Drucker Business Forum

Video from June 29th, 2011 event with Tom Tierney, Co-founder of Bridgespan Group in conversation with John Kobara, COO of the California Community Foundation

Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results

In 1999 Tom Tierney, co-founded the Bridgespan Group, an independent, nonprofit organization designed to provide professional services to philanthropists, foundations and other nonprofits. In 2003, he led the development of Bridgestar, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group dedicated to enhancing and increasing leadership talent for the nonprofit sector. Prior to Bridgespan, he was Bain & Co Chief Executive. He joined Bain & Company in 1980 following graduation from Harvard Business School. He was promoted to partner after three years and from 1987 to 1992 served as the managing director of Bain's San Francisco office. In 1992, he became Bain's chief executive. During the 1990s, under his leadership, Bain & Company grew its revenues six-fold, while significantly expanding its international operations.

A native of California, he received his BA in Economics from the University of California at Davis. He served as a field engineer for Bechtel International in North Africa before entering business school.

In Give Smart, Tierney pools his hands-on knowledge with philanthropy expert Joel L. Fleishman to create a much-needed primer for philanthropists and the nonprofit organizations.

Tierney frequently speaks and writes on a variety of topics related to nonprofit leadership and philanthropy. He lectures at Harvard Business School and the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and chairs the Harvard Business School Initiative on Social Enterprise. He has contributed to numerous case studies and publications, including The Harvard Business Review and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. He also contributed chapters to the Leader to Leader Institute's Leader of the Future and Indiana University Press's Taking Philanthropy Seriously and has been featured in articles on philanthropy in the New York Times and the Financial Times. He also co-authored a popular book about organization and strategy titled, Aligning the Stars, which was published in April 2002 by Harvard Business School Press. In 2009, Tom was named as one of the Nonprofit Times Power and Influence Top 50.

Tom is a director of eBay, Incorporated and also serves on a number of nonprofit boards and advisory groups, including National Board of The Nature Conservancy, The Hoover Institution, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

JOHN E. KOBARA is the chief operating officer responsible for all of the development, marketing, administrative, grant making, civic engagement and donor relations functions of the California Community Foundation. Prior to his appointment, he headed the foundation's external and donor relations department.

Before joining CCF in April 2008, Kobara served on CCF’s board of directors from 2003-08. For the last 35 years, he has been leading and managing innovative nonprofit organizations, companies and technology startups. During this time he has been involved in advancing social justice by increasing access to educational opportunities in Los Angeles.

Kobara received the 2007 City of Angels award from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his service on behalf of children and families. He was a Coro Fellow in Los Angeles and earned a bachelor's from UCLA, a master's in business administration from USC and a master's from Occidental College.

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  • Nikki Rawnsley

    thank you for sharing this insightful discussion with Deepak Chopra!

    by Nikki Rawnsley

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