MENU menu

Michael Etzel

Partner, Bridgespan Group


Michael Etzel is a partner in The Bridgespan Group's Boston office. Since joining Bridgespan in 2006, Michael has focused on effectiveness across the full spectrum of social innovation financing, advising corporate, institutional, and family philanthropists and investors—including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Ford Foundation, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

Much of Michael's work explores what it takes to use tools of innovative finance and impact investing to solve pressing social problems. In 2014, he supported the work of the U.S. National Advisory Board to the Global Task Force on Social Impact Investing, leading a Bridgespan team that supported the development of a first-ever bipartisan policy agenda for the growing field of impact investing. In 2015, he supported Bain Capital in developing their strategy for entering the impact investment space. His latest call to action article "Philanthropy's New Frontier—Impact Investing," appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review in November 2015.

His work and research in philanthropy also focuses on the question of what it takes to deliver results, looking at "Three Cases of Better Corporate Philanthropy" on, and exploring in the Stanford Social Innovation Review the concept of "Pay-What-It-Takes Philanthropy" as a new approach to ending the starvation cycle.

Presently, Michael serves on the boards of two nonprofits:, which provides clean water for kids, is a social justice organization committed to the poor, an international development agency disciplined around urban economies, a social enterprise dedicated to putting itself out of business, and a safe water company focused on children; and New Sector Alliance, which seeks to strengthen the social sector by enriching its talent pipeline, bringing together cohorts of highly motivated, skilled early career fellows to pursue their commitment to working in the social sector.

Related Content

Lindsey Waldron - Bridgespan Group, Michael Etzel - Bridgespan Group, May 30, 2017
Leadership transition—particularly founder transition—is top of mind among many social entrepreneurs within the Skoll community. In fact, almost half of Skoll Awardee organizations have already weathered such a milestone. Some…