Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Client Application - Deadline June 15
Compass Recognizes Volunteers
We Couldn't Do It Without
Join Our List
2015-16 Clients
Vol. 13, No. 2
June 2016


One way I mark Compass is by the number and size of offices. When I started at Compass nine years ago, I worked at a desk in a cubicle at Greater DC Cares. This was a big change from my predecessor who worked from home, and from Compass' "kitchen table days" before then. Eighteen months in, I moved to a one-desk office at a nearby consulting firm. With our second full-time employee, we moved within the consulting firm to an office with two desks. When our third employee joined two years later, we moved out of the consulting firm into one large room in a renovated townhouse where we set up three desks. Within a year, we had six desks in that room, as well as an Executive Director working out of her home in Philadelphia.

Last week, we moved out of that cozy and bright room into space in a colleague's building. We now have three separate rooms, with three people in each of the two rooms, and an in-between room for a small conference table. After a morning of movers and boxes, I took a walk and stopped to sit for a minute to catch my breath. Later in the day, when everyone else had left for the holiday weekend, I sat in my new office, once again taking a breath - this time marveling at the office and at time. I looked around trying to soak up not just the new space, but also the feeling of movement and progress. Each move had brought more volunteers, more nonprofits and more impact in the community - even a new city. 

This time of year, a different process of movement and progress happens at Compass as our volunteer teams wrap up their consulting projects in Greater Washington and Greater Philadelphia. When Compass teams finish their projects, they leave behind nonprofits that are ready to strengthen boards, increase funding and better support their programs. This year, 58 teams in Greater Washington (375 volunteers) and 10 teams in Greater Philadelphia (90 volunteers) focused on how to best move their nonprofit client in the direction desired through research, analysis, ideas, and recommendations, as well as personal support and coaching. Although May and June see most Compass volunteers saying goodbye to their clients, many will stay connected to the nonprofit they came to know, and many more will return to Compass next year to help another nonprofit. This is the Compass cycle that works so well.

I track my personal life by the ages and grades of my three sons. And I track Compass by the numbers of volunteers who serve, the clients we assist, the supporters who embrace our work, and now the number and size of offices.

Because our current Compass staff members are fairly new, no one else felt the moment of moving offices the way I did. But talking to my sons later in the day, I was astounded as they laughed and shared the many memories (which I had forgotten) of spending time in the cubicle, in the one-desk office, in the two-desk office (only once with strep throat!), and in the lovely bright space with a big bay window that I had just left behind. They understood the moment, because they too had lived it.

I hope you'll join us in the fall for a new program year, as well as Compass' 15th Anniversary Celebration on November 18. There's much to celebrate - both for those who are new to Compass, as well as those who have lived it!

Have a wonderful summer!



There's still time to submit a nonprofit client application for pro bono consulting services for 2016-17. The application deadline is June 15, 2016 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 specific religious or political beliefs
  • Have an active board of directors

Compass offers consulting services in the following areas: Board Development, Funding Strategies, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Planning (two-year projects), Strategic Partnerships & 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 Justine Wu ( or Suzanne Laporte ( to discuss.


Compass is excited to recognize the following individuals for serving as a Project Leader on five or more projects. The Compass Inspire Award is presented to Harry Knight and Burgess Levin

In addition, Compass is pleased to recognize the following "Super Volunteers" for serving on five or more projects as a Project Leader, Deputy Project Leader, and/or team member: Lisa BenjaminBrett CrawfordBetsy HanlonLynn O'Connell, and Amanda Robison.


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 60 local nonprofits. Our fiscal year ends June 30. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2015-16 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
Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management
Duke University's Fuqua School of Business
Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley
Harvard Business School
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
MIT Sloan School of Management
New York University Stern School of Business
Stanford Graduate School of Business 
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
University of Michigan's Ross School of Business
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The Wharton School of 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 job openings to Justine Wu at Compass at jwu@compassdc.orgWe will post jobs for three months.
If you are seeking a nonprofit job opportunity, click here to see current job openings.
Compass - Assistant Program Manager
Compass - Assistant Communications Manager
DC Central Kitchen - Donor Relations Manager
501cTECH Announces 
2016 Technology Innovation Awards
Could your nonprofit use $7,500 to put towards technology projects? Apply for one of 501cTECH's 2016 Technology Innovation Awards. 501cTECH will be recognizing three local nonprofits for their innovative technology project ideas and will provide each with $7,500 to help bring those projects to life. Submit an application in one of three categories:

1.   PreK-12 and STEM Education
2.   Skills to Succeed and Workforce Development
3.   Veterans and Military Families

Questions? Attend a webinar or check out their FAQs page. The application is available online. Deadline to apply: July 1.


Please join one or all of our online communities: 


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


Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter @Compassprobono.


View our profile on LinkedIn Join the Compass Volunteer Network on LinkedIn.


Compass | 1720 N Street, NW | Washington | DC | 20036