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Overview

Introduction

The Bridgespan Group is a global consulting firm that serves nonprofit organizations, NGOs, impact investing and philanthropic groups. The firm's services include consulting to nonprofits and philanthropists, leadership development support, and developing and sharing insights. Insiders at the Bridgespan Group say they enjoy the “rewarding work and high relative compensation for the non-profit sector.”

Company Stats


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Employer Type


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Size


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Featured Rankings

Vault Consulting 50...


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Major Departments/Practice Areas

Children, Youth, & Families...


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Major Office Locations

Boston...


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Employment Contact

Nicole Phillips - Director of Human Resources...

Firsthand Findings

The Bridgespan Group is one of the nation’s preeminent firms in the social sector and non-profit consulting spheres. As they do every year, insiders describe an abiding passion for issues of social justice and are driven by a desire to impact the missions of their clients. A desire for non-profit work is an absolute must when it comes to working here, and the firm prioritizes lived experiences and demonstrated passion as much as strict consulting expertise.

Survey respondents are quick to note that while compensation is lower than commercial work, it is actually quite competitive for the non-profit space, which should be a strong differentiating factor for those interested in pursuing a career in this niche vertical. They also praise the high level of transparenc...

About the Company

Co-founder and managing partner of The Bridgespan Group, Jeffrey L. Bradach left his post at Harvard Business School’s Organizational Behavior and Social Enterprise Initiative department, where he was a professor, to start the firm. Bradach 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 he...

Employee Reviews


  • “Bridgespan is an incredible place to learn a critical set of skills that will serve you in any nonprofit or business setting. It is one of the few firms where you can focus entirely on social impact clients. The people are the best part.”
  • “Challenging but invigorating work addressing complex social issues with hardworking, driven and exceptional teammates.”
  • “Join Bridgespan both because you want a career in social impact and you want to be a strategy consultant. It's a great place to realize both, but you'll enjoy the job more if you're motivated by both interests.”
  • “The people who I work with are extremely passionate about what they do, and get up in the morning truly motivated to help other people...”
  • “Smart people, grateful clients, working to maximize impact—and tons of great learning for new consultants along the way.”
  • “It is a privilege to be able to do work that I care deeply about, with colleague who also care deeply about social change.”
  • “Work hours are generally reasonable and we have always had processes to enable remote working.”
  • “They make a very conscious effort to enhance quality of life; we don't travel unless we have to (and even still it is discouraged). The hours, like any consulting job, rev up or down based on client needs, but I've been very impressed with managers and partners setting an example of creating balance (e.g., "I will be offline these times") and preventing yield loss on work (seek input earlier to avoid redoing something later).”
  • “The culture is really strong, and it is energizing to work at a place where I can work on the issues I care most about. We don't work on client site, but travel for important meetings. Typically, I travel ~1-2 times per month. Due to double staffing, our hours can be highly variable.”
  • “I've always been able to use my vacation when I wanted to, and had that time respected. The vacation package is pretty generous, especially considering that we also get the week between Christmas and New Year’s off because the offices are closed—that doesn't count as vacation time”
  • “There's a health and wellness team that puts out programming; I think we receive benefits through our EAP (but I've not used them); most important, there's a culture of health and fitness—e.g., I'm encouraged to make time to exercise.”
  • “Respect for medical visits, PT appointments, etc. is high, and there's general cultural enthusiasm for exercise. We get some subsidy for gym membership ($150/yr) and excellent medical benefits (though premiums are not 100% covered).”
  • “Bridgespan is a nonprofit, so our salaries are lower than our peers at for-profit firms. For a nonprofit job, it pays incredibly well. Salary also goes up quite quickly within a few years of joining.”
  • “We're very competitive with social sector salaries, and have complete pay parity for folks with similar titles and tenure.”
  • “Compensation good relative to nonprofit sector.”
  • “For consulting, it's competitive; for the social sector—at my level—there is no comparison; Bridgespan is top of the pack. The worst aspect is the lack of education benefits for people who join the firm upon completing the MBA; if you were an employee pre-MBA and rejoin the firm, you get part of your education expenses covered.”
  • “Salary progression is transparent and nice. Gender and racial equity are apparent in our compensation.”
  • “Given we are a non-profit, the pay is lower than colleagues at for-profit counterparts make, however the lifestyle more than compensates for that with better work/life balance and less traveling.”
  • “We have a thoughtful approach to ensure that everyone has multiple people supporting them, coaching them, mentoring them, and advocating for them, and we've kept that up despite new remote working conditions.”
  • “Bridgespan has access to both Bridgespan-specific trainings as well as Bain global trainings, which provides a lot of opportunity for learning and growth. The worst aspect of Bridgespan's career development opportunities is slowness to promote.”
  • “Promotion policies are fair and transparent and the firm is very intentional about mitigating unconscious bias. Several training opportunities are shared with Bain & Company. Relatively few international opportunities (only Mumbai and Johannesburg).”
  • “….Informal trainings are also frequent, as the firm places an extreme amount of value in professional development. Promotion policies are fairly fixed, but performance reviews are done every 6 months. Racial equity and diversity are core to Bridgespan's work and that is heavily reflected in both composition of staff and the firm's work.”
  • “…This is a fast-paced environment for development with a strong feedback culture, which some may find challenging. For those that are looking to grow quickly, especially in an entry-level position straight out of college, this is one of the best jobs to do that. ”
  • “Best: Very clear expectations around what it takes to get promoted, with clear training opportunities to build those skills at frequent intervals. Formal mentoring program, and extensive performance reviews done every six months. Outside of consulting, very unclear expectations around promotion with little to no training. As a consultant, my contributions to the firm outside of service to clients (e.g., developing people, training, mentoring, etc.) are less valued in terms of my performance reviews.”
  • “Commitment to diversity is a big one. I've never been in a work environment that is so conscious and active about addressing racial equity both internally and in case work.”
  • “Bridgespan is a leader in pay equity, advancing racial equity in the workplace, and promoting the rights/equality of disadvantaged groups writ broadly. Perhaps no employer better understands the compounding effects of intersectional identities (race, class, gender) and is actively committed to leveling the playing field for across groups.”
  • “We have more women than men in senior management. We are still working on making sure our management team is as racially/socioeconomically diverse as our junior staff.”
  • “Proud of the gender equity Bridgespan has but there are places we can improve when it comes to supporting, mentoring, and retaining staff of color.”
  • “Bridgespan is not only fostering diversity in hiring, promotion, mentoring, and retention but we are supporting and teaching other organizations how to do the same. Bridgespan is leading and changing the conversation from not just diversity but to racial equity. It's a new and different way of thinking.”
  • “Bridgespan does an excellent job for pay parity—in that everyone who is at the same level makes the same salary. We have also been pushing forward with work on diversity, equity, and inclusion for over a decade with an explicit focus on incorporating a racial equity lens into all of our internal and external projects. So, in many ways, we have been at the forefront of this work (from the perspective a predominantly white organization).”
  • “Bridgespan, along with almost every other company I know, has a ways to go in this respect, but is thinking and acting admirably and intentionally to make progress, including committing person and monetary resources. We have frequent office dialogue around race equity specifically.”
  • “Business outlook is generally good despite Covid—there may be some effects in later years if philanthropy ramps down spending, similar to what happened in 2010-2012 after the Great Recession. In terms of being innovative, I think we are pushing the frontiers on how nonprofits can scale and how philanthropy can make more effective and larger donations. However, I think we could do a LOT more to ensure that racial equity is centered in all of our work, not just some, and use this as a client selection point (i.e., if a client is not bought into centering equity, I'm not sure we should work with them).”
  • “It's hard to know anyone's business outlook in the time of COVID-19; however, we have some counter-cyclical projects that are keeping people busy.”
  • “I think that we've done a great job of positioning ourselves as the market leader for philanthropy advising and nonprofit strategy. The critical factor impacting our future will be our ability to continue to innovate and incorporate different ways of approaching the work. Many other firms have started to build in product development and technology capabilities that I think we are slow to catch up on.”
  • “Our outlook is stronger than last year, and that's despite the Covid-19 outbreak.”
  • “Always some self-limiting factors for growth in the social sector, but Bridgespan is the fairly uncontested leader in this sector and business growth continues to be strong.”
  • “I am so proud to work at Bridgespan, and in the midst of this crisis our work and leadership in the sector has become more critical than ever.”

Getting Hired Here


  • “Processes is like most consulting firms: multiple rounds with initial rounds being held over the phone and final rounds in office. The deal candidate either has consulting experience or is familiar with "the toolkit” and is impact driven/has non-profit or philanthropy experience. The most ideal candidate has some of both.”
  • “After resume screens, we have two rounds of interviews that take place over about a month. Our ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about the nonprofit sector, is persistent in terms of hunting down data to bring to bear on problems, has a nose for what will be valuable to a client who is thinking about how to have the most impact possible. [They have] a humble approach and would collaborate well with others, and understands the criticality of centering racial equity in social impact work.”
  • “We are looking for people with a strong commitment to the social sector, qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities, lived experience that is reflective of the communities our client serves, deep intellectual curiosity, and emotional intelligence.”
  • “Two rounds of interviews consisting of cases approximately four cases and one behavioral interview across the two rounds. Ideal candidates are passionate about social impact, take a racial equity lens to their work, have experience charting a path through ambiguity, are strong written and verbal communicators, are able to synthesize large amounts of information (quant and qualitative) into key insights, and are flexible and responsive in their working style.”
  • “We're looking for folks who are independent and rigorous thinkers, since our work requires a great deal of nuance and judgment to do it well. We work closely in teams and are looking for folks who are willing to put in hard work and have fun along the way.”
  • “Solid interview and call back process; the ideal candidate cares deeply about equity and believes in the power of the social sector to advance progress; the ideal candidate will have a mix of experience but preferably has quantitative/consulting-relevant skills or an aptitude for developing them.”
  • “Like other consulting firms, we use a combination of behavioral questions (e.g., how would you approach a client contact who seems reluctant to share data) and case interviews (e.g., we give people background on a problem and ask them to put together a recommendation using available data).”
  • “Case method; non-profit organizations wrestling with strategic problems.”
  • “Case questions related to a nonprofit's strategy development process, due diligence by philanthropists, etc.”
  • “How should a nonprofit prioritize scaling and reaching at-need populations?”
  • “See Bridgespan website for example interview case. Similar to typical cases but using a social impact lens as opposed to profit geared.”

Perks & Benefits