CEL serves nonprofits, dedicated to making a difference

Programs for Nonprofits/Social Impact

Our students are informed by numbers, driven by principle. We challenge them to look beyond the bottom line and carefully consider what will make the biggest impact and do the most good. Learn how you can engage with students to engage their knowledge, passion, and WashU’s resources, to benefit your organization.

The Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) partners with local nonprofits and social impact organizations through three programs:

Taylor Community Consulting Program

Nonprofit Consulting. Community Impact.

TCCP matches our top-tier talent with nonprofits in need of fresh perspective and actionable recommendations. Whatever the sector—education, community development, public health, etc.—your agency receives results-based outcomes to positively impact your services to our community.

Not just more resources, the right resources

All WashU students—a diverse pool of talent and experience—are eligible to participate in the TCCP. This allows the CEL to ensure you have the right team for your agency. Depending on your needs, you are assigned a four- to six-person consulting team for an eight-week project.

Serving as social change agents within the St. Louis Community

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St. Louis is fortunate to have a thriving nonprofit community. In order to effectively serve the vast needs of these many organizations, we focus our TCCP consulting projects to make the biggest impact. Project areas include financial/operational assessment, marketing, strategic planning, and others. Projects involving fundraising and related corporate outreach are out of scope for our student talent pool, and as such will not be considered.

How TCCP Works

Step 1

Getting Started

  • Determine if you meet the 501(c)(3) criteria.
  • Fill out the online application.
  • For questions, contact the Center for Experiential Learning at cel@olin.wustl.edu or +1-314-935-4512.
  • If needed, our CEL personnel will contact you to refine your project scope to deliver the results you want in an eight-week time period.
Applications open»Early AugustLate NovemberEarly May
Team Starts Project»AugustJanuary
July
Final Recommendations»DecemberMayAugust
Step 2

Students Apply for Projects

  • While every eligible project is presented to our students, the students self-select based on skill set and interest.
  • Up to 18 clients will be selected per semester. If your agency is not selected, you have the opportunity to engage in future cycles.
Step 3

Your Passionate Team Gets to Work

  • The CEL considers experience and skill sets when selecting your team of four to six students.
  • One student is designated as a communication lead to work closely with you. The lead is responsible for providing weekly progress reports and any other communication needed.
  • Throughout the process, you will have direct access to your CEL leadership team.
Step 4

Final Presentations

  • Your CEL team presents conclusions and specific recommendations.
  • You choose key stakeholders from your agency to join the CEL leadership team and judges panel at the final presentation. Members of Enterprise Holdings and the Taylor family may also attend the presentation.
  • You have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. This allows the CEL to continuously improve our services while helping students improve their skills for future endeavors.

Testimonials for TCCP


"I am impressed with the level of experience and knowledge on our team. They not only understand what we would like to accomplish, they have helped us see beyond our initial ideas." — Rob Hibbard, Greater St. Louis Honor Flight


"The Taylor team efforts were key in moving our branding project forward after being at a standstill. We are very small, and the infusion of expertise from institutions such as yours is bringing key strengths to our organization." — Debbie Naucke, Executive Director, Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments
Read more about the project (pdf)


Taylor Community Consulting Program by the Numbers (2019–2020)

158

Students

34

Clients

8-Week

Project Length

4–6

Students per Team

Taylor Community Consulting Program is made possible by a generous endowment from the employees of Enterprise Holdings in honor of company founder Jack Taylor and his family.

Past TCCP clients include:

CHADS Coalition
Greater St. Louis Honor Flight
Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club
Kirkwood School District
Senior Service Plus
Center for Women in Transition

Olin/United Way Board Fellows Program

Board Governance. Social Impact. Leadership Development.

The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program impacts the St. Louis community as local nonprofit board members. Through a yearlong service with United Way, students engage with community leaders and develop valuable skills in board governance, interpersonal communication, and leadership.

Every United Way of Greater St. Louis Agency Is Eligible

The Olin/United Way Board Fellows program exists to serve agencies supported by the United Way of Greater St. Louis. There are approximately 175 such agencies in the region that could benefit from the innovative thinking, detailed analysis, and valuable recommendations Olin’s board fellows offer. In addition, this outside perspective is pro bono.

Our Olin/United Way Board Fellows serve on your board as a voting member for one year and are responsible for executing a project designed to provide lasting social impact. With such an incredible learning opportunity, your board fellow is motivated and vested in the future of your agency. In 2015, 70 percent of our board fellows continued to serve at the conclusion of their commitment.

What Board Fellows Can Do for Your Agency

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Past projects have focused on financial analysis, IT strategy and implementation, marketing development, outcome metrics, training programs, and creation of a young professionals board.

While every agency supported by the United Way of Greater St. Louis is eligible to host a board fellow, we have parameters in place to ensure successful outcomes for the agency and our Olin student.


Your Board Must:

  • Host fellow from January to December
  • Allow fellow to fully participate in voting and governance
  • Hold four or more meetings per year, plus additional committee meetings
  • Immerse fellow in issues, annual matters and responsibilities
  • Provide fellow with a mentor, usually a member of the board

The Mentor’s Role

  • Serve as liaison to the board fellow providing a full orientation to the board and its policies and procedures
  • Help the board fellow as he or she seeks opportunities and committee assignments
  • Assist in identifying a project relevant to the board’s current initiatives
  • Provide midterm and final evaluations

Olin/United Way Board Fellows Program by the Numbers (2018–2019)

25

Students

25

Projects

12-Month

Project Length

1

Student per Project

Testimonials for United Way Board Fellows


"Olin/United Ways board fellows’ hard work and innovative thinking is an asset to the nonprofit community and the many people across our region that we are able to help live their best lives." — Orvin Kimbrough, President and CEO, United Way of Greater St. Louis


"Call for Help has been involved with the board fellow program for the past four years. I am consistently impressed with the level of interest, experience and enthusiasm our board fellows have shown toward their involvement with our organization." — Cheryl Compton, Executive Director, Call for Help


"The board fellows helped shape and bring to fruition a business plan to form a business within the agency: a temporary employment service that works with ex-offenders to find jobs and immediately establish a work history. Last year, Employment Connection made $1.6 million, employed more than 220 people, and generated a profit of $225K to invest in other programs." — Brenda Mahr, CEO, Employment Connection
Read more about the project (pdf).


How United Way Board Fellows Works

Step 1

Begin the Conversation

  • Connect with Rick Skinner, Vice President for the Volunteer Center at United Way of Greater St. Louis, at rick.skinner@stl.unitedway.org.
  • The CEL leadership team assigns a board fellow to your organization. While only one Olin student sits on your board, the director and additional faculty serve as advisors. They ensure you have the expertise you need to achieve the impact you want.
Step 2

Your Board Fellow Becomes Immersed

  • Your board fellow works with his or her mentor, intimately getting to know your organization, its needs, and where innovative and cutting-edge thinking will make the biggest impact.
Step 3

Your Board Fellow Develops a Project Proposal

  • Your board fellow is responsible for developing a project proposal to solve a current business problem facing the agency.
  • Throughout the process, you have access to the director of the board fellows program and the rest of the CEL leadership team.
Step 4

Project Proposal Delivered to Create Lasting Impact

  • During the one-year tenure, your board fellow oversees a project need of your agency.
  • You have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to help the CEL and your board fellow improve their skills and service.

Past Board Fellows clients include:

Sherwood Forest
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois
Great Circle
Jewish Family & Children's Services
LifeBridge
The Salvation Army

Small Business Initiative

Delivering impact for the St. Louis economy is the idea behind the Small Business Initiative (SBI). This unique program connects passionate WashU students to small business owners in the St. Louis community.

Through a 14-week, team-based management consulting project, our students provide actionable recommendations that aim to directly impact the success of your business. Past SBI projects have tackled market research, brand audit, financial assessment, and operations assessment.

Designed for undergraduate students, primarily majoring in business, these projects help students build their consulting competencies and apply classroom learning to real-world issues facing small businesses. The ultimate success of your project will require your active and direct engagement.

Small Business Initiative by the Numbers (2019–2020)

48

Students

11

Clients

14-Week

Project Length

4–6

Students per Team

Does Your Small Business Qualify?

You may be eligible for the Small Business Initiative if:

  • Your business and customer base are in St. Louis.
  • You employ fewer than 30 people.
  • You've been in business for more than two years.

Past Small Business Initiative clients include:

Eye see me
Freddie Lee's Gourmet Sauces
Sew St. Louis

Take the first step to moving your business forward.

Follow the steps below. See also our programs for nonprofits and startups.

How Small Business Initiative Works

Step 1

Begin the Conversation

  • Determine if you meet the 501(c)(3) criteria.
  • Fill out the online application.
  • For questions, contact the Center for Experiential Learning at cel@olin.wustl.edu or +1-314-935-4512.
  • If needed, our CEL personnel will contact you to refine your project scope to deliver the results you want within the 14-week time period.
Step 2

Your Customized Team Gets to Work

  • Your team will include a student lead who is tasked with managing the team under the CEL’s oversight, and who will provide weekly progress reports and communication to your organization’s point person.
  • Throughout the process, you will have direct access to the CEL leadership team and a St. Louis Economic Development representative.
Define Project»Early AugustEarly January
Team Starts»Late AugustMid January
Final Recommendationss»Early DecemberEarly May
Step 3

Final Presentations

  • You choose key stakeholders from your organization to join the CEL team members, faculty advisor, and CEL leadership team for this final presentation.
  • Your CEL consulting team outlines its conclusions and specific recommendations for your business challenge.