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The Bridgespan Group


Vault’s Verdict

Each year, the Bridgespan Group stands out in our survey and rankings not just because of its commitment to social sector work, but to treating its consultants well. Insiders consistently point to a firm culture that is warm and supportive, while also valuing the ability to do work that makes a positive impact that goes beyond the bottom line for communities and organizations around the world.

Of course, social sector-focused work comes with tradeoffs in terms of financial compensation, but the true comparison for those weighing Bridgespan against competing offers is with the nonprofit sector—with access to senior leaders at leading non-profit organizations being one of the perks that the firm can offer.

All told, for those with a demonstrated passion for non-profit work, there is certainly no better place within the consulting industry to build a career. The hard part, of course, is getting the opportunity.

Firm Culture

“Amazing, truly caring workplace and incredible opportunities to make an impact in the social sector.”

“Incredible place to get an ‘insider's’ view of the social sector (foundations, nonprofits, impact investors)!”

“Nuanced, thoughtful and impact-equity focused.”

“The genuine interactions with people and ease of building relationships in order to enjoy the tough work we are doing together with our clients.”

“Warm, supportive environment where I can apply my consulting toolkit to personally meaningful, impact-oriented, mission-driven work.” 

Quality of Life

“50-55 hours a week feels quite reasonable for the consulting industry. I also appreciate agency over how exactly I spend my time, such that I am able to balance life commitments with work (e.g., family, doctor’s appointments).”

“Bridgespan is a very human employer and operates out of nuance and intention. Client and firm travel is only as deemed relevant and necessary for the project and positive impact of all involved. The hours are reasonable and quite a bit of flexibility predicated on clear communication and planning.”

“I just started a month and a half ago, and I appreciate that we start out being in a single case, so that we can adjust to the type of work we are given, to the work culture, and get efficient enough to tackle two cases at once. Minimal travel requirements, that we basically opt into or not. Taking time off hasn't been a problem.”

“Overall, Bridgespan is one of the most sustainable consulting firms I've seen, and it tends to highly emphasize sustainability. A major area where managers get evaluated is on their ability to create a culture of sustainability.”

“Very flexible work arrangements (e.g., part time options), generous leave policies, flexibility as long as you get your work done. Average full time work week is about 50-55 hours which is very reasonable for consulting - I rarely if ever work on the weekends. A lot of learning happens on the job so if you are doing something new, that may require you to put in more hours for some time but it's usually not constant.”


“100% pay transparency and equity at every level. Compensation is lower than some private sector competitors but far higher than most other social sector careers.”

“Amazing pay for the nonprofit sector, but still underpaid relative to for-profit peers. (As is to be expected.)”

“Benefits are great. Compensation is smaller than peer consulting firms. I personally think of my work in the context of other impact-driven organizations, rather than other consulting firms. Within that world, compensation is excellent.”

“I think this is more than enough for the nonprofit world and I appreciate that everyone on the same level is paid the same. At the same time, it does make it a bit strange that some people with less work experience than me (who have worked at the organization since graduating from college) are at a higher level than me and therefore being paid more. But that is the nature of consulting.”

“Very competitive for nonprofit space. Salary progression strong. Sabbatical very appealing.”

Career Development

“Apprenticeship culture, focus on equity, supportive learning environment.”

“Bridgespan invests heavily in its people, especially when it comes to formal and informal training and supports. I have felt cared for and invested in both professionally and personally, and there is an expectation that managers set aside time to mentor and develop their direct reports. Although Bridgespan is a nonprofit, I'd argue that career development opportunities here rival (or exceed) the private sector.”

“Plenty of training opportunities, both as an organization, with our partner company Bain, and within our specific office. Diversity has been centered as part of our orientation, and there are plenty of affinity groups.”

“Simultaneously learning to have more impact on social issues and how to influence and support decision makers.”

“Very clear and unbiased performance standards that tie to promotion. The only downside to this is that it would be nice if there were other ways of recognizing value in addition to promotions and tenure-based awards (e.g., 5- and 10-year awards), as that seems the only formal way that contributions are recognized. Very extensive training opportunities at all levels, and training covers both content and how to manage people.”

Community Engagement

“Almost every company can do more to continue fostering diversity. I think Bridgespan has taken important steps in this direction (e.g., building out a dedicated DEI team, putting together a racial equity strategy with concrete goals and owners), and I'm looking forward to seeing what more comes of these investments. Our leadership team is 50% people of color, and I think management is similarly diverse.”

“DEI is Bridgespan's core work. I have little doubt Bridgespan spends more time, money, and resources (per capita) on DEI than any other consulting firm, both in the work we do and in our internal firm practices.”

“I feel like Bridgespan is making an intentional effort to build affinity spaces as well as a workplace that includes a diverse selection of talent. This extends from hiring to promoting within.”

“Significant and authentic firmwide investment in DEI, including dedicated capacity, diversification of board, leadership and staff, and refresh of performance evaluation system with an equity lens.”

"This is the best organization for DEI that I've ever worked with, hands-down. I can be myself here, and I feel that the organization is trying to meet the needs of my community. I also notice that people feel free to talk about what they would like to see changed, so I appreciate that as well. In other organizations, there is fear around talking candidly and I haven't seen that here.”

Business Outlook

“Bridgespan has a privileged position and voice in the social sector and the overall business outlook is very strong, with a full pipeline extending out much further than usual.”

“Bridgespan is blazing trails in the philanthropic and nonprofit worlds, helping create some of the most innovative platforms to connect high impact social change ideas with philanthropic capital. We are leading in our industry with only small competitors.”

“Huge expansion rate, with Bridgespan growing from just 300 people to over 400 in just 1.5 years. Bridgespan has become the go-to advisor for people in the social sector seeking to do new, interesting, and innovative things.”

“There's a very high demand and a strong case pipeline as far as I understand things. There will always be people who want to make the world a better place, and who are looking for Strategy support along the way.”

“We have consistently had more demand than we could serve for the past couple of years and see that continuing. It not only provides a strong business outlook, but it enables us to be choosy in our work and prioritize client and projects that center equity.”

Hiring Process

“All the normal strengths of a strategy consultant (analytical, sense for value, good teaming skills, EQ) + a strong passion for the social sector.”

“I believe an enormous consideration for Bridgespan is a candidate's commitment to impact work and experience in the social sector, along with their analytical skills of course.”

“Interview process is very transparent and rigorous. Timelines are articulated up front and there is a lot of consideration around preparation to make sure all candidates have access.”

“Someone who is extremely genuine in their interest in and commitment to DEI and working in the social sector. They can probably tell who is primarily seeking to obtain a corporate consulting job instead.”

“The firm is pretty quick with how they get back to you, they are transparent about the hiring and callback process, and I think the ideal candidate has an equity lens and is passionate about social change, while still maintaining a logical thought process.”

Interview Questions

“You are leading an organization with three programs, and you just received a large donation. How do you decide which of the three programs to fund?”

“Case study questions (both quantitative and qualitative)”

“Standard case interview question. The interviews are moderately difficult, but the real hard part to get through is the resume screen. For entry-level roles at least, Bridgespan is often reviewing a few hundred resumes for each person hired for some offices.”

“We use case questions based on real cases and offer mock interviews to people from historically underrepresented groups within our firm. Cases ask candidates to weigh strategic choices for a client (e.g., different options to grow or to invest capital) and to think through some questions around change management, risk and mitigation.”

The Bridgespan Group

2 Copley Place
7th Floor, Suite 3700B
Boston, MA 02116
Phone: (617) 572-2833

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private Non Profit
Managing Partner: William Foster
Partner, Head of US Advisory: Nidhi Sahni
Partner, Head of Asia and Africa Advisory: Jan Schwier
2023 Employees (All Locations): 425

Major Office Locations

New York
San Francisco

Major Departments & Practices

  • Children Youth and Families
  • Education
  • Public Health
  • Global Development
  • Foundations and Philanthropists
  • Funder Collaboratives
  • Impact Investors