Bridgespan Group Announces Launch of Leadership Program to Serve Philadelphia-Area Nonprofits with Support of $4 Million from Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts

August 13, 2020

Boston, MA—August 12, 2020—Global consulting firm, The Bridgespan Group (Bridgespan), announced today that it is expanding its Leading for Impact (LFI) and Leadership Accelerator (BLA) programs to serve the Greater Philadelphia Area, including Camden, NJ. Made possible by support from Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts (Pew), Philadelphia will become the tenth LFI city, following the program’s successful implementation in cities such as Boston, Chicago and Detroit. Through these programs, 100 Philadelphia nonprofits will address important management and strategic issues and improve their effectiveness in diverse local communities.

The funding provided by Harris Philanthropies and Pew, each of which has contributed $2 million, will help facilitate opportunities for 50 LFI participants and an additional 50 nonprofits enrolled in BLA. Bridgespan’s more intensive leadership program, LFI, is a two-year consulting program that helps nonprofit executive teams pursue strategic opportunities and build capacity to improve their performance, benefitting from Bridgespan’s consulting expertise. BLA, a series of online programs, is a 12-16 week offering that includes instruction, video facilitated guidance for bi-weekly workshops and coaching support.

Bob Searle, Bridgespan Partner who will be leading the program said, “Now, more than ever, nonprofit executive teams need the tools and skills to help their organizations strategically navigate evolving conditions and continue to provide critical services to those who need them most. We are thrilled that Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts have chosen to help us bring our programs to the Philadelphia region to strengthen the local nonprofit ‘management muscle’.”

“With a deep-rooted connection to the Greater Philadelphia Area, we are thrilled to support opportunities for Philadelphia-area nonprofits to learn, grow and thrive in a systematic and sustained way,” said Josh Harris of Harris Philanthropies. “This initiative combines the cornerstones of our Foundation’s goals to uplift communities in need, pioneer solutions and promote education and leadership development through equitable catalytic giving. By supporting these programs, we are confident that we can drive change and enable a lasting impact on this community.”

“The Pew Charitable Trusts is very pleased to support the Philadelphia-area launch of Bridgespan Group’s ‘Leading for Impact’ and ‘Leadership Accelerator’ programs,” said Frazierita Klasen, Vice President overseeing Pew’s work in Philadelphia. “Pew has a long history of support for the local nonprofit health and social services and arts and culture sectors and  we believe that this initiative will help to ensure stronger organizations that are able to provide even more effective services and programs, particularly those that serve low-income and diverse communities. The work is especially relevant at this challenging time, as the region navigates the effects of COVID-19.”

Beginning in early 2021, each program will be open to 50 local nonprofit leadership teams, primarily from organizations in the health and human services and education sectors; arts and culture will also be represented. The first cohort for LFI, comprised of eight-to-nine organizations, is scheduled to begin in February 2021, with ensuing cohorts starting once every six months over five and a half years; the BLA program will start in September 2021 and run over the same period of time.

Over the next few months, Bridgespan will begin conversations to identify and interview potential applicants, who will represent a diverse range of nonprofits in terms of size, budget, mission and the communities they serve – with an emphasis on nonprofits led by people of color and/or engaging in direct service to under-resourced neighborhoods.   Support provided by Harris Philanthropies and Pew will cover 80% of costs to all participants. This is consistent with the way the program works in other cities.

Bridgespan’s Leading for Impact program was introduced in 2013 and has since been implemented in eight U.S. cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., serving more than 250 organizations and 1,500 senior leaders. The program will also launch in Dallas and Los Angeles in 2020, with in-person coaching and workshops moving to virtual sessions for the time being due to social distancing measures. The Leadership Accelerator program began in 2018 to provide executive teams around the world with a more flexible, online learning option that can be completed in a shorter timeframe. For more information about this programs, please visit:

Originally Published on Philanthropy Network.