Leading for Impact Program Description

Consulting support to help executive teams increase their organizations’ impact

Every day, nonprofits perform a heavy lift: improving lives in their communities
where the demand for services vastly outstrips the resources they have available.

 

The Bridgespan Group is helping nonprofits across the United States boost their effectiveness and amplify their impact.

After successfully navigating multiple crises over the last few years, many nonprofits are now exploring a changed landscape of impact opportunities and workplace questions. They are eager to be more strategic using their limited time and money, while building the leadership habits to navigate the challenges they are facing.
Over the past decade, The Bridgespan Group has worked with hundreds of nonprofits to boost their effectiveness and amplify their impact through Leading for Impact®.

 

Leading for Impact helps nonprofits do more with what they have

Leading for Impact® is a cohort-based experience for nonprofit executive teams that helps them strengthen their overall leadership skills while also making progress on a specific strategic goal. 

 


Classroom Workshops

During the first six months of the program, participants join cohorts of 8 or 9 organizations for a series of team workshops on strategy, organization, and team effectiveness. Sessions are highly interactive, including full group discussion and team-based activities to give participants the opportunity to apply concepts to their particular context.

 

Team-Led Project

Concurrent with the classroom sessions, executive teams also complete a project, in which they apply strategic management concepts to their most critical priorities with Bridgespan support. Following the classroom and project experience, Bridgespan provides implementation support for six months.While projects are tailored to each organization, common project topics include:

  • Setting and Leading Strategy Icon

    Setting and Leading Strategy

    • Clarifying strategic focus/ goals
    • Creating an adaptive plan
    • Scenario planning

  • Making Strategic Decisions Icon

    Making Strategic Decisions

    • Aligning programs to strategy
    • Using strategic decision criteria
    • Making effective decisions
    • Building an executive dashboard

  • Leading a Strong Organization Icon

    Leading a Strong Organization

    • Strengthening the executive team
    • Advancing racial equity
    • Improving a process or program
    • Building future leaders

Results

Upon reaching the ten-year milestone of delivering Leading for Impact, we engaged Harder+Company Community Research to perform an external evaluation of our program. They reached out to alumni participants and received a surprisingly high response rate; over 200 alumni participants shared feedback in the survey. 

The evaluation confirmed what we knew about participant satisfaction and organizational growth, but proved the longevity of the program's impact. You can view the full report here, and the summary report here.

Of LFI alumni surveyed: 
  • 93% of respondents agreed that LFI helped them build capabilities, knowledge, or skills that supported their development as individual leaders
  • 86% reported that LFI helped their organization gain greater strategic clarity, which is similar to the results we saw at 6 and 18 months, suggesting lasting impact
  • 79% agreed that LFI supported improvements in their executive team’s effectiveness, even years after completing the program 
  • 77% of respondents agreed that participation in LFI helped improve their organization’s performance, and levels of agreement were consistent across organizations of widely varying size and types.

Leading for Impact in Ten US Cities

Leading for Impact has helped nonprofit organizations in ten communities serving 440 executive teams and over 2,200 leaders. The communities have included Boston, Detroit, Seattle, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, San Francisco and recently, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

To see LFI in action across a city, read our impact reports:  

Leading for Impact Programs Deliver Results

Some examples of the impact participants have seen in their own organization include:
  • A mentorship organization used a new growth plan to reverse seven years of decline in the number of youth served—and grow by 10 percent.
  • A medical services organization made a “go” decision on a new service line that will fill a provider gap in the region.
  • A teacher residency program’s applications tripled thanks to a new recruiting strategy.
  • A homeless services organization increased the value of their multi-year government contracts by over $2M after assessing the gap between staff pay and market rates.

How We Worked With Rainer Scholars in Seattle

Rainier ScholarRainer-Scholars.jpgs offers a pathway to college graduation and leadership development for low-income students of color who will be first in their families to earn a degree, by providing access to a 12-year, immersive, and transformative educational support to scholars and families. As a LFI participant in Seattle, Rainer Scholars worked on two projects: Clarifying their strategy to improve recruitment and retention of a core student segment and improving their talent development planning and processes. The program helped to strengthen the leadership team, support their top talent and focus management priorities.

What Christopher House Has to Say About Working with Bridgespan

Lori-Baas.jpg"LFI has had an extraordinary impact on developing the Christopher House Executive Team. The in-person meetings provided us with dedicated time to have authentic conversations about our strengths and opportunities to improve. The executive team diagnostic provided a great framework for productive conversations.The CEO-only meetings with LFI leadership also provided a great opportunity to discuss challenges and best practices with peers.”

Lori Baas, CEO, Christopher House

We Have Worked With Many Nonprofit Clients

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For a full list of LFI clients, click here >>

Our Leading for Impact Experts

Our Leading for Impact team members have worked with more than 400 organizations to help them solve critical issues and find new avenues for greater impact.