Alison Powell


Alison Powell is a partner in The Bridgespan Group's San Francisco office. She leads and advises on projects for philanthropy clients, and manages much of Bridgespan’s philanthropy research, including our multi-year initiative focused on Big Bets for Social Change.

Alison frequently speaks and writes on philanthropic issues; she has co-authored several publications including “Releasing the Potential of Philanthropic Collaborations,” (, 2021), “Reimagining Institutional Philanthropy,” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2019), “Four Pathways to Greater Giving,” (, 2018), “Making Big Bets for Social Change,” (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2016), “What Ambitious Philanthropists Can Learn From The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Experience Making Big Bets,” (, 2016), and “Philanthropy in the New Age of Government Austerity,” (, 2012).

Alison has led a number of projects with influential philanthropies, supporting their strategies and strategic implementation. Prior to focusing on philanthropy, she spent four years in Bridgespan’s strategy consulting practice working with direct-service clients, including a charter management organization and an organization focused on transitional support for people aging out of foster care.

Before joining Bridgespan, Alison worked for Mattel to ideate, develop, and launch toy product lines. She started her career at The Parthenon Group, a management consultancy where she worked on a host of strategic engagements, from motorcycle manufacturing to publishing.

Alison graduated cum laude with an AB degree in Politics from Princeton University and received her MBA from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.