Strategy Challenge

Morgan Stanley celebrates the 10th annual Strategy Challenge, our flagship pro bono program that brings together our rising talent to help nonprofits solve strategic challenges.

Using Business Skills to Help Nonprofits

What is The Challenge?

Employees engage with nonprofits for a 10–week pro bono consulting project focused on a key strategic question. 

Who Participates?

Nonprofits work with teams of top performing employees to address a mission-critical challenge. 

What's the Impact?

Based on in-depth analysis, teams present actionable recommendations to the nonprofits. 

Our Impact

128

Nonprofits to Date

95K+

Service Hours

$14.6

Million in Services

Our Participants

Access Sport
2018 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Access Sport uses the power of sport to enhance the life prospects of disadvantaged and disabled young people living in deprived inner city areas of England. They provide intensive support and training for inspirational coaches, volunteers and young leaders, empowering them to build thriving, and connected community sports clubs.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
BronxConnect
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

BronxConnect's mission is to renew the mindset of the urban youth, empowering them to transform their communities from within and stay out of jail for life.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
Education Through Music
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Education Through Music (ETM®) partners with inner-city schools to provide music as a core subject for all children and utilizes music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school and self-confidence.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
Eva's Village
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The mission of Eva’s Village is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, treat the addicted and provide medical care to those in need.

Strategic Question Category

Program Optimization
Mencap
2018 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Mencap work toward a world where people with learning disabilities are valued equally, listened to and included. This is achieved by changing attitudes, providing services and influencing those who support their vision.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
New Alternatives for Children
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

NAC provides comprehensive healthcare and social services to children living in poverty who have special medical and behavioral needs.

Strategic Question Category

Program Optimization
NY Council on Adoptable Children
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

COAC proactively identifies, develops, recruits, stabilizes and strengthens family systems to provide permanent, loving and nurturing homes to children.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
Per Scholas
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Per Scholas opens doors to technology careers for individuals from often overlooked communities.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
Roots and Wings
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The mission of Roots & Wings is to provide young adults who age out of the New Jersey foster care system with safe housing, educational support, case management, counseling, and life skills in order to empower motivated individuals toward self-sufficiency.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
Save the Children
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

In the U.S. and around the world, Save the Children gives children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
Shelter
2018 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Shelter helps millions of people in the UK every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness by providing advice, support and legal services. And Shelter campaigns to ensure that, one day, no one will have to turn to us for help.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
Teens and Toddlers
2018 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Teens and Toddlers. Teens and Toddlers believe no child should be prevented from achieving their potential. Since 2001 their award winning 18 week core programme has helped to inspire over 8,000 disengaged and disadvantaged young people by giving them the essential life-skills and self-belief they need to succeed at school and in life.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
The Children’s Society
2018 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Children’s Society has been supporting young people since 1881 working to ensure they are heard in their situation and are paired with a trusted adult as they believe no child should feel alone. They currently offer a range of programmes as well as campaigning to create change at a local and national level.

Strategic Question Category

Expansion Strategy
YMCA of Greater NY
2018 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

YMCA of Greater NY is a community service organization with three core goals: empowering youth, improving health and strengthening community for all New Yorkers.

Strategic Question Category

Business Model
Barnardo’s
2017 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Barnardo’s is one of the UK’s oldest and largest children’s charities, they exist to transform the lives of the most vulnerable children.

Strategic Question

Should Barnardo’s establish a textile recycling enterprise as an earned income strategy? If so, how?
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration), the nation's first community development organization, partners with area residents and businesses to improve the quality of life in long-blighted areas of Central Brooklyn.

Strategic Question

Which industry offers opportunities for long-term career building and is the best fit for Restoration’s goals– food services, transportation, or IT?
Gina Gibney Dance
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Gibney Dance, founded in 1991, is a trailblazing organization whose mission is to bring the possibility of movement where it otherwise would not exist.

Strategic Question

How should Gibney Dance price its digital services to balance affordability for artists and financial sustainability?
Marie Curie
2017 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Marie Curie is the UK’s leading charity caring for people living with any terminal illness, and their families. It offers expert care, guidance and support to help them get the most from the time they have left.

Strategic Question

Should Marie Curie develop a care quality service? If so, how?
Place2Be
2017 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Place2Be is the UK's leading children's mental health charity working in 282 schools across the UK to provide early-intervening emotional and mental health support to 116,000 children and their families.

Strategic Question

What is the most effective business model for Place2Be to maintain quality and grow their services?
Police Athletic League
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Police Athletic League, together with NYPD and the law enforcement community, supports and inspires New York City youth to realize their full individual potential as productive members of society.

Strategic Question

How should PAL expand its In-STEP program geographically? Where would be the best fit – Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Staten Island?
Qualitas of Life Foundation
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Qualitas of Life Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides basic financial education to Hispanic individuals and their families in New York, in order to foster their financial security and improve their standard of living.

Strategic Question

What business model should Qualitas use to expand its impact beyond the tri-state area?
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine aims to become the world's most widely used solution for companies and individuals to eliminate food waste in their communities, make food rescue sustainable and universal, and make food hunger a thing of the past.

Strategic Question

Should Rescuing Leftover Cuisine expand into the event catering food rescue market?
Save the Children
2017 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Save the Children gives children in the UK and around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Strategic Question

What is the most effective business model to grow Save the Children UK’s parental engagement programmes?
Stanley M. Isaacs Center
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Isaacs Center’s mission, in working with children, young adults, and seniors is to promote social and physical well-being and encourage growth, self-reliance and dignity throughout every stage of life.

Strategic Question

Should the Isaacs Center reduce its current service portfolio by allowing one or more of its three core service areas to be absorbed by another organization?
Tuesday’s Children
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Formed in the aftermath of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Tuesday’s Children is a response and recovery organization that supports youth, families, and communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss.

Strategic Question

How should Tuesday’s Children expand its Military Families Initiative? Where would be best to target first – Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, San Diego, or Norfolk, VA?
Unicef UK
2017 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Unicef works around the world, including in the UK, to keep children healthy, happy and safe.

Strategic Question

Should Unicef UK expand its Child Rights Partners programme across London?
Volunteer New York!
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Volunteer New York!’s core mission is to inspire, mobilize, and equip individuals and groups to take positive action to address pressing challenges, support nonprofits and strengthen the quality of life in our community.

Strategic Question

What strategies should Volunteer New York! pursue to increase its impact, both in terms of increasing the number of volunteers activated and the extent of their service?
Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)
2017 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

WHEDco’s mission is to give the South Bronx access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods: from high-quality early education and after-school programs, to fresh, healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity.

Strategic Question

How should CookSpace price its kitchen rental fees and technical assistance across customers to balance serving entrepreneurs in need and improving financial sustainability?
Brooklyn Free School
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Brooklyn Free School’s mission is education for social justice.

Strategic Question

Should BFS pursue fee-based service growth in its educator enrichment services: educator professional development, curriculum publishing, and/or school consulting?
Centrepoint
2016 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people, working with 7,800 16-25 year olds a year to get them into a job and a home.

Strategic Question

Should Centrepoint establish a café(s) as an earned income strategy? If so, how?
Coram
2016 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Coram is the oldest children’s charity in the UK. Coram Life Education delivers health and wellbeing education to 700,000 children nationwide, providing the skills and knowledge they need to make positive lifestyle choices for years to come.

Strategic Question

What is the most effective business model to grow the Coram Life Education programme into schools?
El Taller Latino Americano
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Since 1979, El Taller has been an open space for expression and dialogue inspired by the belief that creativity dispels fear and mistrust among communities.

Strategic Question

Should El Taller launch an initiative to provide curriculum, materials and training for their dual-language children’s programming on a fee basis?
Global Goods Partners
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit social enterprise dedicated to alleviating poverty and promoting social justice by strengthening women-led social enterprises in marginalized communities in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Strategic Question

Which of Global Goods Partners’ three sales channels (retail, wholesale, private label) should the organization pursue?
Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership is a school-based non-profit whose mission is to provide a safe, structured environment for children to compete and to learn while they develop into leaders within their community and beyond.

Strategic Question

Which of the three potential high school program approaches (school-focused, after-school, or partnership) should HLL pursue?
Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership’s mission is to stimulate economic development in inner city communities by accelerating the growth of the small business sector – the business segment that has the greatest potential to positively impact job creation and wealth building.

Strategic Question

What business model should IFEL pursue for online training – including pricing, funding model, target customers, and marketing strategy – to achieve scalable.
Jumpstart for Young Children
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Jumpstart’s mission is to provide language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promote quality early learning for all.

Strategic Question

Should Jumpstart launch a post-graduate fellowship to recruit and support early education teachers (for ages 3, 4, and 5)?
National Eating Disorders Association
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

National Eating Disorders Association supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures, and access to quality care.

Strategic Question

Where should NEDA expand its NEDA Walks program, and what model (i.e. network structure across geographies) should it use to achieve deepest impact?
NSPCC
2016 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The NSPCC is the only children’s charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK and Channel Islands. They help children who have been abused to rebuild their lives, protect children at risk, and find the best ways of preventing child abuse from happening.

Strategic Question

Should NSPCC expand its ‘Letting the Future In’ service in Camden and Islington? If so, how?
The Andrew Goodman Foundation
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s mission is to ensure that young voices and votes are a powerful force in our democracy.

Strategic Question

What growth model and partner selection approach should Andrew Goodman Foundation pursue to expand its Vote Everywhere program?
The Future Leaders Trust
2016 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Future Leaders Trust is an independent charity with the mission to raise the achievement of children, regardless of background, and to provide them with equal choices and opportunities in life by developing a network of exceptional school leaders.

Strategic Question

What is the most effective business model to expand the flagship ‘Future Leaders’ programme?
Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership
2016 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP) is the leading education charity that bridges the gap between students and the world of work, to enable students to broaden their horizons and igniting a determination to fulfill their aspirations.

Strategic Question

Should Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership expand its services to Greenwich? If so, how?
York Street Project
2016 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Working together to help women and children break the cycle of poverty.

Strategic Question

What is driving Kenmare High School’s dropout rate? How might York Street Project significantly lower the dropout rate?
Action for Children
2015 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Action for Children provides targeted support to vulnerable and socially excluded young people right across the UK.

Strategic Question

Should Action for Children establish charity shops as an earned income strategy, and if so, how should they pursue this?
Bridge Street Development Corporation
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Bridge Street Development Corporation builds partnerships with businesses, government, and other community stakeholders to provide civic and economic opportunities to the residents of Central Brooklyn.

Strategic Question

Should Bridge Street Development Corporation expand its affordable housing development to new neighborhoods? If so, what neighborhood is the best fit (Canarsie, East NY, Brownsville, Northern Crown Heights)?
Career Ready
2015 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Career Ready provides a structured programme of internships, mentoring, masterclasses and workplace visits to prepare 16-19 year-olds for the world of work

Strategic Question

Should Career Ready create a school cluster model in the Southall Area and if so how?
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies works to promote the social and economic well-being of greater New York’s most vulnerable by advocating for just public policies and strengthening human service organizations.

Strategic Question

What should FPWA prioritize in expanding the Center for Leadership Development: Executive Education, Organizational and Programmatic Support, or Civic Engagement?
Grace Institute
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Grace Institute empowers underserved women in the New York area to achieve employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Strategic Question

How should Grace Institute expand their sector-specific job training program? What industry (technology, finance, or hospitality) would be most appropriate?
Harlem Educational Activities Fund
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Harlem Educational Activities Fund changes the lives of underserved young people, beginning in middle school and continuing in college and beyond, through a youth development approach that includes rigorous year-round academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure and constant individual attention.

Strategic Question

Should Harlem Educational Activities Fund expand their Bed-Stuy pilot program? If so, how?
Headstrong Project
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Headstrong Project is a not for profit veteran's service organization founded in 2012 that is committed to helping fellow post 9/11 combat veterans recover from PTSD and related conditions, “the hidden wounds of war”, in order to lead full and meaningful lives. Through its Weill Cornell Medical College partnership, Headstrong Project provides evidence-based, high quality mental health care that is completely confidential, cost free, and bureaucracy free.

Strategic Question

How should Headstrong Project expand geographically; which of Houston, Detroit or San Diego would be the best fit?
Partnership with Children
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Founded in 1908, Partnership with Children’s mission is to strengthen the social, emotional and cognitive skills of at-risk children.

Strategic Question

Should PWC launch a fee-for-service training program, and if so, how?
The New York Center for Autism Charter School
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The mission of the New York Center for Autism Charter School is to provide individualized, scientifically-based educational services to children on the autism spectrum, helping ensure that they reach their full intellectual, social, and emotional potential.

Strategic Question

Should NYCACS expand impact and reach by developing additional charter school locations? If so, how?
Rays of Sunshine
2015 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Rays of Sunshine is a national charity, whose mission is to brighten up the lives of seriously and terminally ill children by granting wishes for them and their families

Strategic Question

Should Rays of Sunshine grow their ‘Rush wishes’ programme in order to grant additional wishes and have added impact?
Start Small. Think Big.
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Start Small Think Big’s mission is to help low- to moderate-income individuals build and sustain thriving businesses in order to increase their personal financial security and stimulate economic activity in underserved communities in New York City.

Strategic Question

How should SSTB expand their financial advising services? What service mix and delivery structure (i.e., partner vs. in-house) will have the greatest impact?
Student Sponsor Partners
2015 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Founded in 1986, Student Sponsor Partners addresses the high school dropout crisis in New York City by providing low-income, at-risk students – nearly 90% of whom come from minority populations – with four years of non-public, college-preparatory education.

Strategic Question

How should SSP expand into college prep, readiness, and persistence programs to improve post-secondary education outcomes, and, what should their partnership strategy be to deliver services?
Think Forward
2015 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Think Forward helps the most vulnerable young people navigate the transition from school to work, providing highly trained coaches based in their schools to guide and support them

Strategic Question

Should ThinkForward expand its services into Kent? If so, how?
Whizz Kids
2015 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Whizz-Kidz provides vital mobility equipment and support and life skills to disabled children.

Strategic Question

Should Whizz-Kidz expand its Wheels in Motion programme into Hackney? If so, how?
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) the leading national nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.

Strategic Question

How should American Foundation for Suicide Prevention expand its web-based screening tool to workplace settings?
Catholic Guardian Services
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Catholic Guardian Services works to protect and nurture disadvantaged children and individuals with disabilities (including foster youth) to increase prospects for self-sufficiency and strengthen family structures.

Strategic Question

How should Catholic Guardian Services expand their Youth Employment Services program? What industry (technology, food service, hospitality, or health care) is most attractive?
Children of Promise, NYC
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC) is a community based organization with a mission to embrace children of incarcerated parents and empower them to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system.

Strategic Question

Should Children of Promise expand into Central Harlem?
Community Links
2014 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Community Links seeks to tackle the causes and consequences of social exclusion in East London by raising aspirations for a better life, reducing poverty, extending opportunities in education and employment and building a stronger community. Eighty percent of their work is delivered in Newham, the second most diverse borough in the UK.

Strategic Question

How does Community Links most effectively expand its services into the borough of Waltham Forest in a way that complements and enhances other charities’ existing services in the borough?
Day One NYC
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Day One partners with New York City youth to end dating abuse and domestic violence through preventive education, supportive services, legal advocacy and leadership development.

Strategic Question

Should Day One create a train-the-trainer service model for its education programs?
ELBA
2014 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

East London Business Alliance is working to bring positive change in east London, facilitating corporate involvement in community organizations, education and employment.

Strategic Question

What is the most effective model for ELBA to engage its corporate members, in order to reduce poverty and deprivation in the East London?
Good Shepherd Services
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The mission of Good Shepherd Services is to surround at-risk New York City youth and their families with a web of supports that promote a safe passage to self-sufficiency. To achieve this mission, they lead in the development of innovative youth development programs; provide quality, effective services that strengthen participants’ connections with family, school and community; and advocate on their behalf for broader change.

Strategic Question

Should Good Shepherd expand their offerings to include specialized trauma-informed practice trainings to other service providers in NYC? If so, what should the product mix and structure be?
Greenwich House
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Greenwich House was founded in 1902 as a settlement house to help Greenwich Village’s immigrant population adjust to life in New York City. Though needs continue to change, the mission of Greenwich House remains constant: to help individuals and families lead more fulfilling lives by offering social and health services, cultural and education programs and opportunities for civic involvement to New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds, serving some 15,000 New Yorkers annually.

Strategic Question

How should Greenwich House expand its healthy living services for seniors?
Hamilton Families
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Hamilton Families works to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through a Housing First approach, HFC provides a continuum of housing solutions and hands on services that promote self-sufficiency.

Strategic Question

Should Hamilton Families seek to invest significantly in the rapid re-housing program to reduce shelter waiting lists?
International Rescue Committee
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives.

Strategic Question

What product and pricing strategy should International Rescue Committee pursue for immigration services in NYC and Miami?
Magic Breakfast
2014 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Magic Breakfast seeks to reach the point where no child is too hungry to learn. Every school day, Magic Breakfast provides a free, nutritious breakfast to more than 7,500 children in 230 primary schools in the UK.

Strategic Question

How should Magic Breakfast achieve the most efficient, cost effective expansion over the next two years?
Metropolitan College of New York
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

MCNY, a fully accredited undergraduate and graduate institution, offers a range of programs at its New York City campus; MCNY’s expertise lies in serving ‘nontraditional’ college students who benefit from MCNY’s innovative programming, practical connections with the workplace, and student supports.

Strategic Question

Should Metropolitan College of New York create a program for youth aging out of the foster system within its undergraduate college?
New Alternatives for Children
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

NAC’s mission is to provide high quality services in support of birth, foster, and adoptive families caring primarily for medically fragile children, which includes children with severe physical disabilities, emotional/behavioral challenges, and developmental disabilities. NAC’s services enable children to remain in or to be returned to their families whenever possible or to be adopted by loving families.

Strategic Question

Should New Alternatives for Children expand the their medical clinic by optimizing their current model, expanding pediatric services to the community, or developing a specialized autism clinic?
Phipps Neighborhoods
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Phipps Neighborhoods works toward a New York City in which no one is caught in the cycle of poverty. They provide children, youth and families in low-income neighborhoods the opportunities they need to thrive through comprehensive education and career programs, and access to community services.

Strategic Question

Should Phipps Neighborhoods launch a fee-for-service training model for its education and learning initiative? If so, should it offer open workshops or client-based trainings, and what revenue model should be pursued?
Project Renewal
2014 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Project Renewal's mission is to end the cycle of homelessness by empowering men and women with mental illness, addiction, or both to renew their lives with health, homes and jobs.

Strategic Question

Which option(s) should Project Renewal pursue to expand their social enterprises – expanding into high-end catering services, creating a moving company, or launching a landscaping company?
The Prince’s Trust
2014 UK Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Prince’s Trust provides practical and financial support to young people who have struggled at school, are unemployed for an extended period or have been in trouble with the law.

Strategic Question

How can The Prince’s Trust most effectively engage a greater number of Corporate Partner employees in order to maximise the support offered to young people?
Bring Me A Book
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Bring Me A Book envisions a world in which all children can read and succeed, and works to strengthen the language and literacy skills of the growing number of California’s underserved children.

Strategic Question

Should BMAB expand its book access programs through digital media? If so, what resources and timeline would it take to make this successful?
Futures and Options
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Since its founding in 1995, Futures and Options’ mission is to provide low-income, inner-city youth with job skills and meaningful work experiences so they will be motivated to further their education and can become self-reliant contributors to the economy.

Strategic Question

How can a better understanding of its cost structure improve Futures and Options’ decision making, allocation process, and plans for expansion?
HealthCorps
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

HealthCorps works to lead a nationwide movement toward a new generation of healthy young people. Their mission is to implement an innovative in-school model that inspires teens to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.

Strategic Question

Is the HealthCorps University model a viable and effective way to reach a critical mass of children and teens in the United States, with the goal of reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity? If so, where should HCU go in its next phase of growth?
Hollaback
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment, powered by a network of local activists around the world. Hollaback leverages technology to bring voice to an issue that historically has been silenced, and build leadership within this movement.

Strategic Question

How can Hollaback effectively take its existing city training and movement-building model to college campuses? Is there a viable earned income model in this expansion to colleges?
Hot Bread Kitchen
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Hot Bread Kitchen seeks to address the professional marginalization of immigrant women by opening employment pathways in the food manufacturing field.

Strategic Question

What are the best cities or regions in which to expand Hot Bread Kitchen’s organization?
Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House is a community-based nonprofit organization that offers comprehensive services to the youth, seniors, immigrants and families of Western Queens.

Strategic Question

How can Riis Settlement improve the civic engagement, educational attainment and ultimately economic independence of low- to moderate-income adults in its community?
Let's Get Ready
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Let's Get Ready provides low-income high school students with free SAT preparation, admissions counseling and other support services needed to gain admission to and graduate from college. Services are provided by volunteer college students who also serve as role models and mentors.

Strategic Question

How should Let’s Get Ready expand geographically and what conditions must be in place to enable and sustain the expansion?
Mentor New York
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Mentor New York supports the mentoring community with low- or no-cost services, bringing together many mentoring programs to improve the quality and quantity of safe and successful mentoring relationships.

Strategic Question

Should Mentor New York expand to become a statewide mentoring partnership. If so, what would it take to do so?
The Boys' Club of New York
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Boys’ Club of New York offers comprehensive afterschool and summertime programs to 4,000 boys and young men in New York City.

Strategic Question

Should BCNY continue to own and operate the Somerset camp location under the current business model? If not, what model should it pursue?
The Hope Program
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Empowers New Yorkers living in poverty to achieve economic self-sufficiency through employment and advancement.

Strategic Question

What is the feasibility of HOPE creating a revenue-generating business that both serves the training and transitional employment needs of their students and graduates while providing the revenue to expand HOPE’s services?
The W Connection
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The W Connection works to equip widows with the education, training and emotional support they need to rebuild their lives.

Strategic Question

Which funding model is most viable to scale the W Connection’s impact ― membership, Individual donations, or earned income from corporations ― and how should they develop this funding strategy?
Westside Family YMCA
2013 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Westside Family YMCA’s cause is to strengthen the foundations of community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Strategic Question

What are the unmet needs of families, teens, and seniors within the West LA community? How can the Westside Y best meet these needs while existing within its operational framework? What evaluation criteria can be implemented to ensure these programs are making an impact on the communities they serve?
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Brooklyn Children’s Museum was the first museum created expressly for children. With award-winning, hands-on exhibits and innovative use of its collections, the Museum engages children from pre-school to high school in learning adventures.

Strategic Question

What earned income strategy should Brooklyn Children’s Museum pursue, including admission fee structure and earned income ventures?
Chicago Youth Centers
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) invests in youth in underserved communities in Chicago to help them discover and realize their full potential. CYC is committed to putting kids on track for life.

Strategic Question

Should CYC continue to own and operate the camp under the current business model? What alternatives to owning-operating should CYC consider for offering camping to participants?
Children’s Aid
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Children’s Aid helps children in poverty to succeed and thrive by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-need New York City neighborhoods.

Strategic Question

How should Children’s Aid approach potential M&A opportunities? How should Children’s Aid move forward with the target organization in question?
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Children’s Museum of Manhattan inspires children and families to learn about themselves and our culturally diverse world through a unique environment of interactive exhibitions and programs.

Strategic Question

What parts of the EatSleepPlay initiative can be scaled? What is required for expansion?
Covenant House
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Covenant House New York is the nation’s largest adolescent care agency serving homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. They are part of Covenant House International, serving over 50,000 young people each year in 21 cities in North and Latin America.

Strategic Question

What industry mix and partnership strategy should Covenant House New York pursue to improve placement and retention rates for youth participating in their vocational training programs?
Family & Children’s Agency
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Family & Children’s Agency is a leading nonprofit human service organization committed to increasing the social and emotional well-being of its clients.

Strategic Question

For home care services, what service mix and pricing strategy should Family & Children’s Agency pursue?
Friends for Youth
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Founded in 1979, Friends for Youth’s mission is to create quality mentoring relationships for youth who need them most.

Strategic Question

Of current offerings, can any services operate as fee-for-service? What would it take to launch this new fee-for-service model?
Grameen America
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Founded by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, Grameen America is dedicated to helping women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families.

Strategic Question

What are the options for Grameen America to provide borrowers with basic health services, either directly or through another entity?
iCouldBe
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The mission of iCouldBe is to provide at-risk middle and high school students with an online community of professional mentors, empowering teens to stay in school, plan for future careers, and achieve in life.

Strategic Question

How should iCouldBe select and pursue partners for growth? What is the impact financially, organizationally, and technically of different speeds of growth?
Macaulay Honors College
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Macaulay Honors College inspires and prepares students to solve the challenges facing New York City, our nation, and the global community. They offer exceptional students transformative opportunities to develop their potential beyond what they imagined.

Strategic Question

What would be the best strategy for Macaulay to build a residential living/learning community? What would it take to launch a residential living/learning community?
Reach the World
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Reach the World cultivates relationships between young students and volunteer world travelers through an innovative program of online journalism and face-to-face interactions.

Strategic Question

What growth strategy should Reach the World pursue for high school programming? Which distribution channel should they pursue?
StoryCorps
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

StoryCorps provides Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants.

Strategic Question

What business model should StoryCorps pursue in order to grow its school programming? Which schools should they target?
Tuesday’s Children
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Tuesday's Children has made a long-term commitment to meet the needs of every individual impacted by the events of September 11th, 2001. They provide support at each stage of life through innovative, needs-based programs and mental health support.

Strategic Question

Should Tuesday’s Children extend programming to focus on veterans?
Union Settlement
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Union Settlement is an on-the-ground resource for East Harlem residents of all ages, and a strong advocate for the needs of underserved communities. Since opening our doors in 1895, Union Settlement has brought education, wellness and community-building programs to the people of East Harlem.

Strategic Question

Should Union Settlement launch fee-for-service adult education classes?
W!SE
2012 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Working In Support of Education (w!se) is an educational nonprofit dedicated to providing educational support services nationwide, building financial literacy and preparing students for college and the global workplace.

Strategic Question

What states, cities and large county school districts should WISE target for growth? What are the financial and organizational impacts of this growth in the highest-priority locations?
Feeding America
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, feeding America's hungry through a nationwide network of over 200 member food banks. Collectively, they supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year.

Strategic Question

What are the strategic options for Feeding America to integrate a cooperative shared service model across its network (e.g., HR, accounting, payroll processing, technology, purchasing)?
Green Chimneys
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Green Chimneys' mission is to restore possibilities and create futures for children with emotional, behavioral, social and learning challenges through educational, therapeutic and outreach services.

Strategic Question

What programming mix at CEC will best allow Green Chimneys to both achieve mission and provide financial stability?
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s mission is to strengthen America by advancing the college education of Hispanic Americans with scholarships, college retention and career opportunities.

Strategic Question

What should be the model for HSF’s Generation 1st Degree partnerships?
Only Make Believe
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Only Make Believe creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities. Only Make Believe is dedicated to the principle that freeing a child's imagination is a valuable part of the healing process.

Strategic Question

What are the options for how OMB could structure expansion, and what are the pros and cons of each? Which options allow OMB to best uphold artistic integrity? How should OMB structure expansion into Washington, D.C.?
Reach the World
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Reach the World cultivates relationships between young students and volunteer world travelers through an innovative program of online journalism and face-to-face interactions.

Strategic Question

Which distribution channel and platform should GeoGames pursue? Potential for market share, Monetization potential, Impact on mission; How can the organization support an earned revenue “business” within the non-profit?
Sheltering Arms
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

With a mission to transform the lives and communities of New Yorkers in need, Episcopal Social Services strengthens families, promotes the healthy development of children and youth, and empowers its clients to become self-sufficient.

Strategic Question

Should ESS launch a mixed private pay model for early childcare?
Sponsors for Educational Opportunity
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity provides a broad range of educational and career development opportunities to hundreds of disadvantaged high school students, college students and young professionals across the nation.

Strategic Question

What are the key strategic factors SEO should consider in indentifying and assessing high priority cities for expansion? (e.g., public transportation, under-resourced student population, cost per student) Which cities should SEO focus on in the near-term?
Sustainable South Bronx
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

SSBx provides a collaborative model that addresses environmental, economic and social concerns through policy change, green job training, environmental education, and community greening programs.

Strategic Question

What does the market look like for each of the green infrastructure developments? How should SSBx approach having a presence in this space?
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center provides a home for the birth, nurture and celebration of our organizations, institutions and culture; cares for our individuals and groups in need; educates the public and our community; and empowers our individuals and groups to achieve their fullest potential.

Strategic Question

What are the goals of the Family Services program? How should the Family Services program grow (i.e., “start, stop, continue”)?
The Olana Partnership
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Olana Partnership supports the conservation, preservation, development and improvement of Olana State Historic Site, the 250-acre, artist-designed landscape and home of famed Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church.

Strategic Question

Is it feasible for TOP to assume management of Olana?
Upwardly Global
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Upwardly Global's mission to eliminate employment barriers for skilled immigrants and refugees and integrate this population into the professional U.S. workforce.

Strategic Question

What is UpGlo’s intended impact within healthcare? How should Upwardly Global decide which new healthcare professions to enter? Based on this framework, which healthcare professions should UpGlo enter?
Voices of September 11th
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Voices of September 11th provides information, support services and annual commemorative events for 9/11 families, rescue workers and survivors; commemorates the lives and stories of September 11th; and promotes public policy reform on prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism.

Strategic Question

What support services did they receive or currently receive? What are the gaps in their support services needs? Do these needs vary by survivor segment? If so, how? What services can VOICES provide given its long-standing work with 9/11 families and rescue workers?
Wildcat Service Corporation
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Wildcat provides job opportunities and resources for New Yorkers to become economically independent. Wildcat has helped hundreds of thousands of unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers find jobs, build careers, and receive training.

Strategic Question

How should Wildcat determine which industries to expand into?
Wildlife Conservation Society
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands around the world through science, conservation, education and management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.

Strategic Question

What are the goals for the Bronx Zoo store? What is the right positioning for the Bronx Zoo store?
Women’s Initiative for Self Employment
2011 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Women's Initiative builds the entrepreneurial capacity of women to overcome economic and social barriers and achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Strategic Question

What are the key strategic factors Women’s Initiative should consider in determining whether to: Grow or not more broadly? Grow or not in a specific area? Assuming growth, what are the strategic options Women’s Initiative might consider for its growth?
Accion USA
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Accion empowers low- to moderate-income business owners through access to fairly priced financial products and education. These entrepreneurs – often minorities and women – can build sustainable assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.

Strategic Question

How can the East Coast lending model be scaled? What needs should ACCION seek to meet?
Harlem Educational Activities Fund
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

HEAF changes the lives of underserved young people in middle school through college and beyond, through a youth development approach that includes year-round academic enrichment, social and cultural exposure, and individualized attention.

Strategic Question

What are the organizational and resource implications for HEAF in launching an expansion? What will be the value proposition to potential funders as part of the capital growth campaign?
Mt. Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Mount Sinai SAVI Program provides free and confidential counseling, advocacy, support and referral services to past and present survivors of rape, sexual assault, incest, and domestic violence, and their families and friends.

Strategic Question

How should SAVI pursue growth? What are the options for growth as well as the financial and resource implications?
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners (formerly Credit Where Credit Is Due)
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners empowers low-income people to become productive participants in the U.S. economic system, helping them convert low wages into assets and long-term wealth, while simultaneously contributing to community revitalization.

Strategic Question

How should CWCID pursue growth of its Getting Ahead financial education model (e.g. program expansion, geographic expansion, etc.)?
Peace First
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Peace First empowers students to create their own safe classrooms and communities by forming partnerships with elementary schools, middle schools and young adult volunteers.

Strategic Question

What are the key central functions and capacities Peace First needs to build out in order to scale (e.g. training, evaluation, product development, technology, learning and knowledge management)?
Pro Mujer
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Pro Mujer is an international women’s development organization founded in 1990 which provides Latin America’s women with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and opportunities for their children through financial services, business and empowerment training and high-quality, low-cost healthcare.

Strategic Question

What criteria should Pro Mujer use to evaluate potential new markets? What are the factors critical to an organization’s success during expansion?
Project Enterprise
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Project Enterprise’s mission is to support and develop entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities in New York City by providing micro loans, business development services and networking opportunities.

Strategic Question

Should PE involve more individuals in investing in its revolving loan fund? What are the options? What is the demand?
Summer Search
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Summer Search is a national youth development organization whose mission is to help low-income teenagers transform what they believe is possible for themselves and develop the skills they need to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities.

Strategic Question

How should Summer Search build out its clusters during this growth phase? What are the priority geographic areas? What are the major drivers of cost?
Teach for America
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Teach For America's mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.

Strategic Question

How should Teach for America build to its goal of 10% Native American students, given growth and funding constraints? What are the growth options and the implications for the current network?
The Fresh Air Fund
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Fresh Air Fund has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities since 1877.

Strategic Question

How should FAF pursue growth of its year-round programming? What are the option and implications?
YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood is a multi-service community center providing educational, recreational, and social services for members from pre-school to homebound frail elderly in both individual and group settings.

Strategic Question

How should the organization appropriately structure fees for arts programs (e.g. financial aid, staggered fee membership structure, etc.)?
Wildlife Conservation Society
2010 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild lands around the world through science, conservation, education and management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.

Strategic Question

What are the ways that the private sector might invest with WCS in projects focused on verifiable emissions reductions sold as carbon offsets?
Brooklyn Community Service
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Brooklyn Community Services seeks to empower at-risk children, youth and families, and adults with mental illness or developmental disabilities to overcome the obstacles they face, as we strive to ensure opportunity for all to learn, grow and contribute to ONE Brooklyn Community.

Strategic Question

If the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service were to launch an elder care management venture in New York City, what is the revenue potential?
Cancer Research Institute
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The Cancer Research Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of cancer patients through immunotherapy, science-based treatments that help the body’s immune system to fight disease.

Strategic Question

What is the operational feasibility of implementing a point of sale fundraising campaign?
City Kids
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

City Kids' mission is to empower urban young people, ages 13 to 19, through arts and educational programs to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in school, the workplace, and in life.

Strategic Question

How should CityKids position and price its flagship program Bridge Builder Initiative to most effectively enhance the organization’s future growth?
iMentor
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

iMentor builds mentoring relationships that empower students from low-income communities to graduate high school, succeed in college, and achieve their ambitions.

Strategic Question

How should iMentor Interactive position and price its online mentoring platform in order to ensure a sustainable growth phase over the next 5 years? What basket of partner types would be optimal in order to maximize profitability?
Lighthouse International
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Since 1905, Lighthouse International has led the charge in the fight against vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment.

Strategic Question

If Lighthouse International were to launch an eco-friendly glasses line, would there be sufficient market demand to ensure a viable venture?
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by multiple sclerosis.

Strategic Question

What homecare services delivery model should the National MS Society – New York Chapter adopt in order to drive organizational efficiency and high-quality service?
New York Cares
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

New York Cares is the city's largest volunteer management organization, running volunteer programs for 1,300 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools.

Strategic Question

How should New York Cares devote its resources to amplify volunteer engagement and use its resources most efficiently?
Oceana
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Oceana is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation. Their offices in North America, South America and Europe work together on strategic and directed campaigns to help return our oceans to former levels of abundance.

Strategic Question

What framework should Oceana use to assess potential areas of expansion as it expands its global footprint, and what are these countries?
Selfhelp
2009 US Strategy Challenge Participant
Mission

Selfhelp is dedicated to maintaining the independence and dignity of seniors and at-risk populations through a spectrum of housing, home health care and social services.

Strategic Question

If Selfhelp were to launch a consulting practice to help other organizations access capital and perform construction oversight for their senior housing properties, how viable would this venture be?

Program Overview

Background
  • Launched in 2009, the Strategy Challenge is our annual signature pro bono program, partnering nonprofit organizations with cross-divisional teams of top performing employees to address key strategic questions.
  • The program focuses on challenges that have a meaningful impact on a nonprofit's ability to deliver on its mission.
  • Over a 10-week engagement, employee teams leverage their expertise to provide customized analysis and implementable action plans, along with tools for future assessments and decision-making.
  • The program culminates in a day-long event, during which teams present their recommendations to senior Firm leadership and a panel of private and nonprofit sector experts.
Participants
  • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Nonprofit organizations are invited to apply; applicants are assessed through a rigorous and competitive selection process.
    • Selected nonprofits demonstrate the mission-critical nature of their strategic questions and will have conducted preliminary research to support a consulting engagement.
    • Participating nonprofits have been located across the United States and London, serving the local communities where employees live and work.
  • Employees
    • Business units nominate high performing Associates and Vice Presidents, who are then chosen for teams through a competitive selection process.
    • Each team encompasses employees with diverse skill-sets and competencies to ensure they are capable of addressing the nonprofit’s unique challenge.
    • Managing Directors serve as advisors to guide and support each team.
Impact
  • In line with Morgan Stanley's expertise in delivering innovative solutions for clients, each team provides tailored, actionable recommendations based on comprehensive analysis.
  • Team recommendations have led to more effective business models, expanded services, and productivity improvements, all in service of the nonprofit's mission.
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