Morgan Stanley

Participating Nonprofit Organizations Complete 6th Annual Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge

Jun 12, 2014

This year's eight-week program delivered over 11,000 hours of strategy advisory services to help nonprofits reach scale

New York —


The Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge pairs nonprofit organizations facing a mission critical issue with a team of top-performing Morgan Stanley professionals. Through the eight-week long project, the employees work half-time for the charity, identifying researched, feasible and impactful solutions that the charity can implement to reach scale, expand impact and improve its efficiency, such as scaling an existing program.

Teams presented their final strategic recommendations in a competition at Morgan Stanley's New York headquarters. All participating charities receive grants from Morgan Stanley to begin implementation of their teams' recommendations.

"We are delighted to be able to put some of our brightest talent to work helping these nonprofit organizations expand their reach and have more impact on their communities," said Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James P. Gorman. "Over the six-year run of our Strategy Challenge program, Morgan Stanley employees have built lasting relationships with a number of participants. The passion these nonprofit leaders bring to their missions is an inspiration to us all. I'm proud of the work Morgan Stanley professionals do all year long to improve the communities where we live and work."

This year, the Morgan Stanley teams donated more than 11,000 hours, equivalent to a market value of approximately $1.7 million, based on standards developed by the Taproot Foundation. This figure does not reflect additional value the recommendations and strategies suggested by Morgan Stanley bring to the nonprofits through productivity improvements, new revenue streams and more efficient business models. Over the past six years, the Strategy Challenge has cumulatively delivered over 45,000 hours, valued at over $6.8 million, to 77 nonprofit organizations.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP, and a team of Morgan Stanley professionals won the sixth annual Strategy Challenge. The organization is exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy. The organization brings together people across communities to better understand the causes of suicide and the interventions that help prevent it.

The Morgan Stanley team working with AFSP developed a plan to expand usage of a proprietary screening tool that identifies at-risk individuals in need of mental health support. Today, the tool is used successfully by many of the nation’s universities. AFSP wanted to amplify its impact by incorporating the tool in workplace settings without draining current resources. The Morgan Stanley team developed a cost-effective way to scale the program, recommending that AFSP partner with employee-assistance programs to implement the screening tool into the EAP offerings to corporations instead of having the organization market the tool on their own.

"It was an honor to participate in the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge. We entered the Challenge looking for a fresh perspective and new approach to scaling a signature AFSP screening program," said Robert Gebbia, Chief Executive Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. "We are so pleased with the outcome. Our Morgan Stanley team delivered an actionable plan to tackle the program's strategic issues with business acumen and personal enthusiasm throughout the project. We now have a clear path for moving forward."

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

"Strategy Challenge is really about taking the best we have to offer – our talented people – and leveraging their intellectual capacity and ingenuity to maximize impact," said Joan Steinberg, Head of Morgan Stanley Community Affairs and President of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. "Much more than a volunteer program, Strategy Challenge moves beyond teaching 'how to fish' by helping our nonprofit partners capitalize on their tremendous strengths. By combining the mission know-how of the charities with our staff's rigorous analytical skills, it has the power to truly transform nonprofits to reach scale and exponentially increase impact."

"The Strategy Challenge leverages the Firm's strength in delivering client-centric solutions," said Audrey Choi, Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley. "Over the past eight weeks, Morgan Stanley employees have utilized their skills and expertise to help nonprofit partners develop long-term sustainable business models. The tailored recommendations developed by the Morgan Stanley teams will have a lasting impact on the organizations and help enable them to flourish in the years ahead."

The 12 nonprofits work on causes ranging from suicide prevention to youth education to support for children of incarcerated parents. Participating organizations are based in New York and San Francisco.

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Catholic Guardian Services
  • Children of Promise, NYC
  • Day One NYC
  • Good Shepherd Services
  • Greenwich House
  • Hamilton Family Center
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Metropolitan College of New York
  • New Alternatives for Children
  • Phipps Neighborhoods
  • Project Renewal

For more information on the Strategy Challenge, please visit

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Media Relations Contact: Lauren Bellmare, 212.761.5303