Pro bono Consulting

HBS alumni are experienced in successfully helping businesses tackle tough challenges. Their skills are highly transferable to the nonprofit sector as well. Community Partners mobilizes Harvard Business School volunteer alumni teams to help nonprofits address business management challenges.

Professional Goodness.

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 nonprofit 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 nonprofit clients, click here.

Are you a nonprofit 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 Nonprofit 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.

Nonprofit Inquiries       Download Application

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.


Asian Art Museum (Corporate Fundraising Strategy) — Is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian artworks. The construction of a new 13,000 sq ft Pavilion will be complete in 2020, enabling the museum to offer a transformational experience and new programming, increasing audience reach and impact. It also offers the museum an opportunity to expand its corporate fundraising program, reaching new global partners. The Asian Art Museum seeks help identifying best practices and strategies for identifying, prioritizing, and approaching potential new corporate partners, particularly Asian multi-nationals. (Meetings in San Francisco)

California YMCA Youth & Government (Positioning Strategy) – Provides civic engagement and leadership programs for California youth, enabling over 4,000 students each year to participate in Model UN and Model Legislature and Court programs across the state. Many participants use the skills acquired to move onto careers in law and government. YMCA Youth & Government seeks help with a strategic assessment of its position in the youth civic leadership segment, with recommendations on how it may wish to alter its positioning, branding, product offerings, and communications to better reflect its unique role in the state. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Catholic Charities (Earned Revenue Strategy) — Provides direct services to people in need of all faiths and advocates for the poor, the sick, the distressed, children, youth, families, immigrants, and seniors. It is one of the largest human services agencies in the Bay Area, serving over 35,000 individuals living in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Marin last year. The demand for its comprehensive services is growing; thus Catholic Charities would like help with envisioning, prioritizing, and implementing new sustainable revenue streams that capitalize on its strengths, programs, and staff. (It does not receive any funding from the Catholic Church.) (Meetings in San Francisco)

D-Rev (Product Acquisition Strategy) — Closes the gap in quality healthcare outcomes for underserved populations through designing and delivering medical technologies. Named one of Fast Company’s “World’s Most Innovative Companies,” it has treated 415,000 patients in over 50 countries with innovative, low-cost devices such as prosthetic knees and phototherapy units for jaundiced babies. Its products to-date have been internally developed, but as D-Rev scales, it needs to source, vet, and acquire promising technologies developed elsewhere. It would like support with building a new product pipeline process for identifying, evaluating, engaging, and integrating potential product acquisition targets. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties (Business Planning) — Is a nonprofit social enterprise that uses its recycling and reuse of goods business lines to provide a comprehensive job training program for individuals in poverty to develop skills to move into middle-income jobs. Goodwill acts as a bridge employer providing workers training, resume building experiences, and access to future employers. The organization needs to generate additional revenue given the increasing costs of operating in San Francisco, and requests help with developing the business plans for a few potential new lines of businesses that would generate revenue while leveraging their existing infrastructure and assets. (Meetings in San Francisco)

The Gratitude Network (Business Plan Development) — Is a networked organization of experienced leaders who identify, nurture, mentor and fund innovative social impact organizations who are impacting the lives of children and changing the face of education worldwide. These social enterprises receive a one-year coaching and mentoring experience that sets the trajectory of their organizations. To generate additional revenue, The Gratitude Network is exploring a new model of mentorship to growth-stage for-profits in exchange for employee engagement opportunities. It would like help with further developing this plan, identifying start-up targets, and piloting a prototype of this service in 2019. (Meetings on the Peninsula)

Museum of Craft & Design (Strategic Planning) — Is San Francisco’s only museum devoted exclusively to modern and contemporary craft and design. It showcases designers, makers, and artists through a distinctive series of craft and design-focused exhibitions and public programs, actively collaborating with artists, designers, museums, and universities to create inspirational critically acclaimed experiences. A young and growing museum, the Museum of Craft and Design is seeking help with crafting a strategic plan to plot its course over the next three to five years, assessing key objectives, prioritized areas of focus, and developing measurable goals. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Pacific Vision Foundation (Marketing Strategy) — Is dedicated to providing excellent eye care to uninsured patients. It supports residents, fellows, and faculty at its Eye Institute, partners with community health centers, and provides grants in research. It has helped over 3,500 uninsured patients in Northern California regain or retain their sight. Increased funding has been a challenge due to low brand awareness and the ability to describe the complexity of its various services. Pacific Vision Foundation is looking for assistance in branding and messaging its diverse elements of service to make its funding appeals more understandable and effective. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Riekes Center for Human Enhancement (Marketing Strategy) — Provides quality programmatic learning and enrichment opportunities for students of all ages to explore their goals, interests, and passions in the arts, fitness, and nature. It serves 7,000+ individuals, mostly adolescents and veterans, each year, in an intentional culture and environment of diversity and universal acceptance. Riekes Center has grown to the point where it needs to unify its voice to the world, and design a marketing strategy that can scale and become its North Star not only for communication, but also for decisions regarding their services and expansion plans. (Meetings on the Peninsula)

San Francisco 49ers Foundation (Communications Strategy) — Harnesses football to educate and empower Bay Area Youth through a collective of innovative and community-focused strategies. It introduces STEAM education to 60,000+ Bay Area students a year through 49ers EDU, teaches the importance of health and wellness to student athletes through the 49ers PREP program, and supports students from the 49ers Academy and 49ers STEM Leadership Institute get into college. Brand awareness among their fan base, however, is low. The 49ers Foundation would like assistance developing an awareness campaign strategy to ultimately aid fundraising efforts and volunteer participation. (Meetings on the Peninsula)

San Francisco Department of Public Works (Operations Strategy) — Is charged with overseeing the City’s cleaning programs, including recycling and refuse collection, graffiti clean-up, and street resurfacing. Clean streets are a priority for San Francisco—the Department of Public Works received 250,000+ requests related to street cleaning last year. The department is seeking actionable recommendations for piloting improvements in the areas of sidewalk cleanliness, citizen engagement, and using technology to improve services. Through benchmarking best practices in other cities and interviews, it welcomes recommendations on its organizational structure, staffing levels, programs, or external campaigns that would result in a cleaner city. (Meetings in San Francisco)

VolunteerMatch (Business Sales and Marketing Strategy) — Makes it easier for good people and good causes to connect by offering the web’s largest volunteer engagement platform. VolunteerMatch helped 120,000 nonprofits across the nation engage with over 15 million interested volunteers last year alone. It provides business services to corporate community engagement programs, and while corporate social responsibility trends are on the rise, the changing internet landscape has created recent entrants who are challenging its business model. VolunteerMatch needs assistance with refining its strategies to work with channel partners, broaden corporate client awareness, and drive new client subscription revenue. (Meetings in San Francisco)