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Center for Urban Families Team Wins Morgan Stanley’s Twelfth Annual U.S. Strategy Challenge

  • Since launch, U.S. employees have contributed over 94,000 hours of service to 122 U.S. nonprofits
  • This year, the U.S. program contributed over 6,300 hours of service to six nonprofits

Morgan Stanley today announced that the Center for Urban Families team has won the twelfth annual U.S. Strategy Challenge, the Firm’s flagship pro bono program, which brings together rising talent to help nonprofit organizations solve strategic, mission critical challenges. Over the past eleven weeks, Morgan Stanley employees worked with leadership teams at six nonprofit organizations in a virtual capacity. They provided strategic recommendations to address the nonprofits’ mission-critical challenges, such as expansion and scaling, as well as critical opportunities to enhance efficiency and effectiveness through business and program models. This effort culminated in a final competition held virtually, during which Morgan Stanley teams presented their final strategic recommendations. The team working with Save The Music Foundation was the runner up, and the team working with Nest received third place.

The winning team of the twelfth annual U.S. Strategy Challenge was working with Center for Urban Families, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering individuals and families with the skills they need for long-term personal and economic success. The Baltimore-based charity challenged its Morgan Stanley team to explore whether to pursue a social enterprise model, and if so, which one. After performing extensive analysis, the Morgan Stanley team recommended that CFUF monetize their evidence-based fatherhood curriculum.

“Participating in the Strategy Challenge has been a rewarding experience for the Center for Urban Families,” said Brian Lyght, Chief Operating Officer at CFUF. “The Morgan Stanley team was adept at understanding our mission-critical strategic challenges and developing analyses and recommendations to address them. CFUF is better positioned now, more than ever, to explore developing a social enterprise model to scale our evidence-based programming that supports urban, African American fathers.”

The Morgan Stanley U.S. Strategy Challenge pairs our talented employee base with nonprofit organizations that are in need of strategic advice, to provide nonprofits with assistance in bringing meaningful impact and long-term change to their communities. This initiative is in line with the Firm’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions for clients, as well as with the Firm’s core value to Give Back.

“Pro bono initiatives, such as the Strategy Challenge, that give back to local nonprofits in tangible and impactful ways are even more critical during a time when these organizations are experiencing skyrocketing demand and unprecedented challenges,” said Joan Steinberg, Morgan Stanley Global Head of Philanthropy. “I would like to congratulate each of the six teams that participated in this year’s U.S. Strategy Challenge that resulted in thoughtful and impressive proposals by each team.”

The six nonprofit organizations who took part in this year’s U.S. Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge include:

  • Center for Urban Families (CFUF) strengthens urban communities by helping fathers and families achieve stability and economic success.
  • Cerebral Palsy Foundation is a catalyst for creating positive change for people with cerebral palsy.
  • Nest is building a new handworker economy to increase global workforce inclusivity, improve women’s wellbeing beyond factories, and preserve important cultural traditions around the world.
  • Queens Community House provides individuals and families with the tools to enrich their lives and build healthy, inclusive communities.
  • Save The Music Foundation helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music.
  • Waterkeeper Alliance strengthens and grows a global network of grassroots leaders protecting everyone’s right to clean water.

The annual Strategy Challenge is also held in the UK, where earlier this month, Morgan Stanley concluded the seventh annual UK Strategy Challenge, benefiting six London-based nonprofits. City Year UK won the competition, and the other charities benefitting from this year’s UK program include: Barnardo's, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Helpforce, NHS Charities Together, and The Felix Project.

For more information on the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, click here.

About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

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