Last year, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the expansion of a partnership between City Colleges of Chicago and One Million Degrees to provide support to an estimated 6,000 Chicago-area community college students over the next five years. One Million Degrees, an A Better Chicago grantee, empowers low-income highly motivated community college students to succeed in school, in work and in life. Programming includes professional, personal, financial and academic supports for students pursuing their associate’s degree.
This exciting announcement came with a lot of great attention for One Million Degrees, and the organization needed to put a roadmap in place to sustain this tremendous growth. So, A Better Chicago connected One Million Degrees with Bain & Company to conduct a strategic planning project to map out this next phase of growth, funding and infrastructure for the organization.
Bain & Company, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms, has a long-standing commitment to social impact in Chicago. Bain’s strategic and operational expertise, combined with its commitment to education, has made the firm an ideal partner for A Better Chicago. Since 2012, Bain has worked with three of A Better Chicago’s portfolio organizations – OneGoal, KIPP Chicago and now One Million Degrees to complete strategic projects to enable further growth and improved results for our grantees.
Bain collaborated with One Million Degrees’ leadership to build a robust growth plan and clear communication tools to discuss the plan with investors. One Million Degrees CEO Paige Ponder noted, “We would not be able to achieve our ambitious goals if we didn’t have such a solid strategic plan in place. We are now going to be able to move forward fully armed with really rigorous analysis about our scaling plan and a very clear value proposition.”
Bain’s work to support One Million Degrees is just one example of how A Better Chicago augments its financial investments with high-value management support. By helping its grantees to improve their effectiveness, A Better Chicago is enabling Chicago’s most promising, innovative social solutions to grow into game-changing solutions for our region.