Bridgespan’s strategy consulting engagements focus on results. Most of our clients are pragmatic idealists—people with big ideas for making the world a better place, who seek to build roadmaps for pursuing them. We seek opportunities to help them maximize the impact of their work.
We serve nonprofits addressing three broad sets of societal challenges: disadvantaged populations, environmental well-being, and civic engagement.
Bridgespan’s strategy consulting clients represent many parts of the sector; e.g., youth development, education, environment, public health, community development). Our engagements cluster around important strategic problems and issues of implementation, including challenges of growth, strategic focus, economic sustainability, organizational development, and performance measurement. At the heart of the work is a focus on what it takes to achieve results.
Every engagement is highly customized, focusing on the unique challenges and opportunities of the organization. Our work centers around framing the key questions, bringing data and analysis to bear on those questions, facilitating values-based discussion about important strategic and organizational choices, and laying out an implementation plan that encompasses the economic and organizational implications of the plan.
Bridgespan also serves philanthropy. This work centers on four broad sets of strategic challenges: clarifying the objectives of the philanthropic effort; developing strategies to pursue it; aligning financial and organizational resources to implement it; and defining sound performance measures to assess impact. We also partner with some philanthropies to work with their grantees on developing business plans for programs and initiatives in which they invest through our Philanthropy Advising service, and to help grantees build their leadership teams through our Executive Search capability.
In any relationship, the measure of success is whether the organization is positioned to substantially increase the impact of its work and has an implementation plan for doing it. In establishing our strategy relationships, we consider the following criteria:
Social impact: How significant is the issue for society and what is the organization’s potential to influence significant outcomes through its work?
Knowledge generation: Will the engagement lead to learning and insights that might be relevant to other leaders in the nonprofit sector?
Capacity to act: Is the organization open to significant change if that’s what’s required for greater impact—and well positioned to implement the plans that emerge from our work together?
Bridgespan’s capability: Are the challenges and opportunities facing the organization well-aligned with Bridgespan’s capabilities?