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Positive Coaching Alliance

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Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education

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Aquarium of the Bay

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Hanna Boys Center

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HandsOn Bay Area

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Asian Art Museum

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Ceiba Public Charter Schools

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Aquarium of the Bay

The Aquarium is pursuing 2 separate Community Partners Projects:

1)Marketing Research Targeting Local and Regional Audiences

2)Assessment and Recomendations for Improved Organizational Development 

Project 1:  In-depth marketing research targeting 

The Aquarium’s revenue model is heavily dependent on gate admission. While we have a reliable audience among tourists visiting Pier 39, we see a significant growth opportunity among local and regional residents—particularly during the off-season when we have the most capacity for increasing attendance. In addition, connecting more effectively with this audience is central to our mission of promoting conservation of our regional watershed.

We need to identify and prioritize the investments and marketing activities that will improve our reputation among local audiences and increase awareness within the scope of our resources.

The Aquarium is interested in a Community Partners team to develop the following market research:

1.  A quantitative and qualitative report on the visitor experience within this segment.  

  • Who exactly are our (local and regional) customers and what do they want? 
  • To what extent do we meet their expectations and in what ways do we fail to deliver? 
  • What are the demographics of our most promising local and regional customers? 
  • Where are the greatest opportunities for improvements to meet their expectations and increase attendance within this market? 

2.  Identify long-term priorities for improving the aquarium experience based on visitor research. We hope to incorporate these priorities into the strategic plan being developed by Blue Earth Consultants (Blue Earth is primarily focusing its research on stakeholders on the nonprofit side of the enterprise, as opposed to attraction visitors.) 

3.  Analyze local and regional marketing opportunities. 

  • Who are our best targets for local and regional marketing?
  • What are the most promising channels for reaching this audience in a cost-efficient manner? 

Project 2:  Assessment and recommendations for improved organizational development 

The combined organization of Aquarium of the Bay and the Bay Institute is in the midst of significant growth and change. The 2009 merger created a unique hybrid: a revenue-driven business combined with a mission-driven nonprofit, each with its own processes and culture. In addition, our operation is growing. We have added new business operations including a 270-seat theater, new departments for sales and fundraising, and new activities including social media, legislative advocacy, and a membership program. 

To help the combined organization achieve its ambitious vision to create a phenomenal, re-imagined waterfront Aquarium attraction over the next 5-10 years and to become the leading voice for the San Francisco Bay, the Aquarium would like to invest appropriately in its organization to achieve a new level of organizational effectiveness.

The Aquarium would like assistance from a Community Partners team to:

1. Conduct a thorough review of our organizational effectiveness—org charts, decision models, business processes, use of technology, etc. 

2. Present a prioritized set of OD recommendations for short- and long-term improvements to effectiveness.


Our Impact...
  • Over 700 alumni have volunteered for probono engagements since 1986.
  • Over 130 alumni have participated in brainstorming projects in the past 2 years. 
  • We have served over 400 clients in the past 27 years.
  • We provide $1.8 million of probono consulting services annually. 
  • We received the President's Council Award on Service and Civic Participation in 2008.
  • We organized the first Nonprofit Board Summit for HBS and Stanford GSB Alumni, partnered with HBS Social Enteprise Initiative, Stanford Alumni Consulting Team, Stanford GSB Center for Social Innovation, Draper Richards Kapland Foundation and LinkedIn with over 300 people in attendance.
  • We are the longest running Community Partners project (other programs exist in NYC, Boston, CT, Portland, Los Angeles and London).
  • We have enabled our alumni to get involved and to make meaningful contributions in their community in a variety of ways --  through short-term (brainstorming sessions), medium-term (consulting projects), and long-term (board member) commitments. 
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