Among young people in the United Kingdom, most have heard of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, popularly known as the DofE. Since it was established by HRH Prince Philip in 1956, the program has benefitted millions of young people aged 14 to 24, including many facing marginalization.
The DofE, which works with schools and community organizations across the U.K., aims to equip participants with positive habits and valuable life skills, including self-confidence, a sense of purpose and an appreciation for helping others. The program has four components: volunteering, taking part in regular physical activity, learning a skill and going on an expedition. The impact has been measurable: In a national survey, employers gave DofE top marks for instilling in its participants leadership, teamwork and communication skills, as well as self-motivation, self-confidence and an ability and willingness to learn. 1
The DofE charity has long sought to build on its success and expand its mission to assist young people starting out in the workplace. But its division focused on the workplace is relatively small. What was the best—and most economically feasible—way for the DofE to expand its reach?
To seek answers, the DofE leadership team sought advice from Morgan Stanley, whose Strategy Challenge pro bono program—now in its 15th year—matches nonprofits with rising talent within the firm to help solve key strategic issues. The program culminates in a presentation to a panel of judges. who name a winning team from those competing, with the organization represented by that team receiving a monetary prize intended to help it address those issues.