Bridgespan Group Expanding Nonprofit Aid to Philadelphia With Help From 76ers Owner, Pew Charitable Trusts

By Kennedy Rose
Digital Producer, Philadelphia Business Journal
August 12, 2020

Boston-based consulting firm Bridgespan Group is expanding its nonprofit aid program to the Philadelphia region to help 100 local nonprofits over the next five-plus years.

The program will focus on fixing management and strategic issues and improving nonprofits’ effectiveness in their communities. Philadelphia 76ers owner and managing partner Josh Harris’ namesake Harris Philanthropies and The Pew Charitable Trusts each donated $2 million to the cause.

“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,” Harris said in a statement. “By supporting these programs, we are confident that we can drive change and enable a lasting impact on this community.”

Fifty nonprofits will be enrolled in the Leading for Impact program, a two-year consulting program to help nonprofits improve and go after strategic opportunity. The other 50 will be enrolled in Bridgespan’s Leadership Academy, a 12-16 week online program offering workshops and guidance. The programs are set to launch with their first cohorts in 2021, and each program will last about five and a half years.

Most participants will be from health and human services and education nonprofits, but arts and culture programs will also be considered, according to a press release. Emphasis will also be put on nonprofits led by people of color and those providing direct service to underserved areas. Bridgespan will take the next several months to interview potential applicants, which will be nonprofits of a range of budgets, missions and sizes.

Bridgespan spearheaded similar programs in other cities like Boston, Chicago and Detroit. Philadelphia is the 10th city in which the Leading for Impact program will start.

Bridgespan was founded by former Bain Capital employees. The 20-year-old nonprofit has offices in five cities: Boston; New York City; San Francisco; Mumbai, India; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Philadelphia’s nonprofits saw a surge in need after coronavirus-related business closures and stay-at-home orders impacted industries employing over 70% of the city’s workforce. More than 2,000 nonprofits were awarded $13.3 million from the City of Philadelphia’s nonprofit relief fund, but the program received more than 7,200 applications.

“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,” Bridgespan Partner Bob Searle, who is leading the program in Philadelphia, said in a statement.

Originally Published on Philadelphia Business Journal.