Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Client Application for 2015-16
Prospective Client Info Session May 5
Donate to Compass
Join Our List
2014-15 CLIENTS

Greater Philadelphia Classic Projects


Chester County OIC


Community Learning Center


Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia


Hope Partnership for Education


Mercy Neighborhood Ministries of Philadelphia


Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Philadelphia Works


Programs Employing People


SeniorLAW Center

Greater Washington Classic Projects

City Gate


Community Foundation for Northern Virginia


Community Ministries of Rockville


DC Bar Foundation




Easter Seals 


Emmaus Services for the Aging




Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ)


Friendship Children's Center


Georgia Avenue Family Support Collaborative


Housing Unlimited


Insight Memory Care Center




Leadership Greater Washington


Literacy Council of Northern Virginia


Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities


Montgomery County Food Security Collaborative


National Cherry Blossom Festival


Northern Virginia Family Service


NOVA ScriptsCentral


Sasha Bruce Youthwork


Scholarship Fund of Alexandria


Seabury Resources for Aging


See Forever Foundation/Maya Angelou Schools




St. Ann's Center for Children, Youth and Families


Urban Alliance


Washington Area Bicyclist Association 


Vol. 12, No. 1
April 2015





In each of the past two years, I've watched my oldest sons embark on a new journey. As we packed the car and headed to their new home - college - I knew that the road trip ahead was just the beginning of their journey. For the four years that followed, they would explore new worlds, meet new people, and learn new information. At the end of the four years, they would hopefully have a plan for the "just out of college" years. While the objective was clearly to get a college degree, the four-year journey itself was actually the point - the learning, the introspection, the questioning, and the decisions. Interestingly, my sons reacted differently to the journey. One jumped in head first, quickly finding the classes and friends he loved. He never looked back. The other found the transition a little harder. While taking all the right actions - joining clubs, meeting people, trying out for groups - his heart was slower to follow. For him, the journey got off to a tough start and truly challenged his assumptions about everything. Watching and supporting from the sidelines, I also learned a lot. Throughout his transition, I have tried to remember that some journeys start slowly, but all journeys lead somewhere.


Interestingly, in my professional life, I spend a lot of time involved in journeys. When nonprofits come to Compass for assistance, I know that our amazing volunteers cannot provide answers on their own. Our nonprofit clients must be part of the journey. Throughout a Compass project, many of our clients will challenge their own assumptions, rethink the way they have always done things, dream about future possibilities, and come away with a plan for the journey that begins when the Compass project ends. I have seen nonprofits jump in head first and love every minute of the questioning and the dreaming. I have seen nonprofits come in with great intentions, but then find themselves challenged by the realities of funding, leadership, and the idea of change itself. Whichever way the journey starts, always at the end our nonprofit clients know more than when they began. They can decide about their journey forward with a much clearer understanding of the costs and benefits, risks and rewards.


Today, the Compass client application opens. This year, nonprofits can choose from four different service lines (see details below). If you are involved with a nonprofit, chances are good that we can help with the strategic challenges and questions facing the organization. The application deadline is June 15, so if this is the first time you are hearing about Compass, there's still plenty of time to figure out how Compass can help your organization.


I strongly encourage you to consider applying for a Compass project. Compass provides a team of eight business professionals for each project. Our volunteers will help you look at information in a new way, provide an ear for stakeholders to be heard, evaluate different options, gently guide, and fully support. Like all journeys, you'll be changed at the end. Perhaps your Compass volunteers will become friends or board members, maybe you'll learn new skills, maybe your organization will better understand its potential to serve your clients. The outcomes are varied, but anything is possible. I hope you'll join us for a remarkable journey.


Happy spring!





Compass' Client Application for 2015-16 is now open for Greater Philadelphia nonprofits. The deadline for applications is June 15 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 full-time 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 pro bono consulting in the following service lines: Board Development, Funding Strategies, Strategic Alignment, and Strategic Partnerships & Collaborations. See descriptions below.


If you have any questions about which project would be most useful for your organization or about the application process, please contact Beth Dahle ([email protected]; 610-745-3223) to discuss. Or plan to attend our Prospective Client Information session on May 5. See details below. 



If you are considering applying for a Compass pro bono consulting project, please join us on May 5 to hear about Compass' client application process. At this optional Information Session for prospective clients, you'll find out:


  • How the Compass program works
  • What kind of project would be best for your organization
  • How to apply for a Compass project and get selected

Date: Tuesday, May 5

Time: 9:30 a.m. Coffee; 10:00 a.m. Program

Location: The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2005 Market Street, Suite 2800, Philadelphia, PA 19103


Please RSVP by April 30 to Elizabeth Elliott at [email protected].



Board Development - Board Development projects aim to improve the effectiveness, engagement, and sustainability of nonprofit boards.


Funding Strategies - Compass can assess traditional revenue sources and revenue-generation methods, or support Earned Income Ventures.


Strategic Alignment - Strategic Alignment projects make recommendations for operations based on alignment of mission, programs and resources.


Strategic Partnerships & Collaborations - Compass will help nonprofits assess the value and appropriateness of strategic partnerships or collaborations.



This year, Compass is connecting over 70 business professionals with 9 nonprofit organizations through our pro bono consulting projects in Greater Philadelphia. Like our nonprofit clients, Compass is a nonprofit that relies on contributions to ensure we can continue bringing business talent to the nonprofit sector to help individual nonprofits. 


Every $1 donated to Compass provides $14 of consulting services back to local nonprofits. Compass doesn't charge nonprofits for services, so we rely on funding from generous supporters. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2014-15 project year, please donate now.





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


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


Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter, where we tweet messages about our clients and their programs, trends in the nonprofit sector, and other relevant news. Follow us at @Compassprobono.


View our profile on LinkedIn Compass has a company page on LinkedIn called "Compass Pro Bono."









Business School Clubs

We couldn't put together our talented consulting teams without skilled volunteers, and we couldn't recruit our 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!    


The University of Chicago Booth School of Business  
Columbia Business School 
Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell 
Fuqua School of Business at Duke 
Harvard Business School 
Michigan Ross School of Business 
MIT Sloan School of Management 
Northwestern Kellogg School of Management  
NYU Stern School of Business 
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  


Compass | 1712 N Street, NW | Suite 302 | Washington | DC | 20036