Through a selective process, Compass accepts qualified business professionals as Project Leaders, Deputy Project Leaders, and volunteers. Compass gives priority to MBA graduates from top business schools, other business professionals with a relevant graduate degree such as an MPP, and professionals with consulting, nonprofit or prior Compass experience.
Compass works closely with the business school clubs of Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, Stanford, Tuck, Darden (University of Virginia), Yale, Northwestern, Michigan, Cornell, Columbia and Duke to recruit Project Leaders and volunteers.
Volunteers work in teams led by a Project Leader with either a Co-Leader or a Deputy Project Leader. Compass staffs each team with one to two non-MBAs.
Compass Project Leaders work closely with the nonprofit client to determine project scope and with the volunteers to guide the work plan. Project Leaders must be graduates of the business schools of Harvard, Wharton, Chicago, Stanford, Tuck, Darden (University of Virginia), Yale, Northwestern, Michigan, Cornell, Columbia or Duke. Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis for experienced Compass volunteers.
Project Leaders typically spend three to four hours per week on project work.
Compass selects Project Leaders in August and September. Prospective Project Leaders rank their interest in projects on the Project Leader application. The application link will be available on the Compass home page in
late August. Compass interviews applicants who are new to Compass, then notifies all Project Leaders in
Deputy Project Leaders
Most projects have a Deputy Project Leader who supports the Project Leader by coordinating team communications and assignments. Most Deputy Project Leaders are former Compass volunteers. Many do not have an MBA. Deputies work closely with the Project Leader and client. Project Leaders and their Deputy decide how to divide up team responsibilities. However, in general, Deputy Project Leaders handle communications and administrative tasks that keep the team connected. Volunteers interested in a Deputy Project Leader position should contact Compass’ Executive Director.
Compass was founded as an alliance of MBA graduates and most of our volunteers have an MBA degree. However, Compass also accepts volunteers who have a comparable and relevant graduate degree, and some volunteers with no MBA or advanced degree. For non-MBA applicants, preference is given to applicants with consulting or nonprofit experience. Volunteers typically spend one to two hours per week on projects.
Compass recruits volunteers in the early fall, making final team assignments in mid-October.
Compass is not just a matchmaking service between business professionals and local nonprofits. The Compass program has been fine-tuned with proven processes ranging from client and volunteer selection to project implementation. For example, Compass provides two mandatory trainings for volunteers, and an additional training for Project Leaders and Deputies. Compass provides access to veteran Project Leaders who act as Advisors to current Project Leaders. Compass compiles data and information relevant to projects in an online, password-protected Toolkit available to all volunteers.