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Free "Consulting" Services for Non-Profits: Business Plan Development and More

Timeline for participation | Successful projects

What to expect: one partner describes their experience as our client

Application for interested organizations


Our senior capstone is designed to connect students’ coursework in business to the operations of a real world organization and facilitate transition from student to professional. Student teams function as consultants, with the guidance of a faculty supervisor, to analyze an organizational situation, develop recommendations, and implement an appropriate project by working with representatives from “client” community organizations. Each team accomplishes its project, completes a project report and group process assessment, and presents its results to the client. Additionally, our consultants may offer a 'green' assessment, to promote energy efficiency and sustainability (effectually finding cost savings for the org.). Overall, these projects will ultimately help organizations to better serve the community.

Timeline for Particpation: Fall 2014*

August 19, 2014 Online applications from non-profit organizations are due today. (Find the link above.)

Early September 2014
Please be available Wednesdays and/or Fridays from 2:30pm-3:30pm

Non-profit organization gives students a presentation about its mission, community roots, etc.
September-November 2014 Representative from the organization is available 1-3 times per month to consult with students as they work to assess its practices/plans for HR, marketing, accounting, etc.
Late November 2014 Organization representatives attend a formal presentation by students -- a reception of the business plan or other appropriate deliverables.
* Services are offered twice a year, in the spring and fall semesters.


What to expect: One partner describes their experience as our client

meeting presentation group photo
Meeting between our consulting team and the organization
Consulting team delivers end-of-term presentation
Organization's representatives (VSH President Lorraine Sakaguchi and VSH Community Liaison Denise Snyder) with their consultants


Dear Participants in Chaminade University’s Service-Learning Program and VSH Super Board Members,

I'd very much like to thank Chaminade University's Professor Wayne Tanna, Director of Service-Learning Candice Sakuda, and students Poerava Gantt, Corinne Irons, Clare Xiaoxiao Niu and Joey Ruiz for a wonderful experience that VSH Community Liaison Denise Snyder and I had with them as part of a recently concluded service learning course offered by Chaminade's Business department.

During the fall 2012 semester, as I've mentioned previously, the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii had a great opportunity to serve as a sponsoring community organization for Chaminade University's BU 470 Senior Field Experience course, taught by Professor Tanna. The course description follows:

BU 470 Senior Field Experience (3)
This course is designed to connect students’ coursework in business to the operations of a real-world organization and to facilitate their transition from student to professional. Student teams function as consultants, with the guidance of a Faculty Supervisor, to analyze an organizational situation, develop recommendations, and implement an appropriate project in a sponsoring community organization. Teams accomplish their project, complete a project report and group process assessment, and present their results. Service -Learning Course. Offered every semester. Prerequisites: BU 469.

Denise applied for us with Candice Sakuda, I believe.   VSH was accepted, and Denise and I gave a joint talk including a PowerPoint presentation about VSH, including our mission, why we believe our mission to be important and of service to the community, our history, our activities, our challenges, and our hopes for the future, to Professor Tanna's class of 15 students on September 7.  Eventually, we were contacted, and Denise and I had our first meeting on October 29 with the student team of 4 who would serve as our consultants.  We gave them a good amount of information about our organization during the weeks of the project, and asked that they help us to update our image, to increase awareness of our organization and our mission, and to help us increase student involvement on the college campus.

Denise and I found this project, on the VSH end, to be both challenging and satisfying.  We greatly enjoyed meeting with and interacting with some fine young people whom we hope will continue to offer their expertise and talents in service to others and to good causes to help the world.  They worked hard to give us the best possible help they could during the limited time they had with us.  We were thrilled to be present at their final presentation.  We thank them for their good analysis of our organization,  and for coming up with some very good ideas for increasing our membership and income, plus attractive and creative graphics makeovers for possible use for our logo, newsletter, T-shirts and membership application brochure, and free bus advertisements!

Denise and I appreciated Chaminade University's and Director Candice Sakuda's commitment to service-learning in offering such courses, and hope this worthy program will continue.  We were especially grateful to Professor Wayne Tanna for teaching this course.  He ably guides students in seeing how they can apply what they're learning in their business studies not only to benefit for-profit businesses, but non-profit organizations, as well, while acting as consultants to help a real-life community organization, in this case, VSH! 

If you represent a non-profit community organization or run programs for the community, we invite your participation. To become one of our "clients," please be sure the timeline above fits with your needs and your availability. Examples of projects are below. To proceed, please click on the application's link at the top of this page.

Senior Capstone: Successful Projects

Non-profit organization Overview of Organization Request/Issue for Students Our Consultants' Deliverables

Papakolea Community Development Corporation


Papakolea is a Hawaiian Homestead community in which the tightly knit network of kupuna and community leaders has taken major steps to shape its future through leadership of the Papakolea Community Development Corporation (PCDC) and a variety of community organizations.

The PCDC strives to promote self-determination by managing community center facilities; to develop strong and effective commnity leaders; and to mobilize broad-based community participation in civic life.

PCDC's Center sought to improve the scope and of its programs and services to over 1,500 residents of Papakolea, Kewalo, and Kalawahine Streamside communities. Since securing the Center, PCDC had begun rehabilitating the facility and had some ideas for further improvements. In working with Chaminade, the main focus was on rehabilitating the current kitchen into a commercial kitchen that could be run as an educational facility and a concession stand operated by the youth of Papakolea.

Adrienne Dillard, PCDC: "The BU470 students were crucial when we were looking to get funding for our kitchen project.  The idea had been around for 10 years, but they came along at that time when we needed it.  If that hadn’t occurred, the kitchen wouldn’t have been the reality it is at this time.  The students wrote our business plan, and that informed our grant-writing.  When we had to submit the grant, that was an asset...

"The students met our kids; they let the environment inform the service they were providing.  I really want them to see that the kitchen is now REAL.  How often do you see that? "

Friends of 'Iolani Palace & the Hawaii Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA )


The Friends of `Iolani Palace organization supports, guides, and manages Palace activities, providing caring stewardship for this Hawaiian landmark and national treasure. Its mission is to preserve, restore, interpret, share, and celebrate the unique cultural, historical, and spiritual qualities of `Iolani Palace and its grounds for the benefit of native Hawaiians, the people of Hawai`i, and the world.

The PRSA society is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals, with nearly 20,000 members representing business and industry, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms, and not-for-profit organizations.

Students were asked to prepare a written public relations plan to position Iolani Palace as a premier cultural and historical treasure, worthy of high recognition and regard in the visitor and resident market sectors, and as an institution deserving of philanthropic support.

“Iolani Palace was pleased to play a role in this excellent exercise to provide students with a learning experience,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, Executive Director of Iolani Palace.

Chaminade University business students Chelsea Taketa and Eugenia Lutali took top honors in the Hawai‘i Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America's first proposal-writing competition. The students honed their skills on preparing a formal response to a public relations Request for Proposal (RFP).

“We congratulate Chelsea and Eugenia for submitting a proposal that was clearly outstanding in every category,” said Ruth Limtiaco, CEO of The Limtiaco Company, who spearheaded the contest. “Their entry exhibited strategic thinking, a consistent theme and a practical budget, elements that are all essential to any comprehensive public relations plan.”

Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii (VLSH)

VLSH provides free or low-cost legal help to low-income Hawaii residents and the non-profit organizations serving them. Volunteers are critical, as they contribute pro bono services.

Attorneys, law students, and others are encouraged to volunteer, thus addressing the unmet legal needs of Hawai'i's low-income residents. Numerous different projects are available, including legal clinics and individual representation.

VLSH's objective was to increase volunteer recruitment of attorneys/recent law school graduates and retention of current volunteers who wished to fulfill representation of their firm’s volunteer work at an outside location through innovative networking opportunities and programs.

Students assessed past initiatives for recruitment and retention. Creative plans were developed to include social media and alternative venues for reaching potential volunteers. Ideas for marketing campaigns were presented as well.

Other successful projects and partnerships:

  • 808Urban - Business Plan and Fund-Raising Strategies
  • Hawaii Women in Film-making - Business Plan and Fund-Raising Strategies
  • Aloha United Way/Junior Achievement - Financial Literacy Projects
  • Hawaii Disability Rights Center - Media and Public Relations Campaigns
  • The Hawaii Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development (HACBED) - Advancing Mission
  • Mutual Assistance Associations Center - Accounting Assessment and Fund-Raising Initiatives
  • Hilopa'a Family-to-Family Health Information Services - Media Plan Strategies
  • The ARC in Hawaii - "Hiki no Hawaii" Retail Store Project
  • Homes for Our Troops - Non-Profit Business Plan Development
  • Better Business Bureau of Hawaii - Non-Profit Business Plan Development


Candice Sakuda
Director of Service-Learning
(808) 735-4895