Our Multiyear Initiatives

Our multiyear initiatives are investments in ideas we believe have potential to influence the social sector. We pursue each initiative along multiple paths: building action-learning collaboratives that advance practice, conducting research that brings fresh perspectives, and pursuing consulting projects with innovators.

Big Bet Philanthropy

Multimillion-dollar philanthropic investments are a powerful way to advance social change. Yet there aren't many such big bets. While social change dominates major donors' objectives, only 20 percent of big-bet dollars go to such causes. We seek to catalyze a significant increase in the number of big bets devoted to inequities.

Browse our big bet research and articles or learn about our related services

Community-Driven Change

Community-driven change refers to the social process whereby communities actively participate in, often lead, and own the identification, design, and execution of solutions for the challenges they face. There is growing global recognition that community-driven change is more sustainable and inclusive, and an increasing number of NGOs and funders are embracing an approach that brings greater balance to the power and perspectives of communities in development processes.

Learn more about this initiative.

Field Building for Equitable Systems Change

Field building is a coalition-based approach to changing systems to realize equitable and durable outcomes at scale. We support philanthropic funders to recognize their unique role in field building and to foster, wield, and share power appropriately to contribute to equitable systems change. We support field-building nonprofits to sharpen their strategies and accelerate the progress of the ecosystem as a whole toward equitable systems change.  

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Impact Investing

Some of the highest-impact social advances of the past century involved significant private capital, alongside government and philanthropic funds.

Browse our impact investing research and articles or learn about our related services

Leadership Development

Strong leadership is the bedrock of strong organizations, enabling them to achieving superior results. Yet, most nonprofits struggle to find the resources, know-how, and time to implement effective leadership recruiting, development, and retention programs. Drawing from experience, Bridgespan offers practical advice to help nonprofits build the systems and processes to develop strong individual leaders and teams to carry out their missions.

Browse our leadership development research and articles or learn about our related services for nonprofits and for funders

Pay What It Takes to Get Results

While funders invest in programs and services, the underpinnings of those programs—organizational infrastructure and financial health—suffer from neglect. Strong organizations deliver outcomes that matter when they receive funding to pay what it takes to achieve results.

Browse our related research and articles.

Racial Equity in Philanthropy

Our Racial Equity in Philanthropy multiyear initiative seeks to reinforce a message that equity practitioners have conveyed for decades: Achieving lasting social change will require more funding for the critical work of racial equity and efforts that address structural racism, particularly for leaders of color at the forefront of transformative social change. 

Learn more about this initiative.

Transformative Scale

Nonprofit leaders and philanthropists have developed effective social programs over the past decade. Yet even the most successful programs reach only a fraction of those in need. Bridging this gap requires new strategies, new forms of collaboration, new platforms for learning and spreading what works, and new funding models. We seek to increase the number of problems being addressed at a population-level of scale.

Browse our scale-focused research and articles or to explore our related services for nonprofits and for funders.