In-kind Nonprofit Consulting Grant

Posted by Compass on April 20, 2015

Compass’ mission is to inspire the active engagement of business professionals with their local nonprofits to transform communities.

Compass’ goals are to:

  • Help Greater Washington, DC and Greater Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations carry out their missions more effectively and efficiently both in the short term and for the long term.
  • Facilitate a strong relationship between select business professionals and nonprofit leaders.
  • Bring the education, expertise and experience of seasoned business professionals to the nonprofit community.
  • Cultivate in volunteers a deep, lasting, and personal commitment to the nonprofit community.

Compass uses a selective process for choosing clients each year, but seeks diversity in clients’ geographic location, issue area and service line. Through a detailed application and interviews with applicant Executive Directors and Board Chairs, Compass determines the readiness of each client applicant for a Compass project. Each nonprofit client receives approximately $150,000 of strategic consulting services – free of charge. This year, we expect to select approximately 10 nonprofits.

The deadline for client applications is Monday, June 15, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.

501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area may apply if they have a minimum operating budget of $750,000, three full-time paid staff members, a board of directors, and a mission that benefits the Greater Philadelphia community. Compass does not accept clients that promote a specific religion, or religious or political beliefs. Currently, Compass works with nonprofits in the following counties: Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery.


In response to the September 11th attacks, several Harvard Business School alumni in Washington, DC were looking for an innovative way to use their talents to serve their local community. They recruited friends and colleagues to volunteer on consulting teams for five nonprofits in the DC area. The founding group discovered that not only was the service filling a great need within the nonprofit sector, but it was also filling a great need for business school alumni and other business professionals. These business people were eager to give back to the community using their business skills and expertise. However, structured outlets for this type of volunteerism did not exist.

The program ran for a second year in 2002-2003. Again, about 30 volunteers worked with five local nonprofit organizations. During that year, the founding group planned for the growth of the initiative and approached the alumni groups of three other business schools: Stanford Graduate School of Business, Wharton Business School, and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. The groups agreed to join forces and operate a single program that would be offered to their local alumni. As a result, in the spring of 2003, these groups officially formed an alliance and named the program Compass. In 2006, the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business joined the Alliance.

In 2014-15, Compass launched nine projects in Philadelphia while serving 64 Greater Washington, DC area nonprofits and over 400 business professional volunteers.

More in "Grant Opportunities"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.