Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Client Application - Deadline June 16
Thanks to This Year's Team Leaders
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2013-14 Clients

Philadelphia Clients


American Red Cross


Chester County OIC


Diversified Community Services


Women's Center of Montgomery County

DC Classic Clients

CASA for Children of DC


The Center for Nonprofit Advancement


Chelsea School


Community Crisis Services


DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative




Easter Seals 


Home Care Partners


Horton's Kids


Housing Unlimited




Insight Memory Care Center


Iona Senior Services


LAMB Public Charter School


Leadership Greater Washington


Levine School of Music


Linden Resources


The Literacy Lab


Maryland Youth Ballet


Mental Health Association of Montgomery County


National Center for Children and Families


National Trust for Historic Preservation


Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program


Prince George's Child Resource Center


Rebuilding Together Alexandria


Sasha Bruce Youthworks


United Planning Organization


Washington Area Bicyclist Association


Wonders Child Care Center


YouthBuild Public Charter School


DC Micro Clients

Chess Challenge in DC


Coalition for Smarter Growth


DC Lawyers for Youth


Empowered Women



Girls on the Run


The Father McKenna Center


Horizons Greater Washington


Life Asset


Live It Learn It


Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities




National Conservatory for Dramatic Arts


New Futures


The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington


The PEN/FAULKNER Foundation 


Rachael's Women's Center


Southeast Ministry


Stone Soup Films 


Thrive DC


Turning the Page


Voices for a Second Chance


Washington Literacy Center


Words Beats & Life

Vol. 11, No. 2
June 2014





Growing up in Texas, I was taught in school that there are four seasons: fall, winter, spring and summer. I took this as truth, although I had only experienced "hot." When I went away to college in New England, I was introduced to real seasons, and not just those defined by the outdoor weather. I learned that June begins with "strawberries in season," which is followed shortly by "corn in season." Our sadness at the "last corn of the season" was soon replaced by the joy of apple season, which meant fresh apple cider and maple sugar, accompanied much to my delight by a real cooling of temperatures. The fall gave way to a cold Christmas, which brought snow, homemade eggnog and real fires in the fireplace. Then as the months moved toward March and April, I learned to eagerly look for crocuses, the first signs of spring.


This was my wonderful introduction to seasons. Since then, I've found that seasons come in different shapes and sizes, and for different reasons. Some seasons have predictable timing. For instance, Compass has very regular seasons. There are times when we fundraise, survey volunteers, and hold our annual board retreat. There's a time when we recruit clients (right now!), select clients (over the summer), recruit Project Leaders and team members, train clients and volunteers, and then let go so our consulting teams can do their work.


May and June are the time of year when Compass projects wrap-up, teams deliver final presentations, and volunteers and nonprofit leaders say good-bye to each other after many months of close communication and collaboration. It is often a time of excitement as Compass volunteers gain back some much needed personal time, and nonprofit leaders look ahead to implementing the Compass recommendations. It's also somewhat bittersweet though, as people who have gotten to know each other move on without the other. Some relationships will survive the transition as many Compass volunteers join their client's board or continue to support their client after the official end of the project. Others will stay in touch, just because they really liked each other. But still, this is mainly the season for saying goodbye at Compass.


On the personal front, it turns out that children bring seasons, too. Although the big moments come less frequently, they come just as surely. For the second year in a row, one of my three sons will graduate from high school. Wasn't he just learning to walk and talk, losing his first tooth, riding a bike, traveling without me, and learning to drive? And now, he will embark on a brand new adventure full of its own seasons. I learned last year that, as a mom, this is my season for saying goodbye. Luckily, every season brings unexpected wonder. This teenager, who felt "finished" with high school two years ago, told me recently that he could stay in high school for a few more years. This young man who has been so ready to leave, recently told me that he's already homesick. It turns out he can surprise me in any season.


While my second son prepares to leave, my first has come home for the summer from a transformative freshmen year of college. I'm reminded again that as one season ends, another begins. So as we all move ahead with the transitions at hand, I hope we remember that things will surely go away and then come back. That is the great thing about seasons, which I love.


Have a wonderful summer! I'll see you next season.



There's still time to complete the Compass client application for 2014-15. The deadline is June 16, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. 
Clients will be selected in August, and projects will begin in September.


Compass clients must meet the following criteria:

  • Have 501(c)3 status
  • Have a minimum of three paid staff members and a minimum budget of $750,000
  • Provide services that specifically benefit the Greater Philadelphia community
  • Not promote a specific religion, or religious or political beliefs
  • Have an active board of directors

Compass offers consulting services in the following service lines: Board Development, Funding Strategies, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations.


The application is available on our website: Client Application 


If you have any questions about which project would be most useful for your organization or about the application process, please contact Suzanne Laporte ([email protected]; 202-864-6549) to discuss. 


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 Philadelphia projects a success: 


Philadelphia Projects
  • Barbara Milhatov and Steve Zipf - American Red Cross
  • Bob Warrington - Chester County OIC
  • Robert Bond - Diversified Community Services
  • Amy Sennett - Women's Center of Montgomery County

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 consulting teams to 58 nonprofits in the Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia areas. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2013-14 project year, please consider making a contribution now.



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 Business School 

Duke University's Fuqua School of Business

Harvard Business School

University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 


We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from our corporate partners: 




Compass lists nonprofit jobs on our website. If you are a nonprofit looking to hire a management level person, please forward any open job descriptions to Elizabeth Elliott at Compass at [email protected]We post jobs for three months.


If you are seeking a nonprofit job opportunity, please visit our website at to see current openings in the Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia regions.


Please join one or all of our online communities: 


Like us on Facebook "Like" us and watch for fun announcements, pictures and videos.


Follow us on Twitter Follow us @Compassprobono.


View our profile on LinkedIn Join the Compass Volunteer Network 




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