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The Bridgespan Group

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At a Glance

Uppers

“Social impact mission.”

“Rewarding work and high relative compensation for the non-profit sector.”

“Amazing and impressive colleagues.”

Downers

“Work/life balance of professional services.”

“Double staffing.”

“Lack of benefits for education expenses.”

The Buzz

“Non-profit thought leadership.”

“Seem to be doing amazing work.”

“Social impact-focused but really competitive.”

About The Bridgespan Group

The Bridgespan Group is a global consulting firm that serves nonprofit organizations, NGOs, impact investing, and philanthropic groups. The firm collaborates with mission-driven leaders to break cycles of poverty and dramatically improve the quality of life for those in need. The firm's services include consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights.

A History Lesson

The Bridgespan Group was founded in 1999 by Bain & Company alumni Thomas Tierney, Jeffrey Bradach, and Paul Carttar out of a desire to help nonprofit, NGO, and philanthropic organizations scale their impact. While Bain provided some of Bridgespan’s initial funding and employees, the firms agreed to be separate, but allied, entities. The Boston office was opened in 2000, and before the year was out, the firm had also opened a San Francisco location. Now the firm has over two hundred and seventy employees, and has added locations in New York City and Mumbai.

Today, the Bridgespan Group is led by co-founder and managing partner Jeffrey L. Bradach. Bradach left his post at Harvard Business School’s Organizational Behavior and Social Enterprise Initiative department, where he was a professor, in order to start the firm. He is widely regarded as a thought leader in nonprofit strategy, social sector leadership, and philanthropy, and is a regular inclusion on Nonprofit Times’ annual Power and Influence Top 50 list.

Helping Others Help Others

Bridgespan’s mission began as—and still is—a dedication to tackling some of society’s toughest issues, including the breaking the cycle of poverty. In fact, the firm’s approach was the subject of two case studies by Harvard Business School. Their core areas of expertise include education; children, youth, and families; public health; and global development. The services that the firm extends toward these groups include consulting to nonprofits, NGOS, impact investors and philanthropists, supporting leadership development, and developing and sharing insights. Some of their representative clients include: The YMCA, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Sesame Street Workshop, The Salvation Army, The Alzheimer’s Association, Blue Meridian Partners and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among many others.

In the News

Foundations, Invest in Impact, Alliance, 10/24/20

Over the past decade, it has become impossible to ignore the conversation around impact investing as a tool for social good. Yet, even as impact investing has gone from niche to mainstream, a recent survey found that nearly 40 per cent of foundations say they don’t know enough about impact investing to incorporate it into their strategies. How can this be after more than 50 years of non-grant financing by pioneers like the Ford Foundation?

MacKenzie Scott redefines charitable giving for the ultra-rich, Axios, 8/6/20

The philanthro-industrial complex did help: Scott was advised in her giving by Bridgespan Group, one of the largest big-philanthropy advisors. But their job was clearly just to identify worthy recipients — and then get out of the way. 


The Racial Funding Gap Can’t Continue in the Pandemic
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 6/2/20
By now the ruthlessness of the coronavirus pandemic is clear. It has not only brought devastating deaths and economic destruction and the suffering that comes with both but it has also exacerbated the tolls of racism and pre-existing inequity in our nation.

Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding, Stanford Social Innovation Review 5/4/20

Racial bias—both personal and institutional, conscious and unconscious—creeps into all parts of the philanthropic and grantmaking process. The result is that nonprofit organizations led by people of color receive less money than those led by whites, and philanthropy ends up reinforcing the very social ills it says it is trying to overcome.

A New Role for Funders in Field Building Toward Social Change: Moving from Driving the Car to Filling the TankGrantmakers for Effective Organizations, 3/10/20
Despite a growing agreement among grantmakers and practitioners that solving complex, evolving social problems often requires meaningful and intentional coordination across a field’s actors, few such “field building” efforts are achieving population-level change.

Five Foundations Address the ‘Starvation Cycle’, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 9/4/19
Presidents of five leading foundations are working together to advance solutions to chronic underfunding of their grantees.

The Bridgespan Group

2 Copley Place
7th Floor, Suite 3700B
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 572-2833

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Non Profit
Managing Partner and Co-founder: Jeffrey L. Bradach
2020 Employees (All Locations): 289

Major Office Locations

Boston, MA
Johannesburg, South Africa
New York, NY
San Francisco, CA
Mumbai, India

Major Departments & Practices

Children, Youth, & Families

Education

Global Development

Philanthropy

Public Health

Impact Investing

Nonprofit Networks