2016: The Year in Review

The mission of Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut Community Partners ("CP",) an affiliate of the Harvard Business School Club of Connecticut, includes:  supporting non-profits in the state with pro bono consulting projects and enabling Harvard Business School alums to engage in projects with non-profits in Connecticut.  In 2016, we made significant progress against these two goals. We are also proud to note that our work has been publicly recognized. To learn more about our recent accomplishments, see our 2016 annual report.

Important developments in 2016 include:
  • Consulting: We completed consulting projects for nine nonprofits in a variety of sectors throughout the state and were actively engaged in another five projects at year-end. Project highlights include: developing a strategy for a children’s museum to increase the number of visitors and members and showing progress on both by year’s end; working with a social services agency to measure the  economic value of 13 different business units; and finding new revenue sources for a dozen agencies all facing declining support.
  • Board Retreats: In 2016, CP conducted one-day planning workshops for the boards or planning committees of 2 nonprofits to help develop strategy and fine-tune governance.
  • Brainstorming: In 2016, five brainstorming sessions were held (two in 2015), enabling time-pressed alumni to work with clients on an issue of current importance in a single meeting. Some of the topics addressed included: increasing the number of volunteers for a parenting center; increasing revenues for an organization that uses classical music instruction to improve the lives of immigrant children and improving events; and increasing the interest in attending college among 8th and 9th graders for a public housing authority program.
  • Awards: In 2016, Community Partners provided two scholarships to outstanding non-profit leaders in Connecticut to attend the Harvard Business School program entitled Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management (SPNM).
  • CP received: One of the Governor’s Patron of the Arts Award for its support of arts organizations in Connecticut.
  • Volunteers: In 2016, 45 HBS alumni volunteered to work on CP consulting projects and brainstorming. In a survey, our volunteers for both activities expressed a high degree of satisfaction and a strong desire to return. 
  • Operation Match: CP inaugurated a service in 2015 to match HBS alumni interested in participating as a board member with nonprofit organizations seeking to fill vacancies on their boards. In 2016, over 25 organizations participated, and at least six alumni have been put in contact with nonprofits, and have either been invited to join their boards or to assume a suitable "get-to-know-each-other" role. 
  • Other developments:
    1. HBS Professor Allan Grossman discussed the issue of collective impact, the need for nonprofits to work with like-minded groups to resolve complex social issues, to an audience of nonprofit leaders from southwest Connecticut and to a group of HBS alumni over dinner.
    2. CP was profiled in the HBS newsletter from the Social Enterprise Initiative as a successful example of a smaller scale group.

We recognize that our success depends on the efforts and contributions of our volunteers. We would like to express our appreciation to those who helped to make 2016 another successful year. 

If you are part of a non-profit in Connecticut and would like to explore how we might help your organization, contact Jeff Krulwich, chair of our Projects Committee.

Tom Heckel, Vice President and Co-Chair
Andrew Traub, President and Co-Chair