Bain’s enduring partnership with Inspire has enabled hundreds of Bain associate consultants in the US to provide management consulting advice to nonprofit organizations with a youth-oriented, education focus. In addition to providing high quality counsel to leaders of these nonprofits, Inspire also allows pre-MBA Bain consultants to refine their strategic toolkit and take advantage of professional development opportunities while making a difference in their local communities. Cases are designed, managed, and executed entirely by associate consultants at each of the member firms: Bain, Parthenon, and L.E.K. Office leadership teams report to a national Executive Committee that includes several Bain associate consultants each year.

Since its founding, Inspire has expanded to 18 offices in eight cities nationwide with 430 active volunteers, more than half of whom are Bain associate consultants. It has become a very impactful way for Bain associate consultants to assume step-up leadership roles while guiding nonprofit organizations through critical strategy decisions.

Where it is

Inspire has a presence in eight out of nine Bain offices across the US and motivated ACs in the Mexico City office in 2010 to form a similar organization, Impacta.

Case examples

The Future ProjectWinner of 2013 Bain New York Inspire Results Challenge

Over two phases of work, an Inspire team in the Bain New York office helped outline a growth and org strategy at The Future Project, an emerging social enterprise that dispatches "Dream Directors"—transformational leaders trained to inspire and support others in pursuing their dreams—into public high schools across the country. The Dream Director harnesses the collective energy of the students and supports them in building passion-driven Future Projects that impact their community and engage and transform the culture of the entire school. In Phase I, the team focused on expansion strategy, making recommendations to help TFP optimize its model for scale. In Phase II, they dove deeper into a few priority areas and supported the organization as it sought to implement some of these changes. In particular, they helped shape org and decision-making structures, and developed programs to improve support for the Dream Directors in the field.

MISSSEYAn Inspire team in the Bain San Francisco office collaborated with MISSSEY to create the organization’s first 5-year strategic plan. MISSSEY—which stands for Motivating, Inspiring, Supporting, and Serving Sexually Exploited Youth—provides services to sexually exploited youth and works for systemic change in the community. The Inspire team worked with MISSSEY staff and board members to understand their goals and key areas of need, and then led the board in a series of strategy workshops to narrow the vision and mission into priorities for the next five years. To ensure successful implementation of the five-year plan, the Inspire team developed several implementation tools like a goals and budget tracker and led a workshop with MISSSEY staff to demonstrate how their input led to the final plan.