The Minerva Project

November 21, 2011
Natalie Hambalek
Natalie Hambalek

An intentional collaboration between non-profit organizations who need help and Professional Consultants who want to make a contribution to changing our social landscape for the good while sharpening their own skills.

The current economy has undoubtedly proved to be a tough obstacle to climb over throughout the past few years - so why not make the best out of it? George Moskoff and a group of consultants decided to do just that. The Minerva Project is a partnership that arose from two major trends: Non-profit organizations are seeing increased demand for services coupled with sagging donations. As many of the 1.6 million agencies in the U.S. agencies are challenged by a 10-20% reduction in funding, shortages of talent combined with an increased demand for services. Consultants, faced with cutbacks in their clients' spending, need projects to keep their talents sharp and up to par. Due to the harsh economic times, the consultants business is reportedly off by as much as 80%.

Trying to make good come from the situation, Moskoff reached out to the University. First he did a pro bono Assessment of Perceptions of CCE Community Partners, which includes recommendations to launch our e-newsletter and this blog. Then in 2009, Moskoff launched The Minerva Project.

The project aims to "inject some order, insights and forethought into this chaotic, "free-market" process in the Non-Profit Sector." It helps to pair consultants with local non-project organizations. The consultants then offer their services pro-bono. Their website states, "this is a call for us to work together -- to model what we preach -- to do something remarkable as we build a more functional ecosystem in which Non-Profits can thrive through this difficult point in time. "These connections have brought upon many great things. Their clients come from a wide variety of community organizations including Senior Day Care, Free Children's Theatre, Mentoring, Higher Education, After School Programs, Family and Homeless Shelters. The carefully thought out and sometimes complex tasks that the consultants do with these agencies include things from simply balancing a budget, to preparing for an audit. The Minerva Projects end goal is ultimately increased effectiveness and service quality improvements for each agency.This project has shown to be extremely helpful to for the University, local non-profits, and the consultants.

To learn more about The Minerva Project, visit their website.