Volunteering for Consulting Projects

Learn more about ACT clients, project roles, and ACT project cycles. 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 alumni, and have fun!

Clients and Services

AACT clients typically fall under 501(c)(3) status or operate within the public sector. They encompass a diverse range, including small community-based nonprofits, university and hospital departments, as well as government agencies and programs.

Alumni Consulting Teams are built to tackle a variety of issues based on client needs and team expertise. Project focus areas include strategy and planning, marketing, financial management, operations, and organizational development and more.

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

ACT Project Roles

There are three project roles that differ in time commitment and project duration. As an alternative to volunteering on a project, you can also provide your expertise as an “expert on demand.”

Full Team Member Engage on a team of 6-8 alumni that defines and analyzes the client issue and makes 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 6-9 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.
Project Lead or Associate Lead or Co-Lead Manage the project team and clients from beginning to end. The project lead or co-lead works closely with the client to define project scope and desired outcomes,coordinates the efforts of the team, and ensures that client representatives and team members are engaged throughout the process. The project lead role is critical to the success of the Full Team and Fast Track engagements.
Expertise on Demand Assist project teams as required with particular issues, utilizing expertise in specific domains. To volunteer for this role, contact ACT staff at info@stanfordact.org.

Project Cycle

ACT projects kick off once a year in the fall. Project setup starts in the summer and projects take place over 3 or 6 months.


(Pre-Kickoff) Client Recruitment (July)

  • Nonprofits inquire about ACT
  • Applicants screened based on ACT eligibility criteria
  • Selected nonprofits invited to apply

Project Development & Volunteer Recruitment (August-September)

Project screeners meet with select nonprofits to:

  • Clearly define project scope and deliverables with nonprofits
  • ACT recruits volunteers for specific project role
  • Match volunteer consultants with project requirements

Project Engagement (September-February)

  • Mandatory ACT Kickoff Orientation with all volunteer consultants
  • Project leaders meet with client to jointly develop and agree on a work plan
  • Participate in regular ACT team/client meetings
  • Full Project teams present findings to date in mid-course review (December)
  • Fast Track engagements conclude (December)

Project Wrap Up (March)

  • Full project teams present to client leadership
  • Consultants and client complete online evaluation and recommendations

One Year Anniversary Assessment (April)

  • Project leader and team members 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."