Leading for Impact Program Description

Two years of 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.

Leading for Impact Helps Nonprofits Increase Their Impact by Honing Strategy and Building Management Muscle

Over two years, through a combination of classroom workshops and team-led projects, Leading for Impact® (LFI) supports nonprofits as they establish priorities, make trade-offs, and build a team that can navigate these challenges.

Two-year LFI model

Learn About and Apply Best Practices in Strategy, Organization, and Team Effectiveness

Participating executive teams come together in cohorts of ~8 organizations to attend six full-day workshops. These sessions explore strategy, organization, and executive team effectiveness, and incorporate considerations of equity and bias throughout. Sessions are highly interactive, including full group discussion and team-based activities to give participants the opportunity to apply concepts to their particular context.

LFI session schedule

Real-world Learning Through Team-led Projects

Each executive team also completes two projects in which they apply strategic management concepts to their most critical priorities. Bridgespan coaches provide guidance and resources to the team as they complete the work. While projects are specific to each organization’s needs, common projects include:

Common project categories

Leading for Impact Programs Deliver Results

Among the hundreds of leaders who have participated in the program to date, 87-percent agree or strongly agree that participating in the program improved their effectiveness as an organization. Their satisfaction with the program has translated to 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.
Video about the Leading for Impact program

How We Worked With Rainer Scholars in Seattle

Children in a classroom with hands upRainier Scholars 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, CEO, Christopher House"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

Leading for Impact clients logo set

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

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 adding Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

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

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. 

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.