Volunteering for Consulting Projects

Learn more about ACT project types, roles on projects, and ACT’s project cycle. Discover what suits your background, availability, and interests. The rewards are many - make an impact on a nonprofit you care about, learn new skills or hone existing talents, connect with GSB colleagues, and have fun!

Clients and Services

ACT are 501(c)(3) status or operate in the public sector. Clients range from small community-based nonprofits to university and hospital departments to government agencies and programs.

Alumni Consulting Teams can address issues such as strategy and planning, marketing, financial management, operations, organizational development, and expansion, depending on client needs.

See examples of past clients and projects, and common project services ACT provides.

ACT Project Roles

There are three project roles that vary by time commitment and project duration. In addition to volunteering on a project, you can volunteer to provide your expertise to a team.

Full Team Member Engage as a team of 6-8 alumni to define and analyze the client issue and make recommendations. Projects focus on a variety of issues such as strategic planning, finance, operations, growth strategy, earned revenue assessment, and marketing, over the course of approximately 6 months.
Fast Track Team Member Address a specific, focused, high-priority client issue as a team of 2-3 over a period of 2-3 months. Projects focus on a variety of issues such as developing recommendations for transitioning a board from reactive to proactive.
Project Lead or Associate Lead or Co-Lead The project lead/associate lead/co-lead role is critical to the success of the full team and hybrid projects. Leads guide the project process from beginning to end, working with the project screener and client to determine project scope and desired outcomes, coordinating the efforts of the team, and ensuring that client representatives and team members are engaged throughout the process. Being an associate lead to an experienced lead is a great way to learn the ropes. The co-lead role is for volunteers who want to share the work and the fun.
Expertise on Demand Volunteers who are available as needed to step in and help a project team on a specific issue. Recent examples include digital marketing and market research. Project scope ranges from a few hours to a bigger time commitment, depending on the volunteer’s interest and availability. To volunteer for this role, contact ACT staff at info@stanfordact.org.

Project Cycle

ACT projects are conducted once per year, in the Fall-Winter.


Apply for a Project (July)

  • Nonprofits inquire about ACT consulting
  • Project screener has phone conversation with nonprofit
  • Eligible nonprofits invited to apply

Develop the Project (August)

Project screeners meet with select nonprofits to:

  • Assure ACT can meet the client request
  • Clearly define project outcomes

Project Begins (September)

  • ACT recruits volunteer consultants
  • Project leaders meet with client to develop work plan
  • Team meets with client and begins its research and analysis
  • Full teams present findings to date in mid-course review (June & December)
  • Fast Track engagements conclude (June & December)

Complete the Project (March)

  • Final report: team presents recommendations to client management and board
  • Consultants and client complete online evaluation

Assess the Project (April)

  • 12-month follow up: project leader and team reconnect with the client to assess project impact
Alumni Spotlight
Fast Track Consultant, Stanford University, MBA Admissions Office II
MBA 2010

"ACT brings together all the best aspects of a Stanford GSB project: good humored and enthusiastic colleagues with strong analytic skills and a meaty problem to solve."