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.


Alonzo King LINES Ballet (Marketing Strategy) — Is a world-renowned contemporary ballet company known for groundbreaking collaborations and innovative choreography.  It tours nationally and internationally to 40,000+ audience members annually.  Committed to dance education and community involvement, LINES Ballet also offers classes for over 5,500 adults on all different dance genres and provides free dance education to over 500 low-income youth/students of color. LINES Ballet seeks help with an audience development strategy that would broaden and deepen its local audience, akin to the recognition it receives internationally.  (Meetings in San Francisco)

Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) (Business Plan) — Provides Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and creativity-inspired early learning experiences in a museum setting.  It serves more than 350,000 visitors annually, and has won numerous Bay Area awards.  Two new programs less than two years old have become signature projects of BADM, establishing the museum as a leader in innovative STEM education for children ages 10 and under—the Fab Lab (an onsite makerspace) and Try it Truck (a mobile engineering lab).  It would like help assessing the market and new opportunities for these onsite and offsite engineering and digital fabrication programs.  (Meetings in Marin)

Cancer CAREpoint (Marketing Strategy) — Provides free non-medical support for cancer patients of all types, survivors, families, and caregivers in Silicon Valley through group and personalized one-on-one counselling, assistance, resources, and education.  It has served over 5,000 people impacted by cancer since its opening in 2012, but with 10,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year in Silicon Valley, there are many more who could benefit from its services.  Cancer CAREpoint seeks assistance in developing a marketing and communications plan to build awareness and increase its reach even further. (Meetings in South Bay)

Children’s Creativity Museum (CCM) (Business Plan) — Offers hands-on experiences in science, art, and technology for children ages 2-12, with the mission of nurturing creativity and collaboration in all children and families.  CCM is one of the lead partners for the NASA-funded National Informal STEM Education Network and a lead organization for the California Girls in STEM Network. To extend CCM’s experiences beyond the museum’s walls, it wishes to build capacity and presence among Bay Area public schools and educators.  CCM would like help with a business plan that would address how it could use teacher training, virtual experiences, and/or mobile facilities to reach more children. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Exploratorium (Exhibits Strategy) – Is a public learning laboratory in San Francisco exploring the world through science, art, and human perception. It has won numerous awards and recognition and has set the standard for science museums.  Exhibitions are one of the Exploratorium’s key offerings; it creates exhibitions for local audiences and for partners in places as diverse as Hot Springs Arkansas and Singapore. Driving efficient and profitable growth in the Global Studios exhibition business is a key part of its earned revenue strategy, and it would like support in identifying the market potential and production methods to help grow the scale, profitability, and impact of its exhibition business. (Meetings in San Francisco)

Family Paths (Marketing Strategy) — Is a multi-pronged family support agency that promotes a safe home for every child by strengthening family relationships and providing counseling, mental health treatment, and referral services to adults in need of parenting support.  It offers specialized and evidence-based parent education and trauma counseling, and particularly for child-abuse treatment, intervention and prevention, with clinical programs serving almost 1,000 children and caregivers last year and fielding over 6,000 calls per year on its 24-hour support and resource hotline.  Family Paths seeks a marketing strategy to reach more parents and to increase its brand recognition in Alameda County, where it is one of the leading private social service agencies. (Meetings in Oakland)

Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) (Strategic Opportunity Assessment) —Is a regionally-based, nationally distinguished model animal shelter that recognizes that saving animals also saves people.  By addressing the key issues facing under-served individuals who consider pets part of their family and by enhancing the transitional growth and development of marginalized groups, HSSV aims to save and enhance lives—both four-legged and two-legged.  HSSV seeks help with market mapping and a landscape analysis on providing integrated services that impact both human and animal lives, including identifying potential strategic partners and uncovering unmet needs among community segments in need. (Meetings on the Peninsula)

Mountain View/Los Altos Soccer Club (MVLA) (Revenue Strategy) —Inspires young players in Silicon Valley ages 4-18 in their pursuit of soccer through dedication and determination while never sacrificing the joy of playing the game.  Nationally renowned with teams playing for national titles annually and with numerous alumni who later became professional players, MVLA is looking to expand its successful model and footprint beyond the 20,000 families it has served historically to impact thousands more in the area, including those who live in underprivileged communities such as East Palo Alto, East Mountain View, and parts of San Jose.  It is seeking help with a revenue plan that would expand its financial base to provide more and better services to the community.  (Meetings on the Peninsula)

San Francisco Botanical Garden (Earned Revenue Strategy) —Is a living museum within Golden Gate Park, offering 55 acres of both landscaped gardens and open spaces, showcasing over 8,500 different kinds of plants from around the world.  It provides a place of exceptional beauty and natural sanctuary, expanding people’s understanding and appreciation of plants.  Last year, the Garden welcomed 458,900 visitors from around the world, and two-thirds of visitors enjoy the garden free of charge.  It requests help in developing an earned revenue strategy, to include reviewing existing revenue streams (e.g. Flower Piano, retail nursery), developing new ideas, and recommending where to focus its resources.  (Meetings in San Francisco)

San José Mayor’s Office of Technology Innovation (SJ MOTI) (Strategic Planning) — Aims to make San José the most innovative city in America by 2020.  Integral to this is creating an environment that nurtures entrepreneurship and innovation.  SJ MOTI (led by a Chief Innovation Officer who is an HBS alum) wishes to assess what initiatives or investments would attract and engage startups in San José, unlocking the enterprising potential of its diverse local residents. This would include articulating what inherent advantages San José has as well as evaluating current successful startup hubs in San Francisco, Boston, and New York for learnings.  (Meetings in South Bay)

San Mateo Adult School (Strategic Plan) — Develops skilled workers, strong families, and successful communities by offering opportunities to learn at every stage of adult life.  It directs resources to serving those traditionally underserved; especially those disadvantaged economically or academically, serving approximately 4,500 students per year. Traditionally known for its English language development courses, it is now seeking to transform its curriculum to focus on 21st century workforce development.  It would like help in developing a strategic plan on how to accomplish this pivot—what partners should it engage, what operational changes would be required, and how can it market this new more dynamic version of adult education to the community.  (Meetings on the Peninsula)