North Highland to offer pro-bono consulting service to nonprofits

01 March 2019 4 min. read

Global management consulting firm North Highland is taking a stand to reduce poverty with a new philanthropic program, which will select four nonprofit organizations focused on economic empowerment in the communities they serve. 

Nonprofits in Charlotte, St. Louis, Houston, and London are eligible to apply for free consulting services, as well as become a North Highland philanthropy partner to assist in reducing local poverty. Eligible nonprofits must have 501c3 or registered charity status, as well as have a minimum operating budget of $1 million, minimum assets of $500,000, and a current 990 (audited) finding.

North Highland sees the new program as an enormous opportunity for nonprofits to receive free expert services that will allow them to better help those in need become self-sufficient.

“Giving back to our communities is central to our culture of care,” Dianne Bernez, global head of philanthropy at North Highland, said in a statement. “Our pro-bono consulting engagements with select non-profits will strengthen their ability to help vulnerable people attain self-sufficiency and we’re excited to launch this new partnership approach.North Highland to offer pro-bono consulting service to nonprofitsThose nonprofits which successfully apply will be assigned a consulting team, a local lead consultant, and receive guidance and oversight from North Highland’s philanthropy leader. Other leaders within the firm, including CEO Daniel Reardon, will also conduct periodic reviews to provide guidance and oversight.

The pro-bono program fits perfectly within North Highland’s vision of “Unleashing Potential Together,” the goal of which is to further economic empowerment in at-risk communities. Since its inception in 2017, the firm has partnered with nonprofits in eight cities. It also aligns with the almost universally accepted fact that businesses must value purpose over profit for future success. Consumers, especially those from younger demographics, demand that businesses and organizations exhibit genuine efforts to better society and the environment.

North Highland often ventures into corporate social responsibility (CSR)-related initiatives. The firm in 2016 partnered with executive education arm of Emory University to create a leadership program to develop the firm’s internal talent through an “E3” model, focused on combining education, exposure, and experience. The program was meant to increase the firm’s ability to develop careers and leaders in a “tailored fashion that builds the firm from within”

The firm in the same year launched an economic empowerment social platform to identify and address structural and incidental causes of economic disparity within the local communities in which the firm operates, working toward economic stability for the individuals living there. The economic empowerment project is part of North Highland’s CSR strategy, and will work with local organizations to support people to develop the skills and habits that result in long-term financial stability, such as work skill development.

“Our intention is to get to the heart of economic disparity, find solutions that work and deliver an impactful new philanthropic approach focused on transformative initiatives that will align civic, community, and business partnerships”, Bernez said in a statement at the time.

North Highland was also the recipient of an award at the 2015 “Excellence in Social and Community Investments” gala awards dinner in New York City, which recognized CSR efforts from management consultancies. The firm took home an award for its pro-bono work with the Alexander Youth Network, a North Carolina nonprofit which provides treatment to children with serious emotional and behavioral problems.