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Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Preschoolers Thank Compass
Client Application - Deadline June 15
Thanks to This Year's Team Leaders
Invest in Your Local Community
Facilitators Needed
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Vol. 9, No. 2
June 2012



While cooking dinner recently, I heard a familiar sound coming from the living room where my teenage son hangs out. Baseball announcers for the Texas Rangers were calling plays for a game between the Rangers and the Kansas City Royals. The sound is familiar because my grandfather was a loyal, never-ending Rangers fan through all the years that the Rangers never made it to a single playoff game. I spent many days and nights at my grandparents' house when I was growing up. If the Rangers were playing, the game was on. I fell asleep at night to the sound of Rangers' announcers coming from the radio in my grandparents' bedroom. Now, many years later, the sound of the baseball game in the background still feels reassuring. As I listened to the recent game, I realized that you can move on and even away, but your heart stays where you started.


This lesson is going to be important for Compass in the next few years. The Compass board has just completed a new strategic plan, which has a goal of exploring the options for Compass to expand outside of Washington. Our history, our home and our heart are here in DC, but we think our program - which benefits so many nonprofits and business professionals - could also work in other cities, making even more nonprofits and communities stronger.


One of the first questions we've been asked is, "What happens to DC?" I can say with absolute certainly that nothing will change here. We expect to serve another 30 nonprofits with our Classic Projects next year, and another 10-12 with Micro Projects. We expect to bring over 250 business professionals, many of them MBAs from the country's top business schools, into the DC nonprofit sector to strengthen our local nonprofits, one by one. We think that expanding will actually benefit DC. We're an organization that values innovation. We hope new cities will bring new ideas back to DC for even greater impact here.


The second question we have gotten is, "Why do you want to expand?" Our program is tried and true. As our teams have been making their final presentations to clients this month, I'm truly amazed at the work product being given back to our clients. The teams have developed recommendations, along with specific tools and plans to assist with implementation. Compass volunteers want their client to move to the next level of operations, funding, programming, and board development. Because of this impact, we hear regularly from nonprofits and business people in other cities who are seeking an opportunity like Compass in their hometown. We believe in the ability of business people and nonprofit leaders to strengthen local communities - together. We see no reason why this can't happen both inside and outside of Washington.


So as we begin our initial foray outside the DC region, we invite all of our supporters - clients, volunteers, donors and partners - to consider ways you might help this effort. If you know people, companies or foundations in other metropolitan areas that might be interested in helping with this expansion, please contact me. We would greatly appreciate any introductions that will help with client and volunteer recruitment, and especially with the funding needed to hire a local staff person.


The Texas Rangers made it to the World Series in each of the last two years, but didn't win. I think this is their year. And I think this is Compass' year to go all out. I hope you'll be cheering for us. 


Have a great summer.






Each year, Compass clients choose to thank their Compass team in different ways. We've seen dinners, t-shirts, logo jackets, champagne and more. This year, Main Street Child Development Center provided something new - a video of their preschoolers thanking Compass. Please enjoy this short, adorable video by clicking here:  "Thank You Mr. Sarah" 



There's still time to complete the Compass client application for 2012-13. The deadline is June 15, 2012. The Compass application is available on our website:


Compass clients must have the following:
  • 501(c)3 status
  • A minimum of three paid staff members and a minimum budget of $750,000
  • Services that benefit the Greater Washington community
  • An active board of directors 
  • and, not promote a specific religion, or religious or political beliefs

Compass offers the following service lines: Board Development, Funding Strategies, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Planning (two-year projects), and Strategic Partnerships. For detailed descriptions, please visit: 


If you have any questions or would like to talk about the best project for your organization, please contact Suzanne Laporte at [email protected] or (202) 459-6291.



Compass is heavily dependent on the skills and dedication of our talented Project Leaders and Deputy Project Leaders. We are grateful for the following people who made this year's projects a success: 

Greg Try - Alexandria Seaport Foundation

Donna Berry and Jan Abraham - Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County

Dao Nguyen and Bradley Nestico - The Barker Foundation

Rachel Battles and Sasan Dehghan - The Black Student Fund

Karen Mazze - C&O Canal Trust

Jeanne Simon and Jessica Weaver - C�sar Ch�vez Public Charter Schools

Paul Shaw and David Black - City First Enterprises

Brock Holmes and Hatem Hatem - Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

George Ofori-Boadu and Michael Snusz - Communities in Schools of the Nation's Capital

Mehreen Hossain - Damien Ministries

Harry Knight and Dave Peterson - Dance Exchange

Michelle Coyle Edwards and Drew Conklin - District Alliance for Safe Housing

Dawn McAvoy - DC Employment Justice Center

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

Susan Maly and Michael Kim - FACETS Cares

Natalie Robinson and Melissa Makfinsky - Homestretch

Carl Crossman and Ben Jarvis - Howard University School of Communications

Betsy Hanlon and Jason Wehrs - Iona Senior Services

Kim Mayer, Jennifer Holtz, and Brian Whittaker - Kid Power

Tracey Moon - Lumina Studio Theatre

Tulip Shah and Michael Humenansky - Main Street Child Development Center

Jennifer Blasko and Ken Taylor - National History Day

Emil Skodon and Lu Zhang - President Lincoln's Cottage

Darryl Dove - Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Charlotte Haberaecker - Parent Encouragement Program
Katheryn Ellis and Andrew Pak - Perry School Community Services Center

Armando Munoz - The Reading Connection

Gary Friend - Rebuilding Together Montgomery County

Sujoy Roy - Senior Services of Alexandria

Jeff Kass - Signature Theatre

John Miller - Special Love

Sophia Peters - Stepping Stones Shelter

Russell Davis - Stone Soup Films

Brett Crawford - Volunteers of America Chesapeake

Nowell Rush - The Washington Ballet

Victoria Pierce and Todd Landis - The Women's Collective

Dwight Ellis and Jennifer Rentas - Wonders Child Care



Like our clients, Compass is a nonprofit that relies on donations to keep operations running. Since Compass doesn't charge for services, we rely on funding from generous supporters. This year, we've been able to provide 264 consultants to 39 local nonprofits. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2011-12 project year, please consider making a contribution now. Your tax deductible donation is easy. Just click here: 




Compass is looking for people with facilitation experience who can occasionally help Compass teams during client meetings and retreats. If you are willing to be contacted about this volunteer opportunity, please email Suzanne Laporte at [email protected] to be added to the list. Most opportunities occur between March and June.



Please join one or all of these online communities and share your reflections and experiences.


FACEBOOK. Compass is on Facebook! Please "like" us and watch for fun announcements, pictures and videos on our page. Compass Facebook Page


TWITTER. Compass is also a Tweeter! Follow us on Twitter, where we send messages about our clients and their programs, trends in the nonprofit sector and other relevant news. Follow us @Compassprobono.


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 involved with Compass, feel free to add "Consultant Volunteer for the __________ Project at Compass DC" or "Nonprofit Client at Compass DC" to your LinkedIn profile!


BLOG. Through  Compass' blog our online community tells Compass' story from a variety of different perspectives, sharing insights, videos and photos.



We couldn't put together our 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 that help spread the word about Compass. We are grateful for your continued support! 


Columbia Graduate School of Business
Cornell University

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Fuqua School of Business at Duke University
The Harvard Business School Club of Washington   

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Yale School of Management

We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from our corporate partners, Booz Allen Hamilton and Arnold & Porter LLP. 


We also thank the following corporate sponsors for supporting our 10th Anniversary event last fall. 



Booz Allen Hamilton



Capital One  



Arnold & Porter



Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman


Corporate Contributors

Howard University

Cassidy Turley

Avalere Health

Raymond James




501cTECH is seeking a results-oriented and experienced leader to serve as its Chief Operating Officer.  This essential member of the leadership team will be responsible for the financial management and oversight, human resources management, and general operations necessary for 501cTECH to fulfill its mission of delivering sustainable technology solutions to nonprofits serving the common good.  For a full job description, click here: 


If interested, please contact Annie Czerwinksi at Leaderfit at [email protected]