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Leading for Impact—Atlanta

A collaboration between The Bridgespan Group and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits to accelerate social impact.

Nonprofit leaders face tough decisions every day, balancing ambitious goals for impact against constraints on time and resources. Bridgespan’s Leading for ImpactAtlanta program—proven effective in other cities—builds the skills of nonprofit leadership teams to navigate those decisions by:

  • • Aligning the team on a clear set of strategic and operational goals,
    • Increasing the team’s ability to drive action against those goals, and
    • Applying new tools and approaches to their organization’s highest priorities.

Hear what participants have to say about Leading for Impact



About the Leading for ImpactAtlanta program

Leading for ImpactAtlanta is a two-year program with a dual focus on executive team development and on the completion of two customized, team-led projects on priority issues.

The program accelerates organizational impact and executive team development, and does so in partnership with a select group of nonprofit leaders. Hallmarks of the program include:

  • Engagement of the full executive team: Leading for ImpactAtlanta is designed to boost the effectiveness of nonprofit CEOs and their executive leadership teams. In the first six months of the program, teams will participate in monthly classroom-based workshops covering the strategic management and team-focused skills needed to maximize nonprofit impact.

  • Customized projects: Over the course of two years, Bridgespan will support each team as it completes two customized, team-led projects that address priority issues. These efforts will build on concepts introduced during class workshops, and will be completed with hands-on assistance in the steps necessary to apply those concepts within each organization’s unique context. Projects will address strategy, organizational development or leadership development issues.

  • Support and coaching: A Bridgespan facilitator will provide coaching and feedback—along with tools, guides, templates and examples—to each team throughout the program. Following each six-month project, Bridgespan will provide an additional six months of implementation support, totaling two full years of consulting services.

  • Executive team development curriculum: During seven full-day classroom workshops led by senior Bridgespan facilitators, nonprofit teams will meet to discuss core concepts and practice applying new tools to their organizations’ unique circumstances. For each topic, teams will consider their particular focus, map out steps for implementation, and receive material that can be shared with their staff immediately.

  • Online tutorials: Each workshop will be preceded by an online mini-lecture and pre-work so that teams arrive at the workshops prepared to dive into the nuances of key concepts and how to apply them to their organization.

  • Local collaboration: The program is brought to Atlanta as a collaboration between The Bridgespan Group and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

  • Significant return on investment. Prominent local philanthropists are creating a scholarship pool that will cover as much as 80% of the program costs for participating organizations. This substantially reduces the investment to $14,000 total, or $7,000 per year. (This cost covers an executive team of four individuals; there is a small incremental charge for each additional team member.) The goal of the program is to increase each organization’s social impact by increasing its effectiveness. Using budgets as a metric for effectiveness, only a 10% increase in effectiveness for a $5M organization would yield a $500,000 return on that $14,000 investment. And the time invested by the organization’s leadership is more than repaid by building lasting capabilities of the executive team.

Program dates

Cohorts launched every six months over three years to reach about 40 Atlanta-area organizations. Each cohort was composed of the executive leadership team of approximately eight organizations.

  • Cohort 1: Launched February 2014
  • Cohort 2: Launched August 2014
  • Cohort 3: Launched January 2015
  • Cohort 4: Launched August 2015 
  • Cohort 5: Launched January 2016 

Program eligibility

Leading for ImpactAtlanta is best suited for nonprofits eager to tackle pressing issues and deepen their skills, and that have the capacity to dedicate time to working on these issues. In order to participate, an organization must be:

  • A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

  • Able to travel to a location (in the Atlanta metro area) for full-day workshops.

  • Financially stable, with participating senior leaders able to engage in an intensive learning and leadership development process; the time commitment per participant is approximately one to two days per month during the first six months and approximately one-half to one day per month for the duration of the program.


Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

For a concise summary of the program, download the Leading for ImpactAtlanta program brochure.

Thank you to our funders

We would like to thank our funders for their generous support.

Local scholarship funders

  • The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
  • The James M. Cox Foundation
  • The Kendeda Fund
  • Nonami Foundation
  • Robert F. Woodruff Foundation
  • Anonymous Donors

Program development funders

  • The Omidyar Network
  • The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Deerbrook Charitable Trust