180 Degrees Consulting was founded by Nat Ware. Nat had previously undertaken charitable work in Mozambique, and it was this work that made him realize that “in the game of social impact, method trumps money.” He realized that the effectiveness of funds is even more important than the level of funds, yet most non-profit organizations and social enterprises do not have access to affordable high-quality consulting services. At the same time, Nat realized that talented university students have more to offer than simply collecting money or raising awareness.
On one hand there were non-profits crying out for thoughtful advice, and on the other hand there were talented, creative students who wanted to make a meaningful difference. Connecting the two, the idea for 180 Degrees Consulting was born.
To test the notion that talented university students can add real value to organizations, a pilot project was undertaken, which was extremely well received by both the client and the volunteer consultants. Given the success of the pilot project, the first branch of 180 Degrees was established at Sydney University in Australia.
Further projects were soon undertaken. One of the first consulting projects was with the Crossroads Foundation in Hong Kong. The following feedback was given:
“The recommendations were immensely useful. Many have since been adopted, with significant improvements to the functioning of the organization as a result. It was invaluable to have someone come in with fresh eyes to think creatively and critically about how Crossroads could overcome certain obstacles to the provision of social goods.” – H. Mottee
The following year, 180 Degrees was approached by groups of university students in Sweden and Mexico who had heard of the success of 180 Degrees in Australia and wished to replicate 180 Degrees in their own countries. This was agreed to, and shortly after this branches were established at Stockholm School of Economics (Sweden) and ITAM (Mexico).
Since then, 180 Degrees has grown very rapidly. There are now 81 branches spread across 33 countries around the world, and each year 180 Degrees helps hundreds of worthwhile organizations to dramatically improve the work they do and achieve their full potential.