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Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
2011-12 Client Applications
Client Information Session
2011-12 Service Lines
Compass Honored for Community Service
Former Clients Recognized
Donate to Compass
Stay in Touch with Compass
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Vol. 8, No. 1
April 2011


I've been thinking a lot about possibilities lately. Maybe it's  the promise of spring with occasional sunshine and blue skies.  Maybe it's the final push to finish Compass' 2010-11 projects, knowing that the end of a Compass project is just the beginning for our clients. Maybe it's that we're starting to recruit new clients for 2011-12. There are so many amazing nonprofits - which ones will join the Compass community?


Next year, we'll be offering a service line that we offered just once before called Strategic Partnerships and Mergers. In this tough economy, some nonprofits are rethinking their options.  Although a merger isn't the first choice for many staffs and boards, some nonprofit leaders have told me that the possibility for a stronger, more sustainable organization is very real and can work with the right combination. Compass can help nonprofits think through these possibilities.


In the next six to eight weeks, we'll finish this year's 33 projects, and then two things will happen. First, our current clients will move ahead with confidence with their Compass team's recommendations. We know that boards and Executive Directors feel more energized after a Compass project. It's because of the possibilities.


Second, we will turn loose the 250 business professionals who have spent much of the last year deeply engaged in the nonprofit community through a Compass project. Compass made the introduction to the nonprofit sector for many of them, but our clients hooked them. Many Compass volunteers will stay engaged with nonprofits for the rest of their lives as board members, volunteers, and donors because they have seen the possibilities.


If we don't look to the future and see the possibilities, we may well lose them. This is what Compass clients do every day. It's what the nonprofit sector is all about. The possibilities for children, youth, and the elderly. The possibilities for education, housing, jobs, the arts, recovery, help, and hope. The possibilities motivate nonprofits and keep us going.


In March, I was the guest speaker at a Booz Allen conference on skilled volunteering. I sent my mother the link to the speech afterwards. I think she must have watched it a hundred times. She finally emailed me and said, "You've come a long way from Fort Worth, Texas." I was the first person in my family to go to college. Graduate school wasn't a concept in our house, so when I called home to say I had been accepted to Harvard Business School in my senior year of college, my mother asked what that meant. For me, it meant possibilities. Maybe I've come full circle by working in a profession that is all about possibilities.


As you think about what's next, don't forget the possibilities. Just imagine...


Happy spring!




Compass' client application for 2011-12 will be available online on Friday, April 15. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2011. 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


The Compass application will be available on the Compass home page at


If you have any questions as you think about a possible Compass project, feel free to contact Suzanne Laporte at [email protected] or (202) 459-6291 or attend the information session for prospective clients (see below).


Please join Compass on April 27 to hear about the 2011-2012 Client Application Process.  At this information session for prospective clients, you'll find out:


* How the Compass program works

* What kind of project would be best for your organization

* What to expect from the Compass application process


Wednesday, April 27, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

at The Washington Club, 15 Dupont Circle, Washington, DC   


Please RSVP by April 22 to Georgia Katinas at [email protected]  


Compass will offer the following consulting services in 2011-12:


Board Development - Board Development projects aim to improve the effectiveness, engagement, and sustainability of a high performing board. Through a rigorous self-assessment, the Compass team helps the board build a solid foundation of governance, recruitment, training, committee structure, and meeting and committee practices.


Funding Strategies - Traditional funding strategy projects assess current revenue sources and revenue-generation methods, followed by reviewing alternative revenue sources. For Earned Income projects, the Compass team will analyze options and provide recommendations based on alignment with mission, strategy, needs, and resources.


Strategic Alignment - Compass helps clients examine their mission, vision, 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.


Strategic Planning (2-year projects) - This service line helps organizations create a strategic planning and ensure that the board and staff leadership are aligned around key choices. Typically, the first year will be spent 1) gathering input from key stakeholders, and 2) conducting research to help the board make informed decisions. The second year will walk the board through the process of making important choices, prioritizing goals, and understanding the implications of those choices. These projects are most effective for organizations with budgets above $3 million.


Strategic Partnerships and Mergers - In this weak economy, many nonprofits are concerned about reduced funding and the resulting impact on their organization. Compass will assist clients in assessing the value and appropriateness of strategic mergers, partnerships, or other shared operating arrangements. Compass will recommend potential actions for the board and senior management to consider to ensure the organization's long-term viability.



In February, Compass was honored by The Washington Club at their annual Have a Heart Luncheon, which recognizes the community service impact of a local nonprofit. Compass was thrilled to accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers and clients in the Compass community.


Congratulations to two former Compass clients, Metro TeenAIDS and Urban Alliance who are the two newest members of Venture Philanthropy Partner's youthCONNECT initiative. Over two years, VPP will invest $635,000 in Metro TeenAIDS and $719,000 in Urban Alliance. According to VPP, Metro TeenAIDS promotes responsible decision-making about sexual health through education, outreach, and advocacy. Through youthCONNECT, it will expand its health education curriculum into the DC public charter school system. Urban Alliance prepares high school students for the world of work by placing them into paid internships during the school year and the summer. Through youthCONNECT, it will grow the number of high school students served, double the number of alumni reached, and assist more disconnected youth through its job skills training program.


Donations from individuals, companies, and foundations make it possible for Compass to bring 250 business professionals into the nonprofit sector. Consider donating to Compass to support and expand our impact by clicking the Donate Now button below, or on the home page of our website at

Just Give


Facebook. Compass' Facebook group is titled "Compass Volunteer Facebook Group". (If you just type in "Compass," you will not find us.) Please join our volunteer Facebook group and take a look at some pictures and videos from past events, stay updated through our wall, and contribute to our existing discussions.


Find us on Facebook 


Twitter. Compass is also a Tweeter! We have a Twitter page where we will occasionally send out brief messages. 


Follow us on Twitter 


LinkedIn. Please join Compass' group page on LinkedIn called "Compass Volunteer Network." This is a great way to stay connected to Compass' many volunteers.


Compass also has a company page on LinkedIn called "Compass DC". If you are a volunteer, feel free to add "Volunteer Consultant for the __________ Project at Compass DC"  

Compass' nonprofit clients benefit from the amazing volunteers who give their time, expertise and intellectual energy. We couldn't recruit these amazing volunteers without the support of the local business schools clubs.

A huge thank you to our Partner MBA Clubs that help spread the word about Compass.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
The Harvard Business School
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

And a big thank you for the ongoing support from Booz Allen Hamilton.


Seeking Nonprofit Organizations Using Technology to Advance Their Mission


The NPower Greater DC Region Technology Innovation Awards, sponsored by Accenture, recognize nonprofits in the greater DC area whose innovative use of technology has improved key aspects of their operations, helps people build skills to succeed in the new economy and more effectively fulfill their missions. If you're using technology to better achieve your mission, NPower wants to help you.


Award winners receive a Strategic Technology Assessment and software, hardware and a cash prize.


Applications accepted from April 15th through June 10th.


For more information, please visit



CEG is seeking a Director of Operations and Program. CEG focuses on the creation and expansion of programs and projects which address the health, socio-economic, environmental and systemic challenges facing the African-American family. We are dedicated to helping communities hardest hit by HIV/AIDS and other health disparities, and the community-based organizations that serve them. CEG's focus is on developing programs and plans which can be replicated elsewhere. CEG has developed innovative educational programs to serve communities hardest hit by HIV/AID. CEG assists communities of color in overcoming cultural and systemic barriers to accessing critical HIV/AIDS information, and have facilitated community-directed processes aimed at building bridges to health, planning/policy, and funding processes


To learn more, visit CEG's website at If you are detailed oriented and have a successful history of working with Federal partners, end your CV electronically to [email protected]


Community Education Group is an EOE.

Minority applicants encouraged.