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Community Consulting Teams of Boston (CCT) amplifies the impact of Boston-area nonprofits through pro bono management consulting projects performed by teams of experienced MBAs from top-tier business schools.

Virtual Wrap Up and Project Reviews!

The annual CCT Wrap-Up Celebration was held virtually on June 23. After Co-Chairs Lorri Veidenheimer and Lisa Coney kicked off the evening by thanking both new and long-standing volunteers, the Zoom floor was opened to this year’s seven clients to share the dilemmas they faced, the learnings they gleaned and the impact they saw.

Linda Saris, Executive Director of LEAP for Education shared how CCT reviewed their messaging and communications for student recruitment to help them fill more seats in their programs. After interviewing an array of stakeholders for feedback, reviewing marketing materials and analytics, and creating a student journey map, the CCT team crafted targeted messaging and shared recommendations around segmentation, social strategy, seasonality and more. Many of these recommendations are coming in handy as LEAP recently launched a website redesign project. They can also now boast a waitlist for their program in Lynn!

Beecher Grogan, the Executive Director of Lucy’s Love Bus, emphasized the value of the self reflection the project fomented. A peer review and SWOT analysis helped them realize that after 15 years of helping sick children, they’re now at a pivotal point in the organization’s evolution where they need to invest in a full strategic planning process. After being a little “shook up in a good way,” the board and staff are now figuring out a plan to address their weaknesses, including succession planning.

Barbra Rabson, President & CEO of MHQP, reflected on the wealth of knowledge the CCT team contributed as MHQP planned to expand their patient experience surveys outside the traditional healthcare system to clinical trials and a more diverse patient population. To prepare them to enter a different industry and navigate a new line of business, the CCT team conducted a feasibility assessment, outlined the competitive landscape, researched regulatory barriers and opportunities, and identified which type of clinical trials to pursue.

Heather Wightman, the Executive Director of RIA House, was impressed by their CCT team’s ability to receive information as well as they provided it. RIA House asked CCT to help them survey their current participants about their experience in securing housing as survivors of the commercial sex trade. As they explored adding housing services, they also turned to CCT to understand the landscape of services from other organizations serving similar constituents. They’re already formulating their next CCT project proposal!

Kathy Marchi, CEO & President of three-peat client Samaritans, counted off the key outcomes of CCT’s project to better manage their volunteer pipeline for their 24/7 suicide hotline. She cited the team’s objectivity, curiousity and dedicated effort as factors to the clear impact they’re already seeing on their work, including maximizing their recruitment efforts, improving the volunteer selection process, and leveraging a dynamic scheduling tool.

Sean Rose, President & CEO of Thrive Support & Advocacy, couldn’t think of a better compilation of experts to help them figure out a way to diversify their funding sources. CCT explored the potential of Thrive building their own school, from the budget requirements and application process, to the market analysis and ideal student profile. In addition to a blueprint to follow, they now have a trove of data and analysis to help them become a better agency overall.

Eric Leslie, Lead Organizer of Union Capital, found that CCT uncovered opportunities that were under their nose all along, but wouldn’t have emerged without the talent and insight of the team. The CCT team interviewed over 50 stakeholders to guide UCB’s strategic planning, which now includes an investment in leadership within their network as part of their next stage of growth. In fact, the board of directors recently approved the budget to hire a director of leadership to drive this training and development.


Volunteer Profile - Valerie Godhwani

Current CCT role: DEI Task Force member with Tricia Craig, Alison French and Peter Ingram. We are working to develop a road map for CCT to achieve a more equitable, diverse and inclusive community. I was also a Project Sponsor this past cycle with an amazing team (shout out to Mate, Shelly, Cindy, Kristin, Erin, Karen, Blaise, and Vincent) serving RIA, Inc., an organization that provides support services to survivors of the commercial sex trade.

Volunteer since: 2010

First CCT project: Way back in another decade, I was a team member on a marketing strategy project for Friends of the Children Boston. This organization seeks out Boston’s most vulnerable children and provides 1:1 mentoring from kindergarten all the way through high school graduation, 12+ years, no matter what.

MBA: Kellogg

How did you discover CCTKellogg Alumni Club of Boston newsletter (I think I have Alison French to thank for that!)

Describe your CCT experience: I have volunteered in many different capacities with CCT, from a project team member to behind the scenes work on committees and the board. My favorite experiences have been on project teams working directly for the client. In the 11 years since my first project, there were only two when I did not volunteer on a project team.

What does CCT offer that other activities which vie for your limited free time do not?
I think my reasons for volunteering with CCT are similar to many others’. CCT allows me to make a meaningful impact for non-profits by utilizing my business skills. While working on these projects, I get to meet amazing CCT volunteers and committed non-profit staff, both of whom inspire me in different ways. I receive as much, if not more than I give. It’s a very unique value proposition.

What don’t we know about you? I am pretty terrified of being underwater due to some unfortunate childhood experiences, but I am currently pursuing scuba diving certification with my son. He’s studying marine biology, so our trips together have been focused on all things ocean related. I’ve spent 12 hours in the pool so far doing scary, scuba skills, and I will repeat these in the open water over two full days later this summer. Wish me luck!