We leverage each team’s unique intellectual capital and business talent, customizing every project to meet client needs. The result is a mutually rewarding experience — for alumni who want to impact the social good, and for our non-profit clients who need professional help.
A typical pro bono consulting project:
- Addresses business-related issues within the organization such as strategic planning, organizational development, finance, and marketing.
- Is focused, to be completed by a volunteer team of 3-5 consultants working 2-4/hrs per week individually over 3-5 months.
- Is designed to create significant strategic impact on the organization.
- Excludes direct fundraising activities.
Specific types of projects include:
- Strategic Planning Process
- Market Assessment
- Operational Review
- Business Planning
- Board Governance
- Financial Sustainability & Development
- Marketing/Communications/Branding Strategy
- Growth Plan
- Revenue/Earned Income Plan
For a list of former non-profit clients, click here.
Are you a non-profit interested? If so: 1) Click here to check the criteria and deadlines for an organization to qualify for an HBS Community Partners pro bono consulting project. 2) Contact us by clicking on the Non-Profit Inquiries button at the bottom of this page to preview the project scope with us. 3) Download the application and submit before the deadlines listed.
Are you a volunteer inspired to make an impact? If so: 1) View the list below of current projects open for recruiting. 2) Click the Volunteer Now button below and indicate the specific project you’d like to join. You will be contacted with next steps, which will include filling out a brief questionnaire and participating in a short phone interview.
Atma Connect (Strategic Planning) — Is an award-winning non-profit technology startup dedicated to enabling people in low-income global communities to better address natural disasters. During Jakarta’s flooding last year, over 220K Indonesians used the AtmaGo app to find safe routes through flooded streets. To expand its impact, Atma Connect needs a strategy and message that aligns with potential non-profit and governmental partners and an engagement model for financing and penetrating new geographies. It is seeking help in updating its vision and mission, prioritizing potential strategic partners, and defining engagement models and scaling strategies for those partnerships based on industry best practices. (Meetings in San Francisco)
Callisto (Marketing Strategy) —Operating on eight college campuses today, Callisto provides an online sexual assault documentation and reporting system that creates a more empowering reporting experience for survivors that facilitates the identification of repeat assailants, who are responsible for 90% of all campus sexual assaults. Its founder/CEO has been named a TED Fellow, a Case Foundation “Fearless Changemaker,” and Ashoka/American Express “Emerging Innovator” given this product’s success. To rapidly expand its successful model across higher education institutions, it needs a developed marketing strategy identifying: 1) who within universities should Callisto sell to, 2) at what price point, and 3) with what messaging/value proposition. (Meetings in San Francisco)
East Bay College Fund (EBCF) (Market Assessment) – Provides disadvantaged Oakland high-school students with on-site college advising and scholarships for two and four-year college expenses. Trained “College Crews” continue that support with mentoring and advice after students enter college. Since 2016, EBCF has partnered with Oakland Promise, part of the national Cities of Promise network of local cradle-to-career programs for disadvantaged youth. As a relative newcomer to the Promise network, EBCF would like help with identifying best practices and partnership options with scholarship programs in other Promise cities and recommendations for new practices to implement at EBCF. (Meetings in San Francisco)
Girls Leadership (Expansion Strategy) —Teaches girls the skills to know who they are, what they believe, and how to express it, empowering them to create change in their world. A strategic priority is to broaden their reach and impact in low income communities nationally by: 1) offering free programs, supported by corporate sponsors, in low income communities, and 2) offering training programs for teachers and youth leaders in low income communities. To support their new training initiative, Girls Leadership seeks help in identifying best practices and would like recommendations in three areas: managing their brand, measuring their impact, and establishing an effective training format. (Meetings on the Peninsula)
Racing Hearts (Growth Plan) — Empowers people to use life-saving heart defibrillators (AEDs) to save lives during a sudden cardiac arrest by increasing awareness of and improving access to automated external defibrillators. Since 2012, Racing Hearts has pioneered CA legislation, placed over $1M worth of AEDs in high risk community locations, loaned AEDs to over 220K athletes during community events, and created the Stanford Health Care Racing Hearts 5K/10K race raising funds for heart research and care. It is seeking help to create a strategy to take its programs nationwide and to identify the key priorities that will set it up for a successful expansion. (Meetings on the Peninsula)
RE-volv (Marketing Strategy) — Creates crowdfunding campaigns that enable nonprofits to go solar, reduce their carbon footprints, and save on their electricity bills. Featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, and two White House press releases, RE-volv leases solar energy to nonprofits at a discount rate, and then uses the lease payments from one project to pay for the next, creating a revolving fund. Having completed 10 solar projects in four states, RE-Volv needs to develop a more robust marketing strategy, improving how it attracts new users (crowd funders and solar project leaders) to grow to the next level of impact. (Meetings in San Francisco)
Readworks (Earned Income Strategy)— Creates world-class on-line content and curriculum, teacher guidance, and integrated tools that improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension. Having received numerous awards, it is currently used by teachers in 79% of public K-8 schools nationwide. Readworks needs help developing a fee-based distribution model for supplemental products that can ultimately cover the expenses of their core line of free reading instruction products for students and teachers. (Meetings in San Francisco)
San Francisco Department of Emergency Management (SF DEM) (Communications Strategy) – Leads the City in planning, preparedness, communication, response, and recovery for daily emergencies, large scale citywide events, and major disasters. It manages calls to 911 for emergencies and 311 for non-emergencies. Before 311, over 50% of calls to the 911 center were non-emergency related. Even after 311 was created, many non-emergency calls are still being made to 911. The SF DEM would like to launch a public education campaign that aims to reduce non-emergency calls to 911 to ensure capacity to deliver fast, reliable emergency support to residents who need it. (Meetings in San Francisco)
San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) (Marketing Strategy) – Is dedicated to free and equal access to information, knowledge, independent learning and the joys of reading for San Francisco’s diverse community. Broadly perceived as a leader among libraries on the national and international levels, it is still not reaching all residents who could use and benefit from library services. SFPL seeks a measurable and implementable marketing communications strategy and advertising plan. This could include determining target audiences, devising an advertising strategy and positioning, crafting messages including program offers, identifying the most relevant advertising vehicles and building a campaign plan with key measurements. (Meetings in San Francisco)
San Francisco SPCA (CRM Strategy) — Saves and protects animals, provides care and treatment, advocates for their welfare and enhances the human animal bond. The SF SPCA earned a grant to put a new Salesforce database Customer Relationship Management platform in place to better serve and engage existing clients and engage new relationships. With this in place, they are now ready to leverage the data from this comprehensive single platform to create a comprehensive communications mapping strategy and dashboard to collect and manage data and to build accurate reporting metrics to create more meaningful client experiences. (Meetings in San Francisco)
San Francisco SPCA (Transition Strategy) — Saves and protects animals, provides care and treatment, advocates for their welfare and enhances the human animal bond. The SF SPCA has partnered with City of Stockton Animal Care to build a high quality animal care capacity. The programmatic work has produced excellent results, and it is now requesting help to develop a transition plan to migrate management of the facility to a new locally owned nonprofit (Stockton SPCA). A successful transition to a local, independent animal support nonprofit would be a replicable model for the SF SPCA to support other low-income cities in the future and expand impact. (Meetings in San Francisco with possible visits to Stockton facility)
San José Mayor’s Office – Innovation Team (Marketing and PR Plan) – Partners with Silicon Valley technology companies to close the digital divide, launch autonomous vehicles and IoT technology, and helps city hall embrace digital tools to deliver user-friendly services for all residents. The objective is to make San José the most innovative city in America by 2020. The Innovation Team requests help crafting a marketing and PR plan to tell the story of innovation in city hall, share the benefits of technology with the public, and highlight the positive impact of becoming a “smart city.” The project would include developing key messages, an outreach strategy, a press outreach, and a social media strategy. (Meetings in San José)
SF Tech Council (Business Planning) — Bridges the digital divide for seniors and people with disabilities in San Francisco so all can participate in the City’s connected community. Its early success with government / nonprofit / business / consumer collaboration provides a strong foundation for a more expansive initiative called Connectivity + Campaign, which will use collective action to better integrate technology into the lives of older adults and people with disabilities through 1) at-home technology access, training and support, 2) government / nonprofit / business partnerships, and 3) advocacy. SF Tech Council requests help in structuring, implementing and financing the Campaign. (Meetings in San Francisco)
Silicon Valley Urban Debate League (SVUDL) (Strategic Planning) – Empowers low-income youth, students of color, and young people who will be the first in their families to attend college unlock the power of their voices to change the world through competitive debate, leadership development and curriculum innovation. SVUDL has served more than 500 students in seven schools in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. It requests help with the early stages of a five-year strategic plan that focuses on key partnerships, program enrichment opportunities, and creates coherent systems to establish an infrastructure that will make program/organizational growth with impact possible and sustainable. (Meetings on the Peninsula)
Youth Leadership Institute (Growth Strategy) — YLI sparks the leadership of youth to solve pressing social issues and serve communities. As a recognized leader in the field of youth development, YLI synthesizes and packages the lessons learned and develops toolkits and innovative training models to share with communities across the nation through its Training and Consulting Services (TCS). This earned income stream is important to scale and help more communities develop the glue needed to organize for change and become more resilient. It seeks support in developing the business plan for scaling and expansion of its TCS program. (Meetings in San Francisco)