HBS alumni are experienced in successfully helping businesses address tough challenges. Consulting projects are an opportunity for alumni volunteers to lend their highly transferable skills to the nonprofit sector. These projects are three-four month strategic consulting engagements with a group of 3-5 alumni who conducts a deep dive to tackle a broad challenge or opportunity.

All projects will be operating virtually until further notice.

  • Designed to create significant strategic impact on the organization.
  • Addresses business-related issues within the organization such as strategic planning, organizational development, finance, and marketing.
  • Scaled and focused, to be completed by a volunteer team of 3-5 consultants working 2-4/hrs per week individually over 3-4 months.
  • Examples of typical 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 (excludes direct fundraising activities)
  • See our former client list.
  • Project Kickoff – 2 hours
    • This is the initial meeting between clients and alumni volunteers. It’s an opportunity to share an introduction of the organization and to review the current challenges. The project team has an opportunity to ask questions and gather information to better understand the organization and the project. The scope of the project and project plan will be captured in an Engagement Letter.
  • Volunteer Team Work – 3-4 month, 2-4 hours/week
  • Milestone Presentations – 1 hour
    • The project team will prepare interim and final presentations of their results to share with all the key and executive stakeholders, often including Board members.
  • Step 1: Clients are encouraged to submit an Inquiry Form prior to an application. After an initial phone conversation confirming fit, organizations should submit a project application before the deadline.
  • Step 2: Download the Consulting Application for Nonprofits.
    • Applications are accepted twice a year. Deadlines are July 15 for a Fall project and November 15 for a Winter/Spring project.
  • Step 3: The Community Partners Steering Committee will review applications, meet with prospective clients, and select projects within 1 month post the application deadline.
Our clients are social enterprises who generally have 501(c)3 status, and whose mission benefits the community. Our clients typically focus on improving the social, economic, cultural, health, environmental, or educational conditions in communities, often concentrating on populations who are under-served by other institutions. We do not accept clients or projects that seek to advance a religious or partisan agenda. Our tax-exempt status prohibits us from interference in, or coordination with, political campaigns or any endorsement of a political candidate. The acceptance of a client does not imply any direct endorsement or support of HBS Community Partners for that client’s mission.

Consulting applicants must:
  • Be in operation for over a year
  • Be staffed with a full-time Executive Director in place for at least a year and have at least 2 other paid staff members
  • Have an annual operating budget of at least $500,000
  • Step 1: View the list of current projects.
  • Step 2: Click “Volunteer Now” below and indicate the specific project you’d like to join.
  • Step 3: You will be contacted with next steps, which will include filling out a brief questionnaire and participating in a short phone interview.
  • Step 4: Team assignments will be shared via email within a month of your submission. Project placement will not only be based on interest and volunteer experience, but also on matching skills for the project and matching team member schedules.