Compass clients must meet the following criteria:
  • Have 501(c)3 status
  • Minimum of three paid staff members and a minimum budget of $750,000
  • Provide services that benefit the Greater Washington community
  • Not promote a specific religion, or religious or political beliefs
  • Have an active board of directors
Compass offers the following services: Board Development, Funding Strategies, Strategic Alignment, and Strategic Planning (see descriptions below).  

The Compass application is available at
Board Development - The goal of a Board Development engagement is to improve board effectiveness and engagement. Compass helps Boards do a rigorous self-assessment. The team helps the Board build a solid foundation of governance, recruitment, training, committee structure, and meeting and committee practices.
Funding Strategies - Funding strategy projects begin with an assessment of current revenue sources and revenue-generation methods. The team then reviews alternative revenue sources as well as new opportunities with existing targets and sources. The project ends with an improvement plan that is aligned with the organization's mission, strategy, needs, and resources.

Strategic Alignment -  Compass helps clients examine their mission, vision, targeted beneficiaries, desired changes, strategic objectives and supporting activities to understand how to achieve the greatest impact. Strategic alignment projects also look, at a high level, for alignment between the allocation of financial/staff resources and strategic priorities.
NEW THIS YEAR: Strategic Planning (2-year projects) - This service line is for Organizations that would like Help with their strategic planning process, in particular, Ensuring that the board and organization leadership are aligned around key choices that have to be made. Typically, the first year will be spent 1) gathering input from key stakeholders on the issues to be addressed in the strategic planning process, and 2)     conducting research to help the board and leadership make informed decisions about those choices. Based upon the team's research, the second year will be spent walking The board through the strategic planning process of making important choices, prioritizing goals, and understanding the implications of those choices.
Compass' board, volunteers and clients thank this year's AMAZING project leaders:
Rob Gibson, Columbia Business School 
Anacostia Watershed Society
Susan Thaxton, Harvard Business School
Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
Jeremy Klass, Temple University Law School
The Arc of Northern Virginia
Gary Friend, George Washington Univ. Business School  Bridges Public Charter School
Eric Guichard, Harvard Business School
Capital Partners for Education
Brock Holmes, Stanford Business School
Class Acts Arts

Dale Hamby, Harvard Business School
Community Lodgings

Christian Salvatori, Columbia Business School
Zeke Williams, Duke Business School
District Alliance for Safe Housing
Sean Epstein, Columbia Business School
Greater Prince William Community Health Center
Diana Tyler, Duke Business School
The Helen Hayes Awards
Katheryn Ellis, Chicago's Booth School of Business
The Kingsbury Center
Cathy Bernasek, Harvard Business School and Nowell Rush, Harvard Business School
The Lab School of Washington

Sreenivas Rachamadugu, Northwestern Business School  Language ETC
Catherine Potter, Stanford Business School
National Child Research Center
Jennifer Blasko, Columbia Business School

Karen Mazze, Harvard Business School
Pregnancy Aid Centers

Oltac Unsal, Stanford Business School
Reality, Inc.

Kim Tran, Columbia Business School
Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia

Andrea Harris, Yale Business School
Synetic Theater

John Nolan, Harvard Business School
The Treatment and Learning Centers
Compass has been piloting a new service offering this spring called Micro Projects. Micro Projects are shorter and more focused than typical Compass projects. They benefit nonprofits that are smaller than our usual clients, and they have smaller teams of volunteers. Compass worked closely with Fair Chance to select clients for the pilot projects. If scaled, Compass will recruit Micro Project clients in the fall, for January to May projects.
We thank Rangena Hotaki for leading the project for Kid Power this spring, and Aimee Irwin for leading the project for Live It, Learn It. Karen Mazze coordinated the pilot program for Compass, and Caroline Brown represented Fair Chance.
The nonprofit community talks about impact. At Compass, we talk about our impact. For Compass, impact can be the plan developed by a team of pro bono consultants at the end of a project. We also have impact when a Compass volunteer joins a client board, or continues coaching the Executive Director after the project ends, or donates money to the client.
I have a new story of Compass impact. Compass board member, Karen Mazze, has led at least one project per year for more than five years now. Two years ago, she worked with Horton's Kids on a Strategic Alignment project. While there, she got her high school daughter, Maya Krishnan, involved at HK helping with their technology. Maya volunteered at Horton's Kids over a summer, and then throughout her senior year in high school. The result was impressive. Maya applied for and won $35,000 in software and consulting from NPower's Greater D.C. Region's annual Technology Innovation Awards. Maya recently was named a National Winner of the AXA Achievement Scholarships, which gives her a $25,000 scholarship to Stanford University, where she'll be a freshman in the fall. According to AXA, "Maya created a new database and processes that help the team at Horton's Kids operate more efficiently and effectively and better serve its community. She also secured donated computers that the organization is now using in its tutoring programs."
Donations from companies, foundations and individuals made it possible for Compass to send almost 200 volunteers into the nonprofit community this past year. Consider donating to Compass to make our impact next year just as significant.

The Compass website offers online giving capabilities through a service called Just Give. The link to Just Give can be found
We couldn't put together out talented consulting teams without skilled volunteers. We couldn't recruit the amazing volunteers without the support of the local business schools clubs. Thank you to the following clubs who help spread the word about Compass.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Harvard Business School Club of Washington
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Columbia Graduate School of Business
Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
University of Michigan Ross School of Business
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Yale School of Management

We'd like to thank our corporate and foundation supporters who make our impact possible, and help us reach prospective clients:
Our corporate sponsors:
Booz Allen Hamilton
Avalere Health
And our foundation supporters:
ACT for Alexandria
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation
The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation
Now in its sixth year, the TIA, sponsored by Accenture, recognizes nonprofits in the Greater DC area whose innovative use of technology enables them to more effectively fulfill their missions. Two nonprofits will each receive an NPower Technology Assessment, free Microsoft software, and an Apple iPad or a Dell laptop.
The deadline for submitting applications is June 1.  To learn more about the Awards and obtain tips on how to write a strong application, nonprofits can take the FREE 30 minute webinar on Tuesday, May 25 at 2:00pm. To register for the webinar, go to
Questions can be directed to [email protected] or call 202.234.9670.  To apply online, go to
For more information about NPower Greater DC Region, visit
Horton's Kids, an established D.C. educational nonprofit, is seeking a mature, skilled Development Director to raise diverse funds for our comprehensive program for inner-city children. Our services include thrice-weekly intensive tutoring, weekly field trips, dental care, health and basic needs support, advocacy, life skills training, and enrichment activities.
The Development Director is a senior-level fundraising position with a great deal of autonomy. Hours are flexible and could include telecommuting. Occasional evenings and weekends are
required to visit Horton's Kids' programs and attend special events. The Development Director will play a critical role in Horton's Kids' program offerings and expansion.
Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and salary history to:
Brenda Chamberlain, Horton's Kids, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Suite 207, Washington, DC 20002 or [email protected] with subject line "Development Director". No phone calls, please.