Inspire Inc. is a volunteer organization that provides consulting services to non-profits focused on education and youth development. I joined Inspire as the Co-Client Development Head about 6 months into my job at L.E.K., and have had the opportunity to work with clients who are trying to more efficiently and effectively run their organizations. Our mission is to work to build a better world by helping nonprofit organizations achieve breakthrough results by bringing strategic thinking and results oriented analysis.
Inspire members are pre-MBA volunteers from leading management consulting firms (i.e., Bain and Company, Deloitte, L.E.K. and Parthenon) and are across the U.S. (i.e., Boston, New York, Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.) L.E.K. has been involved with Inspire since 2005 and has conducted numerous projects across the various offices. Currently, all the first year associates are involved with the local Inspire chapter. We volunteer to work on Inspire cases for ~2-5 hours a week. In serving our clients, we have had meaningful opportunities for both professional and personal development.
As the Co-Client Development Head, my role is to determine if the client and the project is a good fit for our volunteers. Based on initial interactions, we work with the client to determine the highest value focus areas, and create a proposal and timeline for the project. We then select a Case Team Leader and staff the case with Inspire volunteers in our office. A kick-off meeting is scheduled for the team and client to meet, and the case team presents findings in a series of updates over the duration of the case, typically 3-4 months.
Inspire targets youth development organizations that provide opportunities for children who are underserved and do not have sufficient access to opportunities for educational and social enrichment. Projects can fall under many categories such as: growth and strategy expansion, organizational effectiveness, marketing and publicity, new program development, economic model and fundraising strategy. The most recent project out of the L.E.K. Chicago office was a fundraising strategy for Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles. The associates had the opportunity to step up and take on the roles of “managers” and “consultants” and provide valuable advice to the client while also developing professionally.