About ACT Projects

Explore to learn more about project types, roles on projects, ACT’s project cycle, and discover which might suit your background, availability, and interests.

Project Types

ACT projects take one of two forms: a fast track or full team project. The two types vary in scope, team size, time commitment, and project duration.

Project Type Project Scope Team Size Project Duration Estimated time Contribution
Fast Track Focused, specific organizational issue
  • 2-3 consultants
1-3 months
  • 25-30 hrs total/consultant
Full Team High-priority organizational challenge involving strategy or management
  • 5-8 consultants
  • 1-2 project leaders
6 months
  • Team member: 3-4 hrs/ week
  • Project leader: 5-6 hrs/ week

Project Roles

There are three primary roles that ACT volunteers fulfill on projects.

Fast Track Consultant Working in teams of three or fewer alumni over a period of one to three months, you’ll address a specific, focused client issue. You’ll coordinate group responsibilities and client interactions as best suits the team and client.
Full Team Consultant Part of a team to typically six to eight other alumni, you’ll work with the client and your team over the course of approximately six months to define, analyze and make recommendations to address the client’s issue.
Project Leader The project leader role is critical to the success of Full Team projects. You guide the process from beginning to end:
  • Work with the client to determine project scope and desired outcomes
  • Coordinate the team of consultants as they execute the project
  • Develop recommendation based on the team’s analysis

Project Cycle

ACT projects are conducted in a twice-yearly cycle.


Apply for a Project (January & July)

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

Develop the Project (February & August)

Project screeners meet with select nonprofits to:

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

Project Begins (March & 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 (September & March)

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

Assess the Project (October & April)

  • 12-month follow up: project leader and team reconnect with the client to assess project impact
Upcoming Key Dates for Volunteers
01 Jul 2021 Nonprofit Deadline to Express Interest in Fall–Winter ’21 Projects
18 Jul 2021 Nonprofit Application Deadline for Fall–Winter ’21 Projects
12 Aug – 01 Sep 2021 Volunteer Recruitment for Project Teams for Fall–Winter ’21 Projects
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."