Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) announced today that iMentor is the winner of the inaugural Morgan Stanley Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge. The Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge is a signature Morgan Stanley initiative that harnesses the competitive spirit for social action by recruiting teams of Morgan Stanley employees to compete for the honor of the best pro-bono strategic advisors to leading nonprofits.
Over the past eight weeks, nine teams of outstanding Morgan Stanley professionals provided in-depth consulting services to nine New York City nonprofits, addressing key strategic challenges such as how to enhance their financial sustainability as an organization, how to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, and how to identify new business models or growth opportunities to enhance their ability to serve their mission. Their work culminated in a two-day competition where the recommendations were presented publicly and evaluated by a panel of leading experts from the academic, private and nonprofit sectors. Overall, Morgan Stanley employees donated in excess of 2,500 hours of high-impact analysis and advice to the nonprofits, which would have a market value of at least $385,000, based on estimates by the Pro Bono Action Tank regarding how nonprofits should value in-kind contributions. This figure does not capture any value that the actual recommendations and strategies might have for the nonprofits in, for example, gained productivity, new revenue streams or more efficient business models.
"I would like to congratulate all of the teams that participated in this innovative initiative," said John J. Mack, CEO and Chairman of Morgan Stanley. "The Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge uniquely leverages the talents and passions of Morgan Stanley's current and future leaders to give back to the community in high value-added ways."
The Morgan Stanley team who partnered with iMentor was tasked with helping the organization analyze and refine a growth strategy in order to expand iMentor's best in class mentoring methodology to other organizations wishing to start a mentoring program. The Morgan Stanley team spent several weeks researching the iMentor Interactive business model, customer acquisition, segmentation and pricing structures and ultimately delivered to iMentor a flexible financial forecasting tool. The financial model incorporates all the aspects of iMentor Interactive's current and expected business model and is both flexible and extendable to periods beyond the next 5 years.
"The Morgan Stanley team exceeded our expectations," said Mike O'Brien, CEO of iMentor. "They were genuinely interested in our mission, skilled in their respective fields and committed to leveraging that experience to provide us with an analysis and framework that will empower our work for years to come. This is a testament to Morgan Stanley, the dedication of our team of volunteers, and the power of skills-based volunteering."
As the winning nonprofit, iMentor was awarded a $10,000 grant from Morgan Stanley Foundation to help implement the business strategy developed by the Morgan Stanley employees.
In addition to iMentor, the organizations that participated in the competition include: Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service, Cancer Research Institute, CityKids Foundation, Lighthouse International, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society - NYC Chapter, New York Cares, Oceana and Selfhelp. To coordinate the projects, Morgan Stanley partnered with Common Impact, a Cambridge-based nonprofit that matches corporations with nonprofits to deliver skills-based volunteering programs.
The Social Enterprise Strategy Challenge is jointly sponsored by Morgan Stanley's Environment, Social Finance and Community Reinvestment Group and Morgan Stanley Community Affairs. Morgan Stanley is dedicated to strengthening and supporting our communities through a strategic multi-pronged approach to philanthropy and social responsibility that includes financial support, direct service and high value-added strategic consulting.
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 600 offices in 36 countries. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.