Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Volunteers Support Compass
Compass Video
2012-2013 Project Leaders
Nonprofit Sector Jobs
Recruiting Volunteers for Micro Projects
Looking for Experts
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Vol. 9, No. 4
December 2012





On a recent weekend when two of my three sons had done things that were particularly frustrating and disruptive, I decided to show my appreciation for my third son by surprising him with a peppermint hot chocolate. When I gave it to him, I said, "Thanks for being such a great kid and for not causing any problems or difficulties this weekend." He looked at me with a confused expression and said slowly, "Thank you???" Then he followed up with, "I thought that was the baseline."

This exchange made me think of how Compass volunteers often bring more than the baseline to their projects. Brad Nestico, Project Leader for the second year of the Barker Foundation project, recently told me how his team attended an adoption conference early in the first year of their project. They heard a teenage girl speak about her difficult experiences over the years being in and out of foster care homes. With Barker's help, a family had finally adopted her and provided love and stability for the first time in her life. Hearing this story was a breakthrough moment for the Compass team members and created a personal commitment to the project. Although Compass volunteers begin projects as objective consultants, along the way, they fall hook, line and sinker for their client. This emotional connection is what makes Compass a unique volunteer experience.

At this time of year, we talk a lot about giving. Personally, I've also been thinking a lot lately about the gifts I've been given. Not the ones wrapped up for Christmas or a birthday, but the life-changing moments that moved me along the way, on paths I wouldn't otherwise have travelled.

These life-changing moments are the types of gifts given by the nonprofits with whom Compass works. Compass' nonprofit clients give food, shelter, training, education, childcare, college access, parenting skills, health care, theatre, dance, and so much more. Often these gifts give people a new lease on life, or maybe just a chance, or maybe just some hope. And Compass volunteers who bring their time and commitment to local nonprofits help ensure these services continue - a significant gift as well.

 As you plan your year-end charitable giving, I hope you have a chance to consider the gifts that you've been given. I also hope you consider where your donations can make an impact above the baseline, and which gifts might create breakthrough moments for the people and nonprofits in our community. And, of course, I hope you consider a donation to Compass, where every dollar donated provides $14 of services back to the community. Here at Compass, I'd like to say thank you for the gifts that we've been given this year:


28 Project Leaders

27 Deputy Project Leaders

235 Team Members

14 Board Members

Our Corporate Sponsors

Our Foundation Supporters

Our Junior Board

Our Advisory Board

All of our Individual Donors

And Georgia


Happy Holidays one and all!





Did you know that many Compass volunteers who are donating their time to local nonprofits also help make Compass' services possibly by providing a financial contribution to Compass? So far this year, 95 volunteers have made financial contributions to support Compass. This program couldn't happen without the infrastructure that carefully selects, trains and supports our clients and volunteers. We are so appreciative of our volunteers for ALL their support!


If you would like to join our volunteers by making a tax-deductible donation to Compass, you can do so here: 


Thank you for supporting Compass and the many nonprofits that we serve.


We invite you to watch this incredible new video about Compass.


Compass, Who We Are


One of our 2011-12 clients, Stone Soup Films, creates films for nonprofit organizations to help tell their stories. They did an amazing job telling the Compass story and we are very thankful for their assistance!

We're thrilled to have the following talented business professionals leading our pro bono consulting teams for 2012-2013:


Burgess Levin (Harvard), 501cTECH

Tracey Moon (Kellogg), The Accokeek Foundation

Jennifer Blasko (Columbia), Adventure Theatre MTC

Anya Fonina (Yale), Ayuda

Brad Nestico, The Barker Foundation

Rachel Battles (Duke), The Black Student Fund

Brett Crawford (Tuck), Capacity Builders Collaborative

Michael Kim (Duke), Carpenter's Shelter

Jeff Bowers (Duke), Chelsea School

Paul Edelmann (Duke), Child Center and Adult Services

A. J. Calbert (Yale), DC Action for Children

Alyona Dubrovina (Duke), DC Bar Foundation

Lily Bradley (Harvard), Education Strengthens Families PCS

Tulip Shah (Michigan), Good Shepherd Housing

Victoria Pierce (Harvard), Green America

Natalie Robinson (Chicago), Homestretch

Steve Powell (Harvard), Latino Economic Development Center

Jeff Kass (Harvard), The Levine School of Music

ReShon Anderson (Stanford), Mary's Center

Leo Weitzenhoff (Harvard), Maryland Hall for the Arts

Mike Childers (Yale), N. VA Therapeutic Riding Program

Barbara Tyran (Yale), Public Allies

Garry Tyran (UCLA), Public Allies

Zeke Williams (Duke), Quality Trust

Gary Friend (GWU), Student Support Services

Neena Graham (Cornell), United Planning Organization

Harry Knight (MIT), The Washington Ballet

Kristalee Overdahl (Chicago), Wonders Child Care


Compass has begun publicizing nonprofit job openings on our website. We see this information sharing as another way to further our mission of inspiring the active engagement of business professionals with their local nonprofits. 


Here is a link to current opportunities: Nonprofit Sector Jobs


If you know of other opportunities, we're happy to list them on our site as well. Pease feel free to contact us!


Micro Projects kick off at the end of January! In an effort to provide services to nonprofits that are smaller than our traditional clients, Compass offers Micro Projects. Micro Projects are for nonprofits with revenues between $400,000 and $750,000. Compared to our Classic Projects, which kicked off in September, Micro Projects tend to be more focused, shorter, and use smaller teams.


In January 2013, Compass will announce this year's Micro Project clients. If you'd like to volunteer on a Micro Project, please contact us. We will then send you the list of clients in early January. Or for more information on Micro Project clients and the volunteer application, please check the Compass website in early January at


Each year, some Compass teams wish they had access to additional outside experts. At the same time, there are people in the Compass community who don't have time to volunteer on a full project, but would like to be of assistance. To support the needs and interests of both groups, Compass is looking to create Expert Groups, consisting of people with specific expertise who can be an occasional resource to Compass teams.


Our current teams have identified the following needs. If you have expertise or experience in these areas, please email me at [email protected] if you are willing to be a resource for Compass.

  • Creating/evaluating business plans for small businesses
  • Designing surveys
  • Branding and marketing
  • Real estate and/or construction

Please join one or all of our online communities


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


Twitter! Follow us @Compassprobono .


Compass' page for volunteers on LinkedIn is called "Compass Volunteer Network."


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!


The Compass blog tells Compass' story from a variety of different perspectives, and includes videos and photos from the Compass community.


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 who help spread the word about Compass. We are grateful for their 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 

Thanks to our Corporate Supporters: 
  Booz Allen Hamilton 

We are grateful to Capital One for sponsoring this year's Project Launch event on Oct. 3, 2012.







HBS Club Social Enterprise Scholarships


In 2013, the Harvard Business School Club of Washington, D.C. will award two scholarships to the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM) Executive Education program to leaders of local nonprofits. Greater Washington D.C. area nonprofit Executive Directors, CEOs and presidents responsible for shaping the direction, mission, policies and major programs of their organizations are candidates for the scholarship; each candidate should have at least one year of experience working in this role. The activities and focus of the organization should meet the needs of people in the Greater Washington, DC metropolitan community.


The intensive program will be held July 14-20, 2013 on the HBS campus in Boston, MA. Each scholarship covers program fees ($5,000) and reimbursement for up to $500 in travel expenses. Completed applications must be emailed no later than 5pm on Friday, January 4, 2013 to [email protected]. Scholarship winners will be notified by February 15, 2013. For more information and the application, go to