Helping Foundations Define and Clarify Overall Strategy

Strategic planning is one of the most important things you do. It challenges you to grapple with several interdependent questions: Are you clear about the impact you seek to achieve? How do you collaborate with grantees and stakeholders most effectively? Which results will you hold your organization accountable for? How do you marshal the talent and resources needed to deliver those results?

How We Help You Define and Clarify Your Foundation Strategy

While every engagement is different, foundation-wide strategy engagements typically include some combination of the following:

  • Looking Back to Look Forward: We can help you to review your past work, incorporating internal and external data, to identify implications for how you can move forward most effectively.
  • Creating a Strategy Framework: We can help you translate foundation-wide visions and goals into an actionable framework—including disaggregating data based on race and gender—to support inclusive strategic planning and grantmaking.
  • Measuring and Learning: We can help you structure a process to identify and measure relevant data to help you understand your progress and adapt accordingly.
  • Determining Organizational and Operational Implications: Strategy shifts can trigger revisions in operating models, or how people and resources are allocated to implement stated goals. We have deep experience guiding foundations through the many steps involved.
  • Defining Board Roles and Engagement: We can support your foundation leadership with identifying the appropriate process and method to engage board members so they are focused on the most critical issues.

What the Ford Foundation Has to Say about Working with Bridgespan

Darren Walker
“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

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.

Philanthropy Foundations logo set

Bridgespan Publications About Foundation Strategy

Our insights have been published by ForbesHarvard Business Review, and Stanford Social Innovation Review. Our articles also are available on our website.

Bridgespan's Foundation Strategy Experts