Helping Foundations with Strategy and Grantmaking

As a foundation leader, you fund critical initiatives, organizations, and leaders in service of important social change goals. You and your leadership team face difficult choices about how best to pursue the change you believe in. The Bridgespan Group can help.

We draw on more than 20 years of consulting experience with foundation leaders to help you fulfill your vision for a better world. Every engagement is highly customized and focused on your organization’s unique challenges and opportunities. Our advisory experience spans the globe, and we have had the privilege of working with many of the most influential philanthropies.

Our work often involves helping foundation leaders address one or more of the following questions:

 
  • Support Foundation-wide Strategic PlanningIcon

    Support Foundation-wide Strategic Planning

    How do I learn from past grantmaking and sector best practices to shape an overall strategic plan that achieves the greatest impact for the issues my organization cares about?
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  • Support Individual Program Strategy DevelopmentIcon

    Support Individual Program Strategy Development

    With the overall strategy in mind, how do I refresh and/or develop new program/issue-specific strategies?
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  • Collaborate With OthersIcon

    Collaborate With Others

    How do I identify and evaluate opportunities to join with other funders to advance social impact?
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  • Targeted Support to High-potential GranteesIcon

    Targeted Support to High-potential Grantees

    How do I best help grantees develop plans to absorb capital in service of increasing their impact?
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  • Supporting Community-wide Capacity BuildingIcon

    Supporting Community-wide Capacity Building

    How do I help nonprofits in my community strengthen their leadership and strategies through cohort-based learning?
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How We Center Equity in the Design of Our Work

We consider the role of equity in your strategy from the first conversation through implementation. We help every US-based client grapple with the role of structural racism in their service of impact. Our analyses, whether through interviewing an inclusive range of stakeholders or disaggregating impact data, seek to apply a racial equity lens to lend greater understanding of implications on communities of color. For clients around the world, we raise and analyze a range of equity considerations (including ethnicity, gender, and caste) that contribute to disparities in outcomes and understand their impact on vulnerable populations.

What the Ford Foundation Has to Say about Working with Bridgespan


“Bridgespan has a unique ability to bridge theory and practice – to help clients shape and convert big ideas into pragmatic plans. One of their unique strengths is an ability to bring strong analytics – and passion and heart – to helping clients solve big problems. In my experience, Bridgespan has the most talented team of philanthropic advisors in our sector.”

Darren Walker
President, Ford Foundation



 

“The Bridgespan Group has been an outstanding partner to the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation for the past fifteen-plus years. The expertise, skills, and resources Bridgespan brings to the table is unparalleled for nonprofits, and we have benefited immensely from Bridgespan’s strategic analysis and planning support. As a result of our partnership, we and our grantees are making smarter strategic decisions and producing greater impact for our nation’s most disadvantaged children and youth.”

Nancy Roob
President and CEO, The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Foundations Bridgespan Has Helped With Strategy and Grantmaking

We have had the privilege of working with some of the most ambitious and generous foundations on their philanthropy.

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Bridgespan’s Areas of Expertise

We have experts in the most important fields relevant to creating a more equitable and just society, and practices that make organizations more effective.

Field

Practice

  • Leadership Development
  • Innovation and Collaborative Processes
  • Measurement and Evaluation
  • Operating Models
  • Racial Equity
  • Strategy
  • Technology

Bridgespan's Foundation Strategy Experts