Brainstorming Sessions

Need quick advice from an outside party who understands how to solve tough business issues? Brainstorming sessions are 2-hour meetings focused on solving a specific issue or generating ideas involving 4-8 HBS alumni with targeted skills and interests who can help the non-profit organization.

Fast. Focused. Impactful.


Brainstorming sessions provides an opportunity for a nonprofit’s management team to explore a specific business issue or idea with a group of HBS alumni. It is helpful for new organizations still formulating their strategies, as well as established nonprofits needing to address a new opportunity or specific challenge.  Using a 4-8 HBS alumni volunteers committed to a 2-hour discussion, it is a high-energy approach involving participants with relevant skill sets and experience.



The focus question is a single, clearly-defined challenge or new idea or a group of related issues not requiring additional research in order to comment or add value.  Examples include:

  • Ways to increase the organization’s visibility and reach
  • Articulating the value proposition
  • Feedback on an organization’s “pitch.”
  • Tactical marketing ideas

Typical format of a Brainstorm Session:

  • The organization provides some brief background materials at least 2 weeks in advance to help prepare the participants to engage in a discussion focused on the brainstorming topic.
  • The organization provides a simple meal (lunch or dinner) for the participants.
  • The organization provides a meeting space at a convenient location.

Typical structure of a Brainstorm Session:

  • Introduction – 15 minutes (bios will be distributed in advance)
  • Brief Overview of the Organization by Client – 15 minutes
  • Open Discussion/Brainstorming – 90 minutes



Organizations: Click here to see the Client Eligibility Criteria to qualify for a Brainstorm Session.

Download Application for a Brainstorm Session

Please select Non-Profit Inquiries button below if you are a nonprofit interested in applying for a brainstorming session.

Volunteers: Select the “Current Projects” button below to see the projects for this season. Click “Volunteer Now” if you are interested in volunteering for a session.



Click on the opportunities you see in each of the sections above for details