CAP Brainstorms was officially launched in 2016 as a targeted way to work with Boston-area nonprofits on their management needs. Brainstorming sessions are three-hour meeting(s) to discuss and solve a clearly-defined challenge.  Typically 5-7 volunteers, all alumni of Harvard Business School or Harvard Kennedy School, will participate in each facilitated session.

Brainstorming allows CAP to serve a wide variety of nonprofit clients, especially those who are small or whose issues don’t fit with the CAP Consulting 7 month pro-bono consulting engagements. Brainstorming also allows alumni to put their skills to use in service of local non-profits with a limited time commitment.  Examples of recent brainstorming session topics include: succession planning, board governance, impact measurement and reporting, ways to increase an organization’s visibility and reach, staffing structures for continued growth, and more. 

To download the CAP Brainstorms application click here. To submit the application please e-mail it to CAP Executive Director Amelia Angella at

If you are an alumnus of Harvard Business School or Harvard Kennedy and are interested in volunteering with CAP Brainstorms, please click here – you will have the opportunity to volunteer on a one-time basis as your schedule permits.

Brainstorming Client Criteria 

  • Charitable nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status
  • Located in Greater Boston
  • A mission which benefits the community
  • An engaged board of directors
  • Stable leadership in the organization
  • Capacity/resources in hand to act on ideas generated during Brainstorming Session

Brainstorming Project Criteria 

  • Deal with business or management-related issues in the organization, such as strategic planning, organizational development, finance, or marketing
  • Not focus on development / fundraising strategy or implementation
  • Have goals which are well-defined and achievable by a volunteer team of four to six consultants during a two-hour brainstorming session
  • Have the sponsorship of the organization's leadership

Brainstorming Details

  • Client applications are accepted on a rolling basis
  • Phone interview will be conducted if application is selected to move to the next step in the process
  • A mutually agreeable brainstorming session date and location will be determined by CAP and client ED if the application is accepted
  • The client provides some brief background materials at least 2 weeks in advance to help prepare the participants to engage in a discussion focused on the brainstorming topic.
  • The client provides simple refreshments for the participants.