Morgan Stanley

Bring Me A Book Team Wins Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge

Jun 20, 2013

Working with 12 Nonprofits over Eight Weeks, Morgan Stanley Professionals Deliver more than 8,000 Pro Bono Hours in Strategic Advisory Services

New York —

Bring Me A Book and a team of Morgan Stanley professionals have won the fifth annual Strategy Challenge, Morgan Stanley’s signature skills-based volunteer program providing nonprofits with pro bono strategic consulting.  Bring Me A Book works to strengthen the language and literacy skills of California’s underserved children.  Based in Mountain View, Calif., the nonprofit has served over 500,000 children, parents and teachers through its Bookcase Library Program, First Teacher Workshop parent training and Take Home Books Program.

The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge pairs teams of top-performing Morgan Stanley professionals with nonprofit organizations across the country for eight weeks to provide pro bono strategic advice on scalability and growth issues including business model optimization, geographic and program expansion and new ventures.  The participating nonprofits work on causes ranging from children’s health and education to vocational training and community building and are based in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The teams presented their final strategic programs in a competition at Morgan Stanley’s New York headquarters.  The nonprofits associated with the top three teams – Bring Me A Book, Futures and Options and Let’s Get Ready – were presented cash grants of $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively.

“We congratulate all the nonprofit organizations and Morgan Stanley professionals participating in this year’s Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge,” said Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James P. Gorman.  “Morgan Stanley is committed to giving back to the communities where we work and live, and our professionals have made valuable contributions of their skills and expertise to help these nonprofit organizations have an even greater impact.”

This year, the Morgan Stanley teams donated more than 8,000 hours, equivalent to a market value of approximately $1.2 million, based on standards developed by the Taproot Foundation.  This figure does not capture the additional value that the actual recommendations and strategies bring to the nonprofits through productivity improvements, new revenue streams and more efficient business models.  Over the past five years, the Strategy Challenge has cumulatively delivered over 30,500 hours, valued at over $4.6 million, to 61 nonprofit organizations.

The Morgan Stanley team working with Bring Me A Book developed an ambitious expansion of its book access programs through digital media, utilizing new technology and related training and support of parents and caregivers.

“The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge Team delivered on the promise to provide outstanding strategic advice to Bring Me A Book.  The team not only answered our strategic question but they made a personal investment of time and energy in our organization that made all the difference,” said Mialisa Bonta, Executive Director, Bring Me A Book.  “Bring Me A Book is walking away from this experience with a blueprint for our future work that we believe is game changing in the field of early literacy.  We now have an actionable plan that has all of the components for success: an understanding of our market, potential partners and a resourcing model that will immediately allow us to offer increased book access programs to support our preschool families in California.”

The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge is jointly sponsored by Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance and Morgan Stanley Community Affairs.

“Developing long-term sustainable business models is critical in enabling nonprofits to deliver deep and lasting impact,” said Audrey Choi, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley.  “Through the Strategy Challenge, Morgan Stanley professionals partner with nonprofit organizations to develop programs that can serve their community for many years.  We are excited about the potential of this year's recommendations to help our nonprofit partners grow, thrive and innovate.”

“Employee community engagement is a cornerstone of the Morgan Stanley culture and the foundation for our charitable efforts.  With the Strategy Challenge, Morgan Stanley professionals are able to strengthen nonprofit organizations by bringing to bear their strategic thinking and intellectual capital,” said Joan Steinberg, Head of Morgan Stanley Community Affairs and President of the Morgan Stanley Foundation.  “We are very proud of our employees’ contributions and even more excited to help these amazing nonprofits to bring their strategic visions to fruition.”

Participating nonprofits:

  • Bring Me A Book
  • Futures and Options
  • HealthCorps
  • Hot Bread Kitchen
  • Hollaback!
  • Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House
  • Let’s Get Ready
  • Mentoring Partnership of New York
  • The Boys’ Club of New York
  • The HOPE Program
  • The W Connection
  • Westside Family YMCA

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Media Relations Contact: Matt Burkhard, 212.761.2444