Mission Statement

SCNO seeks to accelerate nonprofit success by empowering talented students with knowledge, training, and hands-on consulting experience. Our two-pronged mission, focused on community development through student growth and interaction, positions us to become a preeminent social sector resource by fostering mutual learning across intertwined nonprofit and campus communities.


The Basics

Students Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations (SCNO) is a growing network of top university students dedicated to enabling the global nonprofit community to do more. By partnering with nonprofit and social sector organizations on short-term, solution-oriented projects, SCNO chapters are quickly becoming a vital resource to the nonprofit communities they serve. What’s more, these projects are completed entirely pro-bono, as student consultants are rewarded with strong, relevant experience applying lessons learned in the classroom to real-world problems organizations face today.

The National SCNO Organization exists not as a regulatory body for its university chapters spread across the world, but as a resource dedicated to helping those chapters thrive. It supports overall organizational progress, as well as the growth and expansion of SCNO to new communities as it pursues its goal to serve as the primary and most effective resource for nonprofits around the world.

The concept is simple – SCNO links talented students, who are eager to learn and gain new experiences, with nonprofit organizations, who are often constrained by limited resources. This creates a mutually beneficial relationship yielding powerful results. Small teams at each chapter apply their experience and objective analysis towards complex issues at a client nonprofit.

The engagement allows students to gain professional skills and practical consulting experience. Simultaneously, the client gains a dedicated team that delivers professional solutions while they focus on serving the community. SCNO is not an organization of theory and case studies; members work with real clients to develop implementable solutions to real problems.

Impact: We make a difference for the organizations and communities we partner with and the work we do for them is meaningful.

Quality: We are students first but our learning is based in industry best practices ensuring that organizations can trust the recommendations we make.

Drive: We are always student-led and run, fostering a self-motivating atmosphere of growth and creativity.

Stewardship: We are involved citizens of our community and partner with organizations to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Volunteerism: Pro-bono engagements ensure we never add to the burden a nonprofit carries, financially or otherwise.

SCNO began at the University of Arizona in 2000 and experienced great growth and success within its first few years. In 2003, a chapter of the group began at Michigan State University. By 2008 SCNO had spread to Northwestern University and then to The Ohio State University in 2009. Soon after, growth expanded rapidly as a result of SCNO National’s formation in 2011.

Although there is an increasing number of consulting organizations on campuses across the United States, SCNO is unique in that its members apply their personal skills and those they obtain in their course work toward complex issues facing local nonprofits. SCNO is not an organization of theory; members work with real clients to develop solutions to real problems. As articulated in the mission statement, a major benefactor of SCNO is the community. In most cases, organizations that apply to work with SCNO do not have the necessary skill sets, time, or resources to address certain needs. Because our clients work closely with the community, this lack of resources does not permit them to fully serve their mission and those in need. Clients love the opportunity to have a group of talented students create thoughtful and professional solutions while they continue to dedicate their resources to serving the community.