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2011-12 Client Applications
2011-12 Service Lines
Thanks to Project Leaders and Deputies
Former Client Receives Award
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Vol. 8, No. 2
June 2011


I wasn't going to teach my kids to drive. I'm fine with them learning to drive, but I decided long ago that I wasn't going to teach them. It was one of the few parenting things on which I planned to take a pass. Instead, it would be a great task for a dad, or an uncle, or maybe a grandparent. And yet, I somehow spent every Saturday and Sunday morning in May in the passenger seat of my car with my teenage son driving around an empty parking lot, with me saying things like, "Blinker" "Slow down" "Speed up" "Blinker" "Turn" "WATCH THE CURB!" and "Blinker."


Sometimes when he's driving steady and straight, I have time to think. An obvious thing to think about is how things change. For example, one day he's a toddler on his first tricycle and then all of a sudden, he's behind the wheel of a car! Wow, it may sound like a gradual process, but it happened in a flash.


I know many Compass clients would say the same thing about the year they've just had with their Compass team. "It went so fast. Is it over already?" One of my most experienced volunteers recently said to me, "It's that time of year when we have to prepare our clients to separate from us." I've known this intuitively for years because this is when clients start calling to ask if they can apply for another project. They tell me how much it has meant to have the Compass volunteers "on their side." They brainstorm, complain, question, rant, collaborate and celebrate with the volunteers who are there to provide a consulting product, but end up doing so much more.


I've also been thinking a lot lately about some of the volunteers that I've become especially fond of. Although most Compass volunteers have an MBA from a top business school, we have a significant number of very talented non-MBA volunteers as well. Many of these folks show up early to help me at events, volunteer on Compass task forces, and so much more. This year, I'm thrilled (but sad) that at least nine of our wonderful non-MBA volunteers are leaving for business school. They are going to Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Northwestern, MIT, Oxford, Wharton and UCLA. I'm so proud, but I will miss them terribly next year!


I'm also saying goodbye right now to five very special Compass board members. Hilary Joel joined the Compass board in September 2001 as a founding board member, and was my first board chair when I joined Compass. Karen Mazze, who has led at least eight Compass projects, has been on the board since 2005. She introduced me to Compass! Dan McVane, also on the board since 2005, has been Compass' treasurer since Compass became an independent nonprofit. Susan Park, a highly regarded Project Leader, brought much needed insight into nonprofit fundraising. And Corinne Chocolaad understood the value of Compass the first time I explained what we do. She has helped us articulate that value better than ever before.


Because Compass operates on an annual cycle, I've been through the goodbyes before. Clients, volunteers and board members change every year. Although it's always hard to say goodbye, these people will continue to be part of the Compass community. The values, experiences, and commitment we share won't change.


And as for my son's driving lessons, I recently asked him if he wanted to try to avoid real cars on the road. He said he wasn't quite ready yet. That's good, because I'm not either.




Compass' client application for 2011-12 is available (see service offerings below). 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

You can access the client application at


If you have any questions as you think about a possible Compass project, contact Suzanne Laporte at or (202) 459-6291.


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.



Erica Pierson and Sharmeen Noor - Arlingtonians Meeting Emergency Needs                        

Laura Stierle and Cameron Groves - Audubon Naturalist Society

Rachel Battles and Sasan Dehghan - Black Student Fund 

Susan Mayer and Alex Cater - Cesar Chavez Public Charter School

Brock Holmes and Yuan Yuan Li - Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Matt Fahnestock, Ken Palm and Kayelyn Richardson - College Success Foundation

Christina Clayton - CollegeTracks

Peter Kelly and Lauren Victor - Community Education Group

Chris Kottke - Computer C.O.R.E.

Dermott Ryan and Jennifer Del Guercio - Cultural Development Corporation

Todd Trivett and Hollie Freeman - DC Law Students in Court

Karen Burkes and Richard Stern - Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School

Oltac Unsal and Diego Briceno - Emmaus Services for the Aging

Rhonda Trivino - Friends of Guest House

Jennifer Blasko and Samantha King - Friends of the National Arboretum

Julie Anderson and Alexis Feeney Tallman - Good Shepherd Housing

Petra Kahn and Jim Mayer - Helen Hayes Awards

Jeff Bowers and Aydin Tuncer - Higher Achievement

Julie Maner and Michael Navarrete - Hope and A Home

Carl Grossman and Nick Graham - Howard University School of Communications

Katheryn Ellis and Andrew Pak - Kingsbury Center

Eric Guichard and Austin Blackmon - National Trust for Historic Preservation, President Lincoln's Cottage

Shomari McCrimmons - New Community for Children

Ken Taylor and Susan Maly - Northern Virginia AHEC

Erica Petrie - Senior Services of Alexandria

Jeff Kass and Kyle McCarter - Signature Theatre

Manas Das and Michael Humenansky - SOC Enterprises

Srini Viswanathan and William Moore - Total Family Care Coalition

Nowell Rush and Susan Thaxton - The Washington Ballet

Victoria Pierce - Washington Literacy Council

Whitney Debevoise - Washington National Cathedral

Gary Friend and Beverly Jurenko - Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School

Dale Hamby and Dave Peterson - Yellow Ribbon Fund


We are excited that Horton's Kids, a 2007 Compass client, has been recognized by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and The Washington Post as the 2011 winner of The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management! Horton's Kids Horton's Kids is a nonprofit that provides comprehensive services to the children on Washington, DC's Ward 8, improving the quality of their daily lives, and nurturing their desire and ability to succeed. Like a second family, Horton's kids provides: tutoring, mentoring, enrichment, advocacy and family support.


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.


The Encore Fellowships program ( recruits highly-skilled and experienced professionals looking to become involved in a social purpose organization once they reach the end of successful careers in the for-profit sector. Fellows typically work half-time for 12 months in an embedded role.


While earning a stipend, Encore Fellows provide a high value-to-cost ratio for work hosts by bringing experienced, affordable talent to a specific assignment matched to the Fellow's skills and interests. Their deep and broad skills can be deployed in many ways, and their value frequently goes beyond the specific work assignment. Many become role models for other staff members and evolve into executive coaches and mentors in the organization. Their background and years of experience bring analytical thinking and maturity that strengthen their work host's ability to reach a new level of performance.  


Encore Fellowships began in Silicon Valley in 2009, and have recently expanded to New York City and Washington, DC. There are several assignments currently available in the 2011 cohort in the DC area.   


To learn more about the program, available assignments, or to apply for a Fellowship, please click on this link: