Bridgespan Announces New Online Education Programs Designed for Nonprofit and NGO Executive Teams

05/06/2019 |


2019 Leadership Accelerator programs to address challenges faced by nonprofit and NGO executive teams with online lessons, guided team activities, and tools to improve management practices and impact
BOSTON, May 06, 2019–The Bridgespan Group has announced the launch of Achieving Strategic Clarity, an online and team-based program designed to help nonprofit leaders get clear on the impact they want to achieve for the communities they serve. It is the second in a series of programs Bridgespan is developing for its “Leadership Accelerator” initiative, which launched in September 2018. Registration for the program is open now. Bridgespan will also host a free introductory webinar  at 3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. PT on May 20th for those curious to learn more.  According to Preeta Nayak, a Bridgespan partner helping to lead the initiative, “The Accelerator is the first of its kind. Focused exclusively on executive teams, it offers innovative programming that combines online lessons with powerful conversations for nonprofit executive teams, giving them the processes and tools to improve their management skills and accelerate their impact.”

“Nonprofit executives wrestle with big challenges every day, and need solutions that they can put to work immediately,” added Meera Chary, a principal in Bridgespan’s San Francisco office. “For 20 years, Bridgespan has advised hundreds of nonprofit organizations on issues related to strategy and leadership. With the Accelerator, we’ve combined our deep experience with expertise about how leaders best learn online, so that we can bring powerful tools and practices to thousands of nonprofit and NGO leaders around the globe.”  

Bridgespan launched its first program of the Leadership Accelerator, Investing in Future Leaders (IFL), in September 2018, with a cohort of 19 organizations. Another IFL cohort started in March 2019 with 23 nonprofit organizations. “Several participating organizations have been India-based NGOs; the accessible price point and digital format make the programs ideal for Indian and other U.S and  global organizations, who may have limited access to management and strategy resources,” said Chary. 

The second program in the series, Achieving Strategic Clarity, launches in September 2019. Both this and the IFL programs that will be offered in September are self-paced and take participating teams about two hours a week over 16 weeks to complete. 

In describing why his organization participated in Investing in Future Leaders Matt Pritchard, President and Executive Director at Boston-based HomeStart said, “We needed a way to deliberately, systematically, and equitably provide opportunities for our people to grow.” Another participant, Christa Gannon, Founder & CEO of Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), located in the San Francisco Bay Area, noted “At FLY now we have a very clear plan for critical parts of the talent that we want to develop and how to do it.” The program has impact at the individual level as well. FLY’s COO, Ali Knight, also said, “I’m a better manager as a result of the program.” 
Funders are also looking at the Accelerator as a way to support their grantees. Daniel Stid, Director of the Madison Initiative at the Hewlett Foundation, said, “I’m excited about the Accelerator’s offerings because now it’s possible for us to offer Bridgespan’s support to all of our grantees – in a flexible, economical, and bite-size format that works well for their needs.”

An important goal of the Accelerator program overall is to help nonprofit executives bring an equity lens to the work they are leading. “For example,” said Nayak, “in the Investing in Future Leaders program, participants have the opportunity to identify competencies that will help emerging leaders build skills around creating an inclusive culture, or bringing an equity mindset to communication and decision-making. 
Bridgespan is currently accepting applicants for the September 2019 cohorts: 
  • Investing in Future Leaders: Executive team members focus on identifying future leadership needs of their organizations and drafting powerful, job-embedded development plans for their direct reports. Teams complete milestones including identifying strategic leadership needs, aligning on the core skills and competencies needed to achieve their strategy, assessing direct reports against these competencies, and building a talent strategy that incorporates diversity and equity.
  • Achieving Strategic Clarity: This program supports teams in crafting a statement that specifies their unique approach to achieving their intended impact, and then guides the team to create a usable plan that can be adapted and revised over time.
Over the next few years, Bridgespan will launch additional programs for nonprofit executive teams under the Leadership Accelerator umbrella. 

To learn more about the Bridgespan Leadership Accelerator and apply for individual programs, visit

About The Bridgespan Group
The Bridgespan Group ( is a global nonprofit organization that collaborates with mission-driven organizations, philanthropists and investors to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need. With offices in Boston, Mumbai, New York, and San Francisco, Bridgespan’s services include strategy consulting, leadership development, philanthropy and nonprofit advising, and developing and sharing practical insights.
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