Stanford Alumni Consulting Team IX

Stanford Alumni Consulting Team IX

Stanford, CA
Round –
Fall-Winter 2020
Project Type –
Project Focus –
Organizational Development, Strategic Planning
Organization Type –
Community or Economic Development

The Stanford Alumni Consulting Team (ACT) provides pro bono consulting expertise to nonprofits in a wide range of areas including strategic planning, marketing, earned revenue, financial sustainability, and organizational growth. ACT projects are customized to the specific needs of each client organization. Envisioned by a Stanford GSB student and co-created with an alumna in 1987, ACT has grown to be one of the largest pro bono resource providers in the San Francisco Bay Area. ACT is also active in Monterey, California, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, and Pasadena, California. GSB alumni volunteers donate more than three million dollars of consulting value annually. Since the program’s inception, 1,550 volunteers have completed more than 900 projects for 725 different nonprofit clients. ACT has supported 76 projects at Stanford alone, in 47 different schools, institutes, centers, or departments.


What training or educational opportunities should be offered to Stanford Alumni Consulting Team (ACT) volunteers to prepare them to be successful in meeting Dean Levin’s goal of ACT undertaking 50 projects over the next five years for organizations focused on racial justice?


The GSB has pledged to take action to drive change towards dismantling systemic racism. Truly making systemic change requires every part of the organization examine what it does, how it does it, and boldly transform itself. ACT has accepted this challenge by prioritizing work with nonprofits addressing systemic racial injustice and projects with stated aims to serve Black communities. Our target, set by Dean Levin, is to undertake 50 projects over the next five years for those organizations. To effectively meet this goal ACT recognizes its need to recruit and engage Black alumni and other alumni of color, and create a culture of embracing diversity, committing to equity, and fostering inclusion within its operations and volunteers.

Project Objectives

ACT is seeking a team to help it determine the best path forward to prepare its volunteers to effectively collaborate with team members who don’t look like them, nonprofit leaders who are Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), and organizations that serve BIPOC populations. Questions for the team to address include: Is there a baseline of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training that all alumni should receive as a prerequisite to volunteering with ACT, and if so, what should it include? Beyond that is there a desired level of training that should be offered, and what might that include? Would ACT team volunteers, Project Leaders, project screeners and Management Board members benefit from the same, or differentiated training? Would ACT volunteers who are white benefit from different training than BIPOC volunteers? Other questions to be answered: What is a reasonable time expectation for alumni to dedicate to training? How might ACT balance DEI training with other forms of training such as new volunteer orientations and project leader roundtables? Ideally recommendations would involve who would provide ACT training, taking into account that ACT’s budget will be severely constrained for the foreseeable future (as are all University budgets). Alumni who have experience implementing successful DEI training will be given priority as team members.

Useful Items

This is a Hybrid project:

  • Scope: Larger than a Fast Track, smaller than a Full Team
  • Team Size: 4-5 consultants, including 1-2 project leaders
  • Project Duration: 3-4 months
  • Estimated Time Contribution: 35-40 hrs total (per consultant)

Read more about the Fast Track Project Consultant role and the Full Team Project Consultant role.