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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to questions we've received from prospective volunteers. If you have additional questions, we recommend you:

  1. Reach out to volunteer@cctboston.org.

  2. Attend a general information session that CCT holds each fall to provide prospective volunteers with an overview of CCT and Q&A on the volunteer experience.

  3. Learn about the volunteer timeline, roles, and application process under Becoming a Volunteer.

  • How many volunteers does CCT have?
    Since its inception in 1990, CCT has had approximately 850 volunteers. Each year there are typically 60-90 people volunteering.
  • How many projects does CCT undertake each year?
    The number of projects can vary, but we typically do 7-11 projects. The number undertaken is a function of how many client applicants meet our acceptance criteria and how many qualified volunteers apply for that particular project cycle.
  • How many people are on a team?
    Project teams typically consist of 6-8 team members, in addition to 2 Co-Project Managers and a Project Sponsor, who serves as a liaison between the project team and the CCT board.
  • How much time to I need to commit to volunteer on a project?
    While the number of hours may vary week-to-week, CCT volunteers contribute an average of 3-5 hours per week during a 5-month project enagement. Projects typically last from January through late May or early June. Each team will determine the best time to meet (online or in-person) as a group.
  • What qualifications are necessary for becoming a CCT volunteer?
    In terms of availability, they must be able to commit 16-20 hours per month for the duration of the 5-month project cycle. In terms of eligibility, CCT volunteers need to demonstrate significant professional experience, so that they may apply their capabilities to researching, analyzing and solving our clients’ strategic issues. Our volunteers have worked in many industries and functional areas such as marketing, sales, operations, organizational behavior, finance, general management, business development, strategic planning, and consulting. While not a requirement, volunteers often hold a MBA or other advanced degree. CCT recruits volunteers through alumni associations of leading business schools, including Booth, Columbia, INSEAD, Kellogg, Sloan, Stanford, Tuck, Darden, Wharton, and Yale. All MBAs and experienced professionals are welcome to apply.
  • I don't have an MBA, but I have another graduate degree. Can I volunteer for CCT?
    Yes! While CCT actively recruits alumni of top MBA programs, we also accept volunteers with other advanced degrees (e.g. DBA, PhD, MPA/MPH) or professional qualifications that will enable the volunteer to make relevant and meaningful contributions to a project team. Applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • What factors are considered when assigning volunteers to project teams?
    Once CCT has a list of projects that is under consideration for a given project cycle, it sends out this list to everyone who has expressed interest in volunteering for that year. Volunteers then rank their preferred projects. When forming teams, CCT considers many volunteer factors, including: 1. Their project preferences 2. The applicability of their skill sets and work experience to the projects 3. Their expressed areas of interest 4. Their volunteer experience (we look for a mix of new and returning volunteers on each team) 5. Their logistical availability for team meetings (we try to place people on teams with other volunteers who have similar time/location availability)
  • What percentage of CCT's volunteers are new versus experienced?
    In any given year, approximately 60% of volunteers are new and 40% are returning volunteers.
  • What is CCT’s strategy around diversity?
    CCT recognizes that diversity and belonging are not a terminal destination — Equity, Diversion, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) is a journey that must be continually addressed. In that vein, CCT has created an EDIB Committee to advise and recommend organizational and process changes to CCT leadership. Learn more about our commitment to diversity here: https://www.cctboston.org/our-commitment-edib
  • When and where do teams meet?
    Meeting locations and times vary among project teams. Project Managers work with their team members to identify times and locations that are generally convenient for the group as a whole. Some teams prefer weekdays, other prefer weeknights, and still others prefer to meet on weekends (or any combination of these days and times). Locations vary from Zoom, to public buildings such as libraries, to team members' places of employment or homes. During the pandemic, team meetings have been virtual.
  • Will I be able to select the project that I'm assigned to?
    Volunteers are requested to rank their project choices, which CCT then considers in making project assignments. Here's the typical process for selecting and staffing projects: 1. Client applications are reviewed 2. Clients are interviewed 3. Projects are identified 3. CCT conducts client site visits 4. CCT's Board approves the clients and projects 5. Project descriptions are provided to volunteers for their review 5. Volunteers rank project choices 6. CCT's Volunteer Committee selects teams for projects based on a number of factors, including volunteer project preference
  • Do I need to select CCT projects that are close to where I live or work?
    Even before the pandemic, we found that client location did not need be a critical factor in driving a volunteer's project preferences. CCT clients are usually willing to meet with teams at a mutually convenient location. Many, if not all communications for some teams, may be conducted by phone, email or Zoom.
  • Although I currently have the time to volunteer, I'm not certain whether I'll be available for the duration of the project. Can I withdraw from my project if I'm unable to continue?
    CCT strongly encourges volunteers to make their best effort to remain on their team until their project is completed. We have built flexibility into the volunteer role to accomodate typical demands of career and family. There are many ways that a volunteer can fulfill the commitment, and teams can generally accommodate a volunteer's occasional (and temporary) inability to participate, when a volunteer is out of town or temporarily weighed down by work obligations. However, if you feel that there is a good chance that a job search, extensive work travel, or other life circumstances are likely to affect your ability to complete a project, we would prefer that you not volunteer at this time.
  • What are the next steps to becoming a CCT volunteer?
    In order to participate in the annual project cycle that begins in December/January, prospective volunteers must complete an application by early-mid November.
  • What kind of deliverables do teams provide to clients?
    Final deliverables typically consist of strategic recommendations presented to board and senior staff members, with supporting slides, documents and exhibits, often in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. They may also include recommendations for implementation, although the actual implementation is the responsibility of the client.
  • Does CCT receive feedback from clients after projects have been completed, letting them know whether their recommendations have been implemented successfully?
    Yes, CCT follows up with clients for feedback immediately following project completion, and again one year after project completion. Clients consistently express enthusiastic appreciation for CCT's services, and frequently remark that CCT's insights have been "game changers" for their organizations. Our follow-up surveys show that even a year after projects have been completed, plans inspired by CCT's work continue to guide current decision-making.
  • Do CCT project teams have enough participation from historically excluded groups to properly serve our clients and the communities they serve?
    The CCT leadership, along with the EDIB Committee recognize that we need to adapt our volunteer outreach to staff diverse project teams that are more representative of our clients and the communities they serve. CCT leadership, in conjunction with its EDIB Committee, are adjusting volunteer recruitment and placement strategies to nurture, support and authentically make CCT a home for all. You can learn more about our commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging here: https://www.cctboston.org/our-commitment-edib
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