Change the World Consulting

Change The World

Change The World Consulting (CTW) matches teams of undergraduate and graduate students with regional nonprofits, helping them address business challenges through a semester-long consulting engagement. A signature initiative of the Center for Social Value Creation, this unique experiential learning program has helped more than 250 organizations to date.

Each semester, our students spend 2,400 hours creating actionable deliverables that can be easily digested and implemented by our nonprofit partners. Student consultants practice and hone their business skills by working in small teams to tackle complex problems, and our nonprofit partners build capacity through the injection of focused student work. Management consultants from Deloitte coach undergraduate students throughout the process, helping to ensure high-quality, professional deliverables.

Student Consultants

CTW

Change the World student consultants have helped more than 250 organizations to date. Each semester, students spend 2,400 hours creating actionable deliverables that can be easily digested and implemented by our nonprofit partners.

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Results That MatterChange the World student consultants have helped more than 250 organizations to date. Each semester, students spend 2,400 hours creating actionable deliverables that can be easily digested and implemented by our nonprofit partners.

In this competitive, co-curricular experience teams of graduate and undergraduate students work with regional nonprofits to help them address business challenges and deliver more effectively on their promises. Throughout the semester student teams work to: set expectations with a client, develop a timeline for deliverables, and collaborate to determine strategic recommendations. Most importantly, student consultants play an important part in creating measurable change in their community. Most CTW nonprofit partners do not have the resources to hire professional consulting firms; this means that without the help of student consultants, important mission-driven work would be left undone.

Undergraduate student consultants also benefit from connecting and networking with professional consultants at Deloitte. Deloitte consultants serve as mentors for undergraduate teams, providing feedback and advice throughout the project, and answering any questions students may have with regard to pursuing a professional consulting career. 

The program is rigorous, but the challenge is worth it. Student consultants are able to capitalize on this experience by showcasing project deliverables to employers as real-world examples of what they can accomplish.

Project Selection

Projects selected for Change the World Consulting go through a competitive application process and are thoroughly vetted and scoped prior to posting for student consideration. Projects usually fall into one of the following functional areas: marketing, strategic planning, information systems, operations, human resources, finance, accounting, and organizational development.

During the student application process, applicants are able to rank projects based on interest. Accepted students are then matched to teams based on expressed project interest and relevant skills.

Student Testimonials

Students from all populations have found the program to be a critical component in both personal and professional development. More than 95 percent of students reported that their business skills improved due to their participation in the program and 90 percent of students were able to directly relate classroom concepts to their work. Check out what past participants had to say:

"CTW made me feel at home in the Smith School. It provided a community of individuals passionate about business acumen and positive community impact, proving that these goals can co-exist."
- Fasika Delessa '17, Management

"Nonprofit consulting with CTW really reaffirmed what my passions are and where I want to take my career professionally. Whether you want to go into the nonprofit sector or consulting for the for-profit sector, CTW prepares you to excel in your desired path."
- Rahul Shah, MBA 2015

"Working with mentors from Deloitte through CTW allowed me to really understand what it means to be a consultant. My team and I were able to bring real impact and by the end of the semester, I knew what I wanted to do with my career. The partnership with Deloitte allowed me to take advantage of a real consulting project and solidify my path to consulting."
- Sagar Doshi '15, Finance, Social Innovation and Philanthropic Management

Application Information

Applications are closed but will reopen for Fall 2018 in August 2018. Applicants are required to submit an online application and resume. Please check back soon.

Eligibility

The program is open to students from disciplines across the University of Maryland. In past semesters, successful consultants have come from Undergraduate, MBA, Part-Time MBA, EMBA, OMBA, and MPP programs.

Questions

Any additional questions can be directed to CSVC at csvc@rhsmith.umd.edu.


Client Organizations

CTW

Nonprofits and the social sector play a crucial role in the lives of many people. By enabling resources and providing services essential to communities, nonprofits are integral to the overall functioning of the economy and society. However, leaders are often consumed by daily operations and constrained by limited staff. This means that big picture projects that emphasize efficiency, scalability and capacity sometimes go left undone.

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Results That MatterNonprofits and the social sector play a crucial role in the lives of many people. By enabling resources and providing services essential to communities, nonprofits are integral to the overall functioning of the economy and society. However, leaders are often consumed by daily operations and constrained by limited staff. This means that big picture projects that emphasize efficiency, scalability and capacity sometimes go left undone.

By leveraging a team of Change the World student consultants, client organizations benefit by having additional capacity and fresh insights to work through challenges or tackle new initiatives. Student teams are coached by professional management consultants and matched to clients based on expressed interest and skill. This ensures that each student is committed to the project, and that each team can build on one other’s strengths to create innovative solutions.

Each semester, students spend over 2,400 hours providing free consulting services to clients organizations. Students create actionable deliverables that clients can quickly digest and implement to ensure value creation. Solutions developed are well researched and grounded in the latest academic teachings.

To date, Change the World Consulting has provided services to more than 250 nonprofits and social enterprises. Following completion of the program, over 80 percent of the organizations surveyed stated that at least 50 percent of student recommendations were able to be implemented, and more than 90 percent felt that deliverables met or exceeded their expectations.

Client Testimonials

Organizations across impact area have found the program to be incredibly valuable. Check out about what past client organizations had to say.

"As nonprofits grow they often encounter critical inflection points, challenging them to adjust their strategic models in order to move through barriers. Thread is currently approaching one such inflection point. We are working to build unprecedented capacity through the creation of new systems and structures to streamline internal operations.  Ensuring our staff team has the skills, competencies, and ongoing supports necessary to do their jobs efficiently and effectively, is of utmost importance. Our engagement with the ChangeTheWorld consultants was very helpful in identifying a professional development framework that met our needs, as well as the specific trainings and areas of skill development needed by our staff team. Additionally, the consultants went above and beyond to create a "rolodex" of resources we could reach out to and plug into our various professional development offerings." 
– Amber Earl, Human Resources Manager, Thread

"Working with a team of students from ChangeTheWorld allowed us to boost the capacity of our small and growing team. The students brought in a wealth of professional insight and a hands-on-deck for far-reaching data collection. Our team's insights allowed us to shorten our product development timeline and gain greater confidence in our final output."
– Rebecca Gallogly, Operations and Finance Manager at Impact Business Leaders

"We thoroughly enjoyed the experience working with a team of ChangeTheWorld students. Ours is a great success story as we were able to implement some of their recommendations immediately such as: completely redesigning our websites; rebranding; renewed emphasis on social media and we are embarking on a video marketing campaign. New young perspectives are so valuable."
– Trish Heffelfinger, Executive Director,  Maryland Soccer Foundation

Application Information

Client organizations are welcome to submit applications throughout the year. To be considered for a spring project, applications must be submitted before early January and to be considered for a fall project, applications must be submitted before early August. The program does not run in the summer.

All applications must be submitted online through EduSourced. To submit a project proposal organizations should create an account here.

Eligibility

The program is open to all social enterprises and nonprofit organizations. To maximize engagement opportunities for students, priority will be given to organizations located in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

Questions

Any additional questions can be directed to CSVC at csvc@rhsmith.umd.edu


Past Projects

CTW Past Projects

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Strategy

District of Columbia Urban Debate League

District of Columbia Urban Debate League works to ingrain competitive debate in classrooms across the district. They work with local teachers, school administrators and volunteers to start new debate programs and host tournaments throughout the school year where students can test the new skills they have acquired. One concern they have heard from teachers is that it can be hard them to educate the rest of the school on the value of the debate program, which creates hurdles when working to acquire funding. Consultants working on this strategy project will work with the District of Columbia Urban Debate League to develop a new volunteer role to help address this concern. Once the role is developed consultants will analyze the existing volunteer database to identify volunteers that could be a good fit and work to develop a best practices that could be applied in the new role. The District of Columbia Urban Debate League is based in Washington, D.C.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity is an international nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1976. From the very start, Habitat for Humanity has been devoted to building simple and affordable housing and has addressed issues associated with poverty housing all over the world. Consultants working on this strategy and program evaluation project will work with the Lee and Hendry Counties Chapter of Habitat for Humanity located in Florida to answer the question: What impact is Habitat for Humanity really having when it comes to long-term factors associated with the health, safety and general well-being of the families that they serve? To answer this question, consultants will collect secondary research from other Habitat for Humanity Chapters, analyze factors unique to Lee and Hendry County and suggest best practices for future data collection.

Montgomery County

Montgomery County, Md., is working with the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland to encourage restaurant owners to adapt more sustainable practices. Despite many programs that reward restaurant owners for making more sustainable choices, many restraints struggle to make the switch. Consultants working on this strategy project will work with Montgomery County and the Environmental Finance Center to conduct secondary research on the existing roadblocks that prevent restaurant owners from switching to sustainable solutions and collect primary research by conducting user experience interviews with restaurant owners that both have and have not utilized the programs offered by Montgomery County. Students working on this project will have access to the Environmental Finance Center, a research Center at the University of Maryland with expertise and experience working with Montgomery County, as a resource on this project.

NooshTube

NooshTube is a social enterprise based in Washington, D.C., that is working to help users capture their ancestry through food. Ongoing international migrations, global displacements, and diasporas can rapidly escalate cultural misunderstanding and conflict. NooshTube believe that culinary traditions are a universal means to maintain and promote intercultural understanding and bridge the gap between societal differences, and supports individuals in capturing their ancestry through food through an innovative online, private kitchen. Consultants working on this strategy project have been asked to answer the question: How can NooshTube use existing markets to bring together family tradition and cooking. During the engagement consultants will work with the founder to develop a business model canvas, conduct strategic positioning research, build out financial projects and start thinking about how to engage with external investors. Consultants working on this project should expect to meet with the founder periodically in person.

SOAR

SOAR is an online fundraising platform that connects deserving Baltimore City Students to donors interested in helping them fund costs associated with advancing their education, such as computers and prep courses. Students collaborate with their teachers to build profiles showcasing their skills and explaining their need. This summer SOAR was accepted into the Halcyon Incubator in downtown Washington, D.C., and is working to expand in this new market. Consultants working on this strategy project will work with SOAR to pilot their model in three D.C. schools, design and implement survey tools and develop a set of best practices for D.C. expansion. SOAR is based in Baltimore, Md., and was co-founded by a Smith alum.

Marketing

ArtsCentric

ArtsCentric aims to be the premier theater company - known nationally - for developing works created for and about people of color. Founded by 12 aspiring young artists in 2003, the company has become a significant source of enlightenment and entertainment for audiences everywhere. Last year, ArtsCentric produced 41 shows, sold 2500+ tickets and operated a three-week musical-theater intensive with over 20 students. While ArtsCentric has been around since 2003, the organization only recently became a registered nonprofit last year and is working to adjust to their new status. Over the last year, it has become clear that volunteer recruitment and retention are one of ArtsCentric’s major challenges. Students working on this marketing project will work with ArtsCentric to answer the question: How can board members and creative marketing tactics be utilized to grow a volunteer base? To address this question, consultants will assess current marketing strategies used by ArtsCentric, benchmark strategies used by other similar organizations and recommend how ArtsCentric can turn its volunteer recruitment challenge into an opportunity in the next six months.

Businesses for the Bay

Businesses for the Bay is a membership program managed by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay seeks to improve the water quality and protect the Chesapeake Bay by inspiring and supporting local action. The Businesses for the Bay Membership Association supports the larger mission of the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay by encouraging businesses within the Chesapeake Bay watershed to take voluntary and measurable actions to support protection and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. This project seeks to address the question: How can targeted messaging be used to increase awareness and interest in the Businesses for the Bay Membership Association to grow membership from 37 to 100 in the coming year? Consultants working on this marketing project will work with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to research and prioritize business targets, conduct industry analysis and develop a custom marketing strategy for each identified industry. The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is based in Annapolis, Md., and has worked with Change the World Consulting before. Consultants working on this project will be able to meet with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay team in person.

Eyes Wide Open Mentoring

Eyes Wide Open Mentoring seeks to empower homeless youth to rise above their immediate circumstances and take the steps necessary to enable them to have successful futures. They pair trained volunteer mentors with homeless youth and work to address the challenges associated with homelessness through relationships. Consultants working on this marketing project are invited to create a year-long marketing plan for Eyes Wide Open that will help the organization spread the word about the important work they do so they can attract a wider range of volunteers and funders and raise awareness about youth homelessness in Washington, D.C. Eyes Wide Open Mentoring is based in Washington, D.C.

Maryland Soccer Foundation

Maryland Soccer Foundation works to restore and revitalize soccer facilities throughout Maryland. The foundation was originally founded to raise funds to build and manage the Maryland SoccerPlex, but through this work it became apparent that there was a greater need for support. Today the Maryland Soccer Foundation manages the Maryland SoccerPlex, Discovery Sports Center, SAM Soccer, and a handful of indoor and outdoor tournaments. Consultants working on this marketing project will research recent demographic changes in Montgomery county, conduct psychographic research on new market segments and use this research develop a strategic marketing plan to attract new families to the SoccerPlex.

Shepherd’s Table

Shepherd’s Table is a Maryland based nonprofit that works to provide help to people who are homeless or in need by providing basic services, including meals, social services, medical support and clothing. Shepherd's Table recently relocated from their previous location to a larger building located near downtown Silver Spring, Md. With the move, Shepherd’s Table agreed to provide additional services and grow the number of meals they were serving dramatically. While the move has allowed them to quickly grow their impact, it has also created a fundraising challenge. Consultants working on this marketing project have been asked to answer the question: How can Shepherd’s Table develop effective value-based messaging to better communicate the true impact of the work they do and motivate new and existing donors to support them through this period of rapid growth? During the engagement consultants will audit existing messaging, work with organizational leaders and key stakeholders to identify common values that could be built into a greater messaging strategy and devise a plan for how Shepherd’s Table can quickly implement new marketing language to increase stakeholder buy-in. Shepherd’s Table is based in Silver Spring and consultants should expect to periodically meet with the organization in person.

SOUL

SOUL aims to empower student athletes through youth development programs. When SOUL was founded all youth development programs were focused on sports. SOUL has since transitioned away from this sports only approach, but their brand remains focused on this athletic element. They feel that this limits their reach are working to rebrand. Consultants working on this marketing project will help SOUL in this rebranding effort. Students will have the opportunity to develop new marketing language, make recommendations for website improvements and if interested, design new promotional materials. SOUL is based in Washington, D.C.

Trees for the Future

Trees for the Future is a global nonprofit that is committed to reforesting degraded lands by planting trees. Over the last four years, Trees for the Future has started to expand the focus on their work from planting trees to poverty alleviation and economic development through a forest garden approach. Through the Forest Garden approach specific types of trees and crops are planted in a systematic manner over a four-year period allowing families to support themselves and grow their annual income. Consultants working on this marketing project have been asked to answer the question: How can Trees for the Future alter their current messaging to better communicate the true impact of the work they do to multiple and sometimes competing audiences, while continuing to engage their longest standing donors? During the engagement consultants will assess key stakeholder groups, current messaging strategies and provide recommendations for a targeting messaging strategy. Trees for the Future is based in Silver Spring, Md., and consultants should expect to periodically meet with the team in person.

Write to Be

Write to Be provides mentorship and skills training for adolescent girls who are living at Espwa Orphanage in Haiti. Living in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, opportunity is bleak for young girls. Despite this, Write to Be aims to equip these girls with skills that can empower them to become independent when it is time for them to live on their own. Consultants working on this marketing project will conduct a marketing audit of the organizations print, digital and web materials, make strategic recommendations for visual and language improvements and work with Write to Be to develop a three-year marketing plan that features creative campaigns. From the project Write to Be hopes to better understand how targeted marketing can be used to introduce new stakeholders to their work. Write to Be was founded by a current University of Maryland graduate student and consultants will be able to meet with her on campus.

Human Capital

Baltimore Orchard Project

Baltimore Orchard Project strengthens communities through planting and cultivating orchards, teaching citizens to be orchard stewards, and sharing the harvest among neighbors. They work with groups of individuals on their land to create productive sources of food, neighborhood gathering places, and lively ecosystems that keep Baltimore’s communities healthy. This project seeks to address the question: Can effective onboarding practices correct for information lost due to turnover? Consultants working on this strategy and human capital project will work with the Baltimore Orchard Project to conduct background research on current onboarding practices, collect research through user experience interviews with board members and AmeriCorps staff members and develop recommendations for how Baltimore Orchard Project could better onboard new employees to ensure that they feel informed and prepared to do their jobs from day one. Baltimore Orchard Project is based in Baltimore, Md., and consultants should expect to meet with the organization in person.

The University of Maryland SAFE Center

The University of Maryland SAFE Center serves women, men and transgender individuals who have been forced, defrauded or coerced into commercial sex or forced labor in the United States. The SAFE Center was opened through a partnership between the University of Maryland College Park and the University of Maryland Baltimore. Consultants working on this strategy and human capital project will work with the SAFE Center to develop a strategic plan designed to help organize staff structure; analyze and develop employee protocols and programs; and advise the center on board governance issues The SAFE Center hopes to walk away from the project with a blueprint for how to optimize its effectiveness and efficiency in providing services, conducting research, and engaging in advocacy on human trafficking. The SAFE Center is located in College Park, Md.

Thread

Thread creates a new social network for students that need academic support by connecting students with a lasting family of volunteers. Volunteers work in small teams to mentor one student throughout their high school experience. As Thread continues to grow their need for talented employees only increases. Consultants working on this human capital project will work with Thread to determine which skills current employees should develop and will design and launch a professional development program focused on one area of skill growth. Thread is based in Baltimore, Md.

Finance

Food Recovery Network

Food Recovery Network unites students on college campuses to fight food waste and hunger by recovering perishable food that would otherwise go to waste from their campuses and communities and donating it to people in need. The chapter based organization was started at the University of Maryland and has grown to 191 college campuses. Food Recovery Network just underwent an intensive three-year strategic planning process. From that work they discovered a need for consultants to review and evaluate their current financial systems and processes, benchmark them against other organizations and provide recommendations for improvements. Food Recovery Network is based in College Park, Md., and was founded by three University of Maryland alumni.

Urban Ecosystem Restorations

Urban Ecosystem Restorations seeks to design and provide a new approach to urban landscapes. Their new approach performs the same ecological function that would occur within normal and undisturbed ecosystems like sustaining biodiversity. Consultants working on this finance and strategy will work with Urban Ecosystem Restoration to develop five case studies focused on this new approach. The intent of the project is to better understand the financial advantage of this new approach from the perspective of real estate development. Urban Ecosystem Restoration is based in Bethesda, Md.

Business Development

Impact Business Leaders

Impact Business Leaders works with talented professionals to advance careers in social enterprise and impact investing through workshops, executive coaching and personalized job matching services. One market Impact Business Leaders works closely with is MBA students. Impact Business Leaders has heard from both students and career services that it is challenging to offer robust programing in the social space. Consultants working on this business development project will work with Impact Business Leaders and early state social enterprises to develop a new product offering aimed at MBA career services departments. This product will help MBA career services departments prepare and connect MBA students to full-time jobs in social enterprise and impact investing. Impact Business Leaders has a Washington, D.C., office and the client contact is a Smith alum.

Vikara Village 

Vikara Village seeks to empower young woman through after school yoga classes focused on building positive body image. The program is similar to Girls on the Run, but with yoga. Recently Vikara Village shifted their focus and is working to expand into a new market. With this expansion, they are struggling to understand the appropriate price point for their classes, who their new consumers really are and how to market their services to these individuals. Consultants working on this business development project are invited to seek answers to these questions by conducting market research, building consumer profiles and developing marketing materials related to each target audience. Vikara Village was founded by a current University of Maryland graduate student and is based locally.

Operations

Community Forklift

Community Forklift is a nonprofit reuse center for home improvement supplies. They pick up donations of unwanted and salvaged building materials throughout the Washington, D.C., metro region. , they make the building materials available to the public at low cost and provide vintage materials for restoring old homes. Consultants working on this operations project will provide analysis and recommendations to improve the operational efficiency and customer satisfaction for a local reuse center that provides reclaimed and reused materials to the local low to moderate income community. Community Forklift is based in Hyattsville, Md.

Perfect Settings

Perfect Settings is a special events rental company that is working to become more sustainable. In this effort, they have developed a partnership with Bethesda Green. Consultants working on this operations project will have the opportunity to work closely with both organizations. At the start of the consulting engagement students will work with Perfect Settings to complete a sustainability assessment that allows companies throughout the region to benchmark, express and improve their triple bottom line impact. They will then develop a set of recommendations to help Perfect Settings strategically work to become more sustainable. Throughout the engagement students will have the opportunity to attend additional events hosted by Bethesda Green as they relate to the project.

Shelters to Shutters

Shelters to Shutters is a nonprofit organization that was founded by experienced property management professionals. Through an innovative approach, Shelters to Shutters provides a unique private industry solution to a public social issue by providing a pipeline of high-quality, motivated employees to the multi-family housing industry. Consultants working on this operations and market research project have been asked to answer the question: What are the true costs and benefit of employing an individual who has been situationally homeless for the multifamily housing industry? During the engagement consultants will collect secondary and primary research on the costs and benefits associated with the Shelters to Shutters approach, develop a quantitative model that explains these costs and benefits and construct recommendations for how this model can be used moving forward. Shelters to Shutters is based in Fairfax, Va., and consultants should expect to periodically meet with the organization in person.