February 4, 2021

Bridgespan Group Announces Selection and Launch of Inaugural Cohort to Participate in Philadelphia-Area Leadership Program

With combined support of $4 million from Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts, 100 Philadelphia-area nonprofit organizations will benefit from executive team training and capacity-building programming.

Boston, MA—February 4, 2021—Global consulting firm, The Bridgespan Group (Bridgespan), announced today the launch of the first cohort of its Leading for Impact (LFI) program serving nonprofit organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area, including Camden, NJ. 

The cohort includes senior leaders from eight organizations: ACLAMOBeat the StreetsCamden Coalition of Healthcare ProvidersCongreso de Latinos UnidosDomestic Violence Center of Chester CountyDiversified Community Services and United Communities Southeast Philadelphia, (participating as the Greater Philadelphia Community Alliance), Maternity Care Coalition, and Philadelphia Academies. Together they will embark on an intensive two-year engagement with Bridgespan to identify key management and strategic issues, ideate solutions, and ultimately improve their effectiveness.  

According to Bob Searle, a Bridgespan partner who is leading the training, “Consistent with the initiative’s priorities, six of the eight participating groups represent organizations that are led by people of color, and all are engaging in direct service to under-resourced neighborhoods.”

LFI-Philadelphia is part of the broader LFI program present in ten cities across the United States. Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts, (each of which has contributed $2 million), are supporting 50 local nonprofits through LFI-Philadelphia. An additional 50 nonprofits will participate in the Bridgespan Leadership Accelerator (BLA), a 12-16 week online-facilitated program that includes bi-weekly workshops and coaching support.

“We are thrilled to announce this inaugural cohort of organizations that highlights the diversity of Philadelphia, with programming focused on domestic violence, education, youth and sports, and public health, and with budgets ranging from $1 million to $20 million. It is our hope and anticipation that this investment will allow cohort participants to develop their leadership skills and work towards solidifying better outcomes for those individuals and communities they serve,” said Josh Harris of Harris Philanthropies.

“The Pew Charitable Trusts is delighted to support Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact initiative in the Philadelphia region, and we’re very pleased that such a diverse range of service providers and leaders have been selected to participate in this inaugural cohort,” said Frazierita Klasen, senior vice president overseeing Pew’s work in Philadelphia. “The programs offered by these nonprofits are more critical than ever as our region continues to grapple with the public health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic, which have disproportionately affected communities of color. We look forward to assisting the agencies in improving their capacities to lead and offer effective services.”

Executive Director of Diversified Community Services, Otis Bullock said, "In this critical moment in time, strong leadership teams will be the key to effect transformative impact. That is why Diversified Community Services and United Communities merged to form the Greater Philadelphia Community Alliance. It is also the reason that our first action together was to engage Bridgespan's Leading for Impact."

Another participant, Kathleen Noonan, CEO of the Camden Coalition, said, "I am delighted that the LFI funders included Camden in the program given the city's energy and commitment to re-investment and improved quality of life for its residents." She notes that she has “followed the success of the LFI program in other cities and is delighted to have an opportunity to work with [her] own team and a cohort of nonprofits that are all focused on raising the bar on strategy, performance and innovation."

The February 2021 inaugural group is the first of six cohorts that will launch every February and September through 2023 thereafter. Support provided by Harris Philanthropies and Pew is covering more than 80% of costs to all participants. Organizations that are nominated for participation in LFI go through a thorough process to determine whether the program is a good fit for them, based on their needs and opportunities.

“Participation in LFI requires a significant time commitment from the entire leadership team, so it’s important that the benefit to the organization is commensurate with the investment required,” said Searle.


About The Bridgespan Group
The Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespan.org) is a global nonprofit that collaborates with social change organizations, philanthropists, and impact investors to make the world more equitable and just. Bridgespan’s services include strategy consulting and advising, sourcing and diligence and leadership team support. We take what we learn from this work and build on it with original research, identifying best practices and innovative ideas to share with the social sector. We work from locations in Boston, Johannesburg, Mumbai, New York, and San Francisco. For more information about LFI-Philadelphia, please visit: bridgespan.org/services/leading-for-impact/leading-for-impact-philadelphia.

About Harris Philanthropies
Harris Philanthropies creates equitable opportunities that allow youth to thrive and communities to grow. The Foundation seeks to pioneer solutions, strengthen communities and improve lives through the transformative powers of sports, enhanced wellness and leadership development. With a results-oriented, data-driven approach, Harris Philanthropies combines funding programs with targeted organizational support to provide catalytic giving in cities where the Foundation has a deep connection. Visit us at harrisphilanthropies.org.

About The Pew Charitable Trusts
The Pew Charitable Trusts applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public, and invigorate civic life. Pew’s work in Philadelphia seeks to inform discussion on important policy issues facing the city, encourage a thriving arts and cultural community, support the health and welfare of the region’s most vulnerable populations, and pursue initiatives to strengthen the area’s appeal to residents and visitors alike. Learn more at pewtrusts.org/Philadelphia.

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The Bridgespan Group would like to thank the JPB Foundation for its generous and ongoing support of our knowledge creation and sharing work.