Strategic Guidance. Stronger Nonprofits.
In This Issue
Client Application - Deadline June 12
Compass Recognizes Volunteers
On Board Update
Join Our List
2016-17 Clients
Vol. 14, No. 2
June 2017


On the drive home after picking up my oldest son from college, my son reminded me of a Dallas Cowboys playoff game last January. We (the Cowboys) desperately needed a score, so the coach sent in all of the receivers. As the opposing team covered the receivers who were running all over the field, the Cowboys' quarterback calmly ran the ball up the middle. It was a GREAT play. As my son reminded me of it, I smiled just remembering the play's surprise and success. That day in the car, my son told me that he liked to remind me of this play when I am having a tough day, because he knows it makes me happy. He then told me about a poster he had seen at school that he thought I would like. The poster showed a mouse that was wearing a football helmet looking at a mousetrap with cheese in the middle. The caption read, "Never give up!" As my son described the poster to me, I grinned and said, "I LOVE that!" He said in response, and also with a big smile, "I knew you would."

This was a rare moment of feeling completely known by another person. This feeling resonates with me for many reasons, not the least of which is because it is at the core of the Compass mission and program, which I also love. Our tailored consulting program for nonprofits uniquely meets the needs of our clients, because our volunteers truly come to know the nonprofits with whom they work. Through either nine- or five-month projects, the business professionals who volunteer with Compass listen and learn. At the end of projects, Compass clients often say to us about their volunteers: "They listened to us," or "They understood what we want to do," or "They saw our potential," or "They know us and believe we can do this."

In a world that seems to be operating more virtually every day, Compass proves that "personal" and "in-person" still matter. There is nothing like sitting down with someone and talking for hours. There is nothing like observing people in action and coming to know them as a result. There is nothing like understanding someone after investing time in them. There is nothing quite like knowing someone or being known.

Compass teams are currently wrapping up 72 consulting projects. Between Greater Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago, 509 business professionals have spent countless hours as Compass volunteers getting to know their nonprofit client. These volunteers have seen the realities and the possibilities that the nonprofits face and know what makes these organizations tick. As a result, many of our volunteers will stay engaged with their Compass client once their project ends. One client recently told me that she had asked a Compass volunteer to join her board. "Someone who already knows us!" she said happily.

This is the time of year when the Compass client application is open to nonprofits that might benefit from the strategic consulting we provide. (See details below.) I am happy to remind you that anyone who volunteers with your organization through Compass will live in your community. They will care about your organization and the people you help, because this is their home, too. They will come visit your organization personally. They will listen to you, and come to know you. Only then will they provide you with recommendations designed just for your organization. At the end of the Compass project, you will likely be told that you have incredible potential and that, like a mouse looking at cheese, you should never give up.

I hope you consider applying for a Compass project. Maybe it's time to be known. Have a wonderful and relaxing summer. We'll see you in the fall.



There's still time to submit a nonprofit client application for pro bono consulting services for 2017-18. The application deadline is Monday, June 12, 2017 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 Hallie Smith ( ) or Suzanne Laporte ( to discuss.


Compass would like to thank our 2016-17 volunteers for their hard work and dedication this project year in support of the Greater Washington community. This year, our 364 volunteers provided over 22,000 pro bono hours resulting in over $5 million of services to local nonprofits, helping to strengthen organizations that provide essential services to our community.

Compass is also excited to recognize the following "Super Volunteers" for serving on five projects as a Project Leader, Deputy Project Leader, and/or team member: 

Cathy Bernasek
Dave Wetzig
Howard Hyde 
Mollie Dougherty
Suzanne Cox
 Paul Lyons 
Jan Abraham
Michelle Meyer

Over the past year, Compass has matched 38 business professionals onto the boards of 33 nonprofit organizations through two cohorts of the On Board program. All new board members will attend a Compass training as they begin their service on local nonprofit boards. The next cohort of On Board will kick-off in September. If you are interested in learning more about the On Board program, please contact Nalini Rogers (


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 54 local nonprofits. Our fiscal year ends June 30. If you haven't donated to Compass during this 2016-17 project year, please donate now.


Donate 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 school clubs. Thank you to the following clubs that help spread the word about Compass. We are grateful for your continued support! 

Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Columbia Business School
Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management
Fuqua School of Business at Duke
Harvard Business School
Michigan Ross School of Business
MIT Sloan School of Management
NYU Stern School of Business
Northwestern Kellogg School of Management 
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Stanford Graduate School of Business 
University of Virginia Darden School of Business
Yale School of Management

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

Booz Allen  

    Capital One

Arnold and Porter    

Advancement in Management Awards 
June 20, 2017
The AIM for Excellence Award Competition is an annual award presented to a Washington, DC metropolitan area nonprofit organization for outstanding achievement in organizational management. This competition honors superior nonprofit management, recognizing sustainable best practices and highlighting innovation that leads to excellence. Join the Center for Nonprofit Advancement for this celebration. 
Register Here

Congratulations to the 2017
Advancement in Management Finalists:
DC Scores
Mary's Center
Peace Players International 

WRAG's 2017 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series 
Designed and taught by some of the Greater Washington region's most respected nonprofit and grantmaking professionals, this series "pulls the curtain back on philanthropy" for the local nonprofit community. Join WRAG and Booz Allen Hamilton, to learn how grantmakers think, how they approach their work, and what they look for in strong nonprofit partners. Join in person or via live webcast!

June 22, 2017-  Current Philanthropic Trends

July 12, 2017-  Going Beyond Dollars

A ugust 14, 2017-  The Importance of Evaluation

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 Caroline Szakats at Compass We will post jobs for three months.
If you are seeking a nonprofit job opportunity, click here to see current job openings.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy, Development Manager 

The Catalogue is currently looking to hire a full-time Development Manager who  has +/-5 years experience. The position calls for nonprofit fundraising  experience with a particular focus on individual and major giving, corporate
sponsorships, foundation relations, and special events.


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.