Nonprofit leaders face tough decisions every day, balancing ambitious goals for impact against constraints on time and resources. Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact®—Chicago - proven effective in other cities - builds the skills of nonprofit leadership teams to navigate those decisions by:
- Aligning the team on a clear set of strategic and operational goals,
- Increasing the team’s ability to drive action against those goals, and
- Applying new tools and approaches to their organization’s highest priorities.
“ Leading for Impact® has elevated the level of our dialogue as a management team five to tenfold.” ®—
Hear what participants have to say about Leading for Impact®
About the Leading for Impact®—Chicago program
Leading for Impact®—Chicago is a two-year program with a dual focus on executive team development and on the completion of two customized, team-led projects on priority issues.
The program accelerates organizational impact and executive team development, and does so in partnership with a select group of nonprofit leaders. Hallmarks of the program include:
- Engagement of the full executive team: Leading for Impact®—Chicago is designed to boost the effectiveness of nonprofit CEOs and their executive leadership teams. In the first six months of the program, teams will participate in monthly classroom-based workshops covering the strategic management and team-focused skills needed to maximize nonprofit impact.
- Customized projects: Over the course of two years, Bridgespan will support each team as it completes two customized, team-led projects that address priority issues. These efforts will build on concepts introduced during class workshops, and will be completed with hands-on assistance in the steps necessary to apply those concepts within each organization’s unique context. Projects will address strategy, organizational development or leadership development issues.
- Support and coaching: A Bridgespan facilitator will provide coaching and feedback—along with tools, guides, templates and examples—to each team throughout the program. Following each six-month project, Bridgespan will provide an additional six months of implementation support, totaling two full years of consulting services.
- Online tutorials: Each workshop will be preceded by an online mini-lecture and pre-work so that teams arrive at the workshops prepared to dive into the nuances of key concepts and how to apply them to their organization.
- Significant return on investment: A group of local funders have subsidized 80 percent of the program costs, reducing the investment for participating organizations to $15,000 total, or $7,500 per year. (This cost covers an executive team of four individuals; there is an incremental charge of $2,000 for each additional team member.) The goal of the program is to increase each organization’s social impact by increasing its effectiveness. Using budgets as a metric for effectiveness, only a 10 percent increase in effectiveness for a $5 million organization would yield a $500,000 return on that $15,000 investment. And the time invested by the organization’s leadership is more than repaid by building lasting capabilities of the executive team.
Cohorts will launch approximately every six months over the next three years to reach about 50 Chicago-area organizations. Each cohort will be composed of the executive leadership team of approximately eight organizations.
- Cohort 1: Will launch in August 2017
- Cohort 2: Will launch in January 2018
- Cohort 3: Will launch in August 2018
- Cohort 4: Will launch in January 2019
- Cohort 5: Will launch in August 2019
- Cohort 5: Will launch in January 2020
Leading for Impact®—Chicago is best suited for nonprofits eager to tackle pressing issues and deepen their skills, and that have the capacity to dedicate time to working on these issues. In order to participate, an organization must be:
- A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
- Able to travel to a location (in the Chicago metro area) for full-day workshops.
- Financially stable, with participating senior leaders able to engage in an intensive learning and leadership development process; the time commitment per participant is approximately one to two days per month during the first six months and approximately one-half to one day per month for the duration of the program.
- Have met with Bob Searle or Beth Stram prior to applying online.
- Must have a leadership team of at least four members.
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