Booth Alumni Nonprofit Consultants (BANC)
Is your Chicago NONPROFIT looking for consulting advice? Click HERE for a nonprofit application.
We are now accepting applications on a rolling basis for BANC through December 31, 2019 and will notify organizations by February 1, 2020.
Booth alumni, who want to apply for consulting positions, should find the application available here at the end of January, 2020.
Our mission is to leverage pro bono consulting services from Booth alumni to help nonprofits achieve their goals.
Who We Are
BANC is a Chicago Booth initiative collaboratively developed and supported by the Dean, the Office of Alumni Relations, and the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation.
BANC was created when Booth alumnae Gayle Haller, ’87 and Judy Maley, ’84 saw an opportunity to match the desire among Booth alumni to give back to their communities with the need for business-oriented help expressed by nonprofit organizations. It was launched with two pilot projects in fall 2015.
What We Offer
Nonprofits: BANC offers Chicago-based nonprofits the opportunity to tap into Booth alumni skills by providing pro bono consulting in a number of areas: growth strategies, process development and operations evaluations, performance reporting and dashboards, strategic planning, marketing planning, community engagement, and program evaluations. BANC does not provide fundraising strategies or advertising materials and does not implement recommended strategies.
Alumni: BANC offers Chicago-Area Booth Alumni pro bono opportunities to help nonprofits with the problems they face. Alums also deepen their knowledge of the nonprofit sector and have an opportunity to connect with fellow Booth graduates.
Consulting projects typically have four to six consultants and are completed over six months.
What BANC Can Do For Your Nonprofit
Here are some examples of how BANC has helped other nonprofits improve their operations:
- Financial Operations Assessment:
With its growth in clients and programs, a social services non-profit found that their financial processes and systems were fragmented; needed to be streamlined and its software package replaced. The BANC team conducted a number of current state process discovery sessions with members of the organization. Out of those sessions, the BANC team created process maps, identified a number of pain points, showed what worked and what could be made more cost efficient. The BANC team analyzed and benchmarked software packages of similar nonprofits and developed a list of business requirements for the nonprofit staff to incorporate into an RFP. This work enabled the nonprofit to create a detailed RFP for software vendors and immediately implement some operational improvements.
- Marketing Strategy for a new for-profit enterprise:
A social services organization had previously defined an income generating healthcare business to fill the gap left by deep federal and state funding cuts. The BANC team was engaged to develop a marketing strategy to promote its services to the right target customers. Through stakeholder interviews and research, the BANC team analyzed customer demand, pricing constraints, the competitive environment, and overall market drivers. They were then able to recommend target customers and partners, a segmented value proposition for the services, a pricing and promotions plan by segment, branding goals, and a roadmap for commercialization. Since the conclusion of the project, the healthcare business was launched and is successfully reaching its target customer goals.
- Data Dashboard:
A national healthcare advocacy organization needed a way to provide visibility into trends on growth and impact of programs across its organization. The BANC team was engaged to develop a Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) dashboard for its national office and affiliates that reflected the organization’s critical success factors. The team started the project by aligning the organization on relevant KPIs among various offices. Then, the BANC consultants worked with the board, staff and affiliate stakeholders to better define KPIs and its data collection strategy and analyze similar dashboard implementations by competitors. Through this process, the BANC team was able to provide a mock-up of a data dashboard to quantify and measure impact to improve resource allocation and services offered. The client was also able to use the dashboard mock-up as it engaged software vendors to support the solution.
What We Have Accomplished For Nonprofits
BANC consultants have successfully completed 19 projects, including:
- Strategic growth plan for an economic development organization
- Positioning, promotion, and pricing strategy for a highly-regarded Chicago-based early childhood program.
- Marketing plan to help a Chicago theater with two proposed strategic partnerships with the goal of increasing theater audiences at specific performances.
- Business plan for an urban farm providing social and vocational opportunities for autistic youth.
Who We Work With
BANC seeks to work with nonprofits that have the ability to provide meaningful projects and implement consultant recommendations. To be considered, nonprofits must meet the following criteria:
- Be a 501(c)3 or operate in the public sector
- Be headquartered in the Chicago area
- Have an annual operating budget of at least $500,000
- Have a full-time, paid executive director who has been in place for at least one year
- Is not undergoing a leadership transition
- Be able to assign a staff member and backup who will be dedicated to working with the BANC consultants and are flexible to meet after hours
- Have at least two more paid staff in addition to the executive director
- Have enough capacity to implement the BANC recommendations
- Attendance at a mandatory training session on April 14, 2020 in downtown Chicago.
Clients are chosen based on both the merit of the project and the ability of the engagement to attract volunteers.
What Nonprofits Have To Say About BANC
“The caliber of support and generosity of spirit towards a non-profit, non-paying client was unexpected and surprisingly uplifting for all those that worked with two BANC teams. The data analyses conducted, the presentation decks, and the interactions with board members and staff were top tier.”
- Emilia DiMenco, President and CEO, Women’s Business Development Center
“The BANC team exemplified the key value of Booth alums – an amazing bench of c-suite talent from across industry, coming together to examine process not just as it is, but imagine what it could be – all in the spirit of creating tighter efficiencies and broader solutions that enable social purpose organizations to more effectively deliver on mission.”
-Maria Kim, President and CEO, Cara
Current BANC Projects
Apna Ghar, Inc.
Project: In order to expand its impact, provide an assessment of future services needed, an assessment of the organizational changes required to fill those needs and how strategic partnerships may address capability and capacity gaps
Apna Ghar provides holistic services and conducts outreach and advocacy across immigrant communities to end gender violence. The BANC team will conduct a SWOT and GAP analysis, create a partnership screening template and provide examples of how strategic partnerships may address capacity gaps.
Chicago Children’s Theatre
Project: Develop revenue growth plans for both ticket sales and education programming classes that will further build their customer base and more deeply engage their new community
Chicago Children’s Theatre aspires to enrich our community through diverse and significant theatrical and educational programming that engages and inspires the child in all of us. The BANC team will examine existing customer demographics (for ticket sales and classes), identify target customers, examine competitive options, evaluate pricing alternatives and recommend local market activities to maximize returns
Illinois Medical District (IMD) Guest House
Project: Identify the current size of the market for IMD Guest House’s services; identify growth opportunities with current partners; determine possible new partners and quantify those opportunities
IMD Guest House builds community and healing by providing comfortable, affordable accommodations for patients and their families throughout their treatment. The BANC team will identify the current size of the market (based on diagnoses and other patient attributes) for IMD Guest House services with 5 existing partner hospitals/organizations as well as other possible partners, understand the structure and size of social services referral systems within each and assess awareness /barriers to usage of IMD Guest House’s services.
Loaves & Fishes Community Services
Project: Research and evaluate food distribution models and related space needs/utilization; assess which geographic markets to serve and perform high level financial assessment
Loaves & Fishes Community Services’ mission is to provide healthy food and impactful programs to promote self-sufficiency. The BANC team will assess target geographic demographic information; conduct interviews and perform research to understand the food distribution landscape; evaluate how to best provide products and services; and provide recommended next steps.
Urban Prep Academies
Project: Develop business strategies and operational tactics that will help them manage growth
Urban Prep Academies’ mission is to provide a high-quality and comprehensive college-preparatory educational experience to young men that results in our graduates succeeding in college. The BANC team will conduct a SWOT analysis and review other charter school practices, develop strategies and operational tactics to manage growth and achieve financial stability.
Alumni We Look For
BANC is seeking committed Booth alumni with a desire to use their management skills to benefit nonprofits through pro bono consulting projects. The projects typically utilize expertise in a wide variety of areas. We match the needs of the project with the skills required to complete the consultancy.
Alumni who have worked on previous BANC projects have had skills in the following areas: management consulting, market research, product and business development, technology consulting, financial systems management, financial analysis, communications, and sales.
Booth alumni in all stages of life’s journey are welcome to apply: professionals and entrepreneurs looking to give back to the community and to understand challenges unique to nonprofits, millennial's, stay-at-home parents, retirees, and alumni looking to strengthen bonds with the Booth community.
Alumni applicants will be matched with projects depending on skill sets and project needs.
What We Look For In Alumni Consultants
BANC Consultants apply and are chosen on a rolling basis. Volunteers come from a range of backgrounds but share a strong desire to use their Booth skills to help the community. In addition to that passion, we look for:
- An average commitment of two to four hours a week for up to six months, beginning from the start date of the project (This is an average estimate. Over the course of the project, some weeks will require more effort and other weeks none at all). Most of the work is accomplished during the week and during business hours.
- Individuals who have control over their schedules. with the ability to meet with the clients in their Chicago offices during normal business hours. Teams can have between three to five meetings with their clients.
- Professional and collaborative attitude with clients and other volunteer consultants.
- Attendance at a mandatory training session on April 14, 2020 in downtown Chicago.
- Only those who hold an MBA from Booth are eligible.
If you are not matched to a project, your application will be retained and considered for the next round of projects.
What Our Consultants Say
BANC volunteers report a strong sense of satisfaction in helping clients meet their specific challenges. Consultants also valued their experience for strengthening their understanding of the nonprofit space, for broadening their peer networks, and for the sheer fun of working with a team of Booth alumni.
“Volunteering for BANC was deeply satisfying. It was wonderful to help drive meaningful change, give back to the community, bond with fellow alumni, and continue to sharpen my skills.”
—Sujatha Shenoy, ’04
If you are a Booth graduate or work in a nonprofit, we hope you will consider being part of a future BANC project. For further information about BANC, please email: BANC@Chicagobooth.edu