Leading for Impact®—DC Region



Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact®DC Region program is a two-year program that helps nonprofit leadership teams build the skills they need to successfully balance their organizations' goals, time, and resources.

Nonprofit leaders face tough decisions every day, balancing ambitious goals for impact against constraints on time and resources. Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact®​DC Region program—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.

Phil Kilbridge, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco; Leading for Impact® San Francisco 2012 participant
Hear what participants have to say about Leading for Impact®


About the Leading for Impact®—DC Region program

Leading for Impact®—DC Region 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®—DC Region 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.
  • Executive team development curriculum: During seven full-day classroom workshops led by senior Bridgespan facilitators, nonprofit teams will meet to discuss core concepts and practice applying new tools to their organizations’ unique circumstances. For each topic, teams will consider their particular focus, map out steps for implementation, and receive material that can be shared with their staff immediately.
  • 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.
  • Local collaboration: The program is brought to the DC Region as a collaboration between The Bridgespan Group and the Meyer Foundation.
  • Significant return on investment: Prominent local philanthropists are creating a scholarship pool that will cover as much as 80 percent of the program costs for participating organizations. This substantially reduces the investment 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.

Program dates

Cohorts will launch approximately every six months over the next three years to reach about 50 DC-area organizations. Each cohort will be composed of the executive leadership team of approximately eight organizations.

  • Cohort 1: Launched December 2015
  • Cohort 2: Launched August 2016
  • Cohort 3: Will launch in December 2016
  • Cohort 4: Will launch in August 2017
  • Cohort 5: Will launch in December 2017
  • Cohort 6: Will launch in August 2018

Program eligibility

Leading for Impact®—DC Region 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 DC 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 Kirk Kramer or Leslie MacKrell prior to applying online.


Applications for Cohort 6 are now being accepted. Admissions will be rolling, with the deadline of December 1, 2017 for Cohort 6. The application will likely take less than one hour to complete and asks each applying organization to provide:

  • Basic organizational information (address, website, operating budget, geographic reach, number of offices, number of employees)
  • Names and contact information of the executive team members who would be participating
  • Short team statement describing the organization’s:
    • Mission and target beneficiaries
    • Future goals and strategies for achieving those goals
    • Biggest challenges it is currently facing and will face over the next three to five years,
    • Perspective on how participation in Leading for Impact®DC Region will help address these challenges
  • A copy of the most recently available IRS Form 990

Ready to apply? Please click here to complete an online application.
(Note: The application does not have to be completed in one sitting as long as the same computer is being used; you will be able to return to the application from the same computer.)

We have secured funding from local funders to create a scholarship pool that will cover 80 percent of the program cost for participants, leaving each participating organization with a co-pay of $15,000 over two years. (This amount is for a team of four; there is an additional cost of $2,000 for each additional team member.)


Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

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