Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Compass Recognizes Volunteers
Client Application - Deadline June 15
We Couldn't Do It Without
Join Our List
2014-15 Clients
Vol. 12, No. 2
June 2015





Cheerleaders rule in Texas. Growing up there, I - like so many other young girls -  dreamed of one day being a cheerleader. Maybe middle school, maybe high school, maybe college, maybe one day reaching the ultimate goal - not just any professional football team, but the Dallas Cowboys.


After high school, though, I went away to Smith College (no boys, no football team, no cheerleaders). I found out that women's colleges in the Northeast have a very different view of cheerleaders. There I was told that women can and should accomplish things in life that are more important than being a cheerleader. I heard the message loud and clear, and yet, here I am years later realizing that I became a cheerleader after all. More than that, I organize and send out into our community hundreds of cheerleaders every year - the Compass volunteers.


I came to this realization after a recent meeting when I walked out thinking that nonprofits need cheerleaders. As a nonprofit, what would we like? Someone to acknowledge that we're doing a good job. Someone to notice the hard work. Someone to say that we should keep on going when the odds seem against us. Someone to cheer us on in good times and bad. This, I thought, is what nonprofits need. And then I realized that this is what Compass does. Compass volunteers, in for just a consulting gig, often end up being the biggest cheerleaders for our nonprofit clients. I hear it again and again from our clients who have enjoyed not just the consulting work, but also the personal connection and engagement of the volunteers.


At our Volunteer Celebration on May 27, we thanked almost 400 volunteers for their service this year. We also recognized our biggest cheerleaders. We introduced the Compass Inspire Award for the nine Compass volunteers who have served as a Project Leader on five or more projects. We also announced the Super Volunteer award for the 17 additional volunteers who have served as team members and/or Project Leaders on five or more projects. (See below for award details.) These volunteers have dedicated countless hours to supporting nonprofits in Greater Washington. They have helped nonprofits identify opportunities, create strategies, increase funding, professionalize boards, and keep on going though the challenges that nonprofits inevitably face. They have supported, listened to, sympathized with, and become big fans of the Executive Directors with whom they worked. They also motivated fellow team members to donate their time for the five- or nine-month projects.


We all need to know that someone has our best interest at heart. At Compass, we recognize the hard work being done on the front lines by local nonprofits, and we are thrilled to cheer them on. So to all the nonprofits serving the Greater Washington community from all the cheerleaders at Compass - five staff members, 17 board members, 383 volunteers (this year alone!) - know that we are on your side. We are proud to be your cheerleaders!


Have a great summer!




Compass recently recognized the following individuals for serving as a Project Leader on five or more projects. The Compass Inspire Award was presented to:
  • Jennifer Blasko
  • Gary Friend
  • Brock Holmes
  • Jeffrey Kass
  • Karen Mazze
  • Bud Moeller
  • Victoria Pierce
  • Nowell Rush
  • Susan Thaxton
In addition, Compass recognized the following "Super Volunteers" for serving on five or more projects as a Project Leader and/or team member:
  • Carol Bloomberg
  • Jule Crider
  • Ben Danner
  • Whitney Debevoise
  • Sasan Dehghan
  • Dorsey Dunn
  • Hollie Freeman
  • Paula Jacobs
  • Hilary Joel
  • Burgess Levin
  • Sharmeen Noor
  • Michael Plunkett
  • Victor Reyes
  • Sonya Sbar
  • J.J. Smith
  • Richard Stern
  • Bob Winter

There's still time to submit a client application for 2015-16. The deadline is June 15, 2015 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 Washington 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 Strategy, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Planning (two-year projects), Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations, and Strategic Marketing.


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 Kristalee Overdahl ([email protected]org) to discuss. 


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 64 local nonprofits. Our fiscal year ends June 30. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2014-15 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! 


The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Columbia Business School

Cornell University Johnson School of Management

Fuqua School of Business at Duke University

Harvard Business School

MIT Sloan School of Management

New York University Stern School of Business

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 also incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from our corporate partners: 


Booz Allen  


Arnold and Porter  


Capital One   


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 will post jobs for three months.


If you are seeking a nonprofit job opportunity, please visit our website at to see current openings.


Stone Soup Films - Development Director


Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington - Community Partnerships Manager


Washington Jesuit Academy - Chief Operations Officer


The News Literacy Project - Vice President for Development


501cTECH Announces 

2015 Technology Innovation Awards


Do you know a nonprofit that could use $7,500? Is that nonprofit using technology in innovative ways to advance their mission? Are you someone who celebrates technology and supports the nonprofit community?


If your answer to any of those questions is "yes," then the Technology Innovation Awards are for you.


Three D.C. area nonprofits will receive $7,500 each for submitting the best ideas for tech innovation in three categories: PreK-12 and STEM Education, Skills to Succeed & Workforce Development, and Veterans and Military Families. The winning organizations will be announced at the Celebration of Technology on November 5th at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in downtown D.C.


For more information, visit 501cTECH's website. If you're ready to submit your project idea, complete this brief online application.


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View our profile on LinkedIn Join the Compass Volunteer Network 




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