Project Application Guidelines 
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Project Year 2015 - 2016

Overview 

Since 1996, Community Consulting Teams (CCT)—Atlanta has helped nearly 200 non-profit organizations further their missions by assigning teams of volunteer Atlanta-area MBAs/professionals to business or management projects submitted by local  organizations.

CCT is soliciting project applications from non-profit organization that can benefit from the services of a CCT team.  Projects can focus on almost any area of business or management, but the project scope should be something that can be completed in about 4-5 months of volunteer time from a team of about 4-6 MBA/professionals.  Services are free of charge to the non-profit organization. 

For the 2016 project season, only 10 organizations will be selected.  Applications MUST be completed via the on-line application at www.cctcommunity.org.  Completed applications must be received by midnight Thursday, October 1st, 2015.  Accepted clients will be required to sign a Client Commitment Agreement outlining expectations.

Semi-finalists will be selected and interviewed by CCT board members in October, and finalists announced in November.  Projects will kick-off in late January 2015 and be completed in late May or early June. Project close out presentations will be presented to clients with designated CCT board member in attendance.

For more information on CCT or the application and selection process, please visit us at: http://www.cctatlanta.org and follow links to “Becoming a Client”. 

Or contact Susan Baxley, CCT Client Director at clients@cctatlanta.org  



Project Selection Criteria

Your organization should:

  •  Be a non-profit organization; preferably with a 501(c) 3 or equivalent designation 
  • Have an annual budget of under $10 million, although we do work with larger organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Have a designated paid full-time “executive director”
  • Be located in the Metro Atlanta area although you need not be headquartered in Atlanta—i.e. the local chapter of a national organization
  • Have dynamic leader(s) who are excited about working with committed business people, and who are open to advice from third parties
  • Have an engaged Board, and, in particular a member willing to serve as project champion

 

Your project should be something that is:

  • Central / significant to the organization and its mission/future
  • Well-defined and tangible; has specific topics to be addressed and deliverables to be produced
  • Able to be completed in 4-5 months by a 4-6 person team of volunteers spending about 8-12 hours per month each (i.e. about 150-350 person-hours)
  • Relevant to the skills, training, and backgrounds of our volunteer MBAs

 

Some common types of projects include:

  • Marketing strategies
  • Membership strategies
  • Growth strategies
  • Operational effectiveness
  • Business plan development & feasibility analysis
  • Organization design and resource usage 

Some types of projects we are less equipped to handle:

  • Fundraising strategies, campaigns, or activities; although we can help with background tasks like defining the financial need and develop key campaign messages
  • Board recruitment or development; although we can help with background tasks like identifying needs and gaps
  • Full strategic and action plans; although in the allotted 4-5 months, we can help with many of the plan components such as environmental scanning, needs assessment, customer or stakeholder engagement, and/or identification of strategic issues

Process and Timeline 2015 -2016 Season

Major Step

Timeframe

Request for Project Applications Published

Sept 1st, 2015

Applications DEADLINE

October 1, 2015

Semi-Finalists Selected and Contacted for More Information/Site Visit

October 5-25, 2015

Finalist Clients Announced

November 1, 2015

Team Formation/Orientation

January 30th, 2016

Team Kick-Off Meeting with Client

Early Feb 2016

Mid-Term Review

March 5th / 12th, 2016

Teams Complete Work

June 1, 2016
 Year End Social     June 2, 2016

 

Completing Your CCT Application:

Some guidance on completing selected questions

Organization Overview 

Please provide a brief summary of your organization

Fine to list your organizations mission verbatim here, but in addition, here or somewhere else in the application please provide some detail on what your organization does, its main projects and activities, the number of clients it serves etc. 

Provide the following information on your “Executive Director” or equivalent position.

Preference is given to organizations with full-time, paid Executive Directors. 

How many employees do you have? 

Tell us the number of full-time and part-time and also some information on volunteer staff.  A little detail on the different roles of the employees (particularly if you only have a few) is desirable.

What is the budget for your current fiscal year?

Many orgs list very small budgets for very ambitious operations, because they fail to include in-kind or donated services etc. Fine to list your “money” budget, but also a few lines about the extent of in-kind and donated services would help us get a sense of the true resources your org has.

What are your primary sources of funding?

A ROUGH breakdown of your sources of revenue is needed here. Nothing detailed but some sense of how much from grants, how much from corporate donations, how much fees, individual contributions etc. 

Have you previously used outside consultants---whether volunteer or paid? In what way and what was your experience? 

We need to know more than yes/no here.  What did they do for you?  What kind of help/deliverable? What did you do with it?  Is the current project at all related to the work they did? 

How would you describe the “culture” of your organization? 

Please give us a little detail here on what the atmosphere, corporate philosophy, etc of your organization is? Are there some guiding principles in your operation?

Potential Project Overview

What are the major challenges your organization currently faces?

IMPORTANT: This question and the next two are all inter-related.  That is, we want to know your biggest challenges, and then (in next question) some sense that a CCT project will help you address them, and then (in next question) some specifics of the product you are looking for. Please don’t just list challenges here, a few specifics are needed.  Not just “marketing” but “marketing to [whom] because without this [this problem] will result.  Not just “funding” but what kinds of funding. Have these always been challenges, or are they new ones? If new, why are they occurring?

What question or issue would you like the CCT consulting team to address? 

What is the big issue or two that the CCT team needs to help you with?  Be very specific. Not just marketing, but marketing to whom and for what purpose, etc.  Not just “planning” but planning for what etc.  And a little detail—if not provided earlier in your challenges—on why these issues are central to the organization.   IMPORTANT: Where you have lots of issues to address, please give some sense of priority to them as the team will probably have to choose among them. 

What would you see as the end result and deliverables/products produced by the CCT project? 

We need you to be very specific here.  A marketing plan that includes strategies to do [what] with [whom] so that we’ll have more/less [what].  Not just “operational plan” but process improvement in [which] areas so as to increase/reduce [what].  IMPORTANT: Where you have lots of potential deliverables, please give some sense of priority to them as the team will probably have to choose among them.

Why is it important for the organization to address this issue, and, in particular, why in the near future?  

In selecting finalists, we give priority to projects which meet a central problem defined by the organization.  So any information here on how solving this problem is central to addressing the organizations challenges will only help.

What role would you and your leadership team expects to play in our work? 

The biggest problem our teams face is clients without the time, energy, or person power to stay involved with the team, provide the information they need in a timely fashion, be available for meetings and consultations etc.  Any information showing how your leadership will stay involved, dedicating time and staff, setting aside regular meeting times etc is much appreciated.

 

   

2015-2016 CCT Client Application v1


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