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2012 National Conference

March 12–14, 2012

Seattle, WA

Short Talk 1A: Cracking the Code on Scale in a World of Declining Resources

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 1:20 PM–1:45 PM PDT
Cascade II (Mezzanine Level)
Session Designer

Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group

Session Description

What’s wrong with this picture: we have a growing body of knowledge about what works – to help first time teen-age mothers and their children lead better lives, to help homeless people get off the streets for good, to achieve significant increases in academic performance among the most disadvantaged kids. And yet the number of people in need of these solutions is growing faster than the number who can take advantage of them. This situation is made all the more dire by the massive cuts in government spending that are upon us. If proven programs are to reach the growing number of people who need them at a time when resources are increasingly constrained, we will need to abandon our 20th century mindsets about funding and scale, and build a true constituency for what works.


Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group

Managing Partner

Speaker Biography

Jeff Bradach is co-founder and managing partner of Bridgespan Group. In this role he guides the development of the organization, its knowledge strategy and the Bridgestar initiative, which seeks to increase the flow of talented leaders into and within the nonprofit sector.

In this role, Bradach works personally on a variety of nonprofit client and foundation engagements, focusing on issues of strategy and scale. He also writes, teaches and speaks extensively on topics relating to nonprofit strategy, business planning, and philanthropy. He is the author of “Going to Scale: The Challenge of Replicating Social Programs,” (Stanford Social Innovation Review premiere issue, Spring 2003) and the co-author, with Bridgespan partner William Foster, of “Should Nonprofits Seek Profits?”, which appeared in the Harvard Business Review, February 2005. He co-authored with Bridgespan colleagues Tom Tierney and Nan Stone, “Delivering on the Promise of Nonprofits,” (Harvard Business Review, December 2008) and most recently published the article, "Scaling Impact" (Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2010).

Prior to helping establish the Bridgespan Group, he served for seven years on the faculty of the Harvard Business School, where he was a member of the Organizational Behavior area and the Social Enterprise Initiative. His research focused on the strategy and organization of multi-site enterprises, human resource practices in the new economy, and nonprofit strategy.

While at Harvard he assisted in the design and delivery of two executive education courses: “Strategic Giving,” designed to help philanthropists develop high-impact strategies for giving; and “Strategic Perspectives on Nonprofit Management,” which emphasizes issues of strategy and organization for nonprofits.

Bradach’s earlier publications include the book Franchise Organizations (Harvard Business School Publishing, 1997) and numerous articles and cases on new economy human resources policies, strategic alignment, and going to scale in the nonprofit sector.

He began his career at Bain & Company, working as a consultant until he left to pursue advanced degrees. He received his bachelor's from Stanford University, where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa, and his master's in sociology and PhD in organizational behavior from Harvard University.