CityBridge Foundation was launched by Katherine and David Bradley in 1994. Originally formed as “The Advisory Board Foundation,” CityBridge was created to be a small, best practices enterprise operating within its parent, The Advisory Board Company, also founded by the Bradleys. The original CityBridge purpose was to extend the best-practices rubric of The Advisory Board to selected problems in international development and pediatric health. Over time, CityBridge worked in Russia, the Philippines, South Africa, and in a joint venture with Johns Hopkins University Hospital’s Listening Center.
In 1995, CityBridge created ServiceCorps, a turn-key corporate volunteer program. The program was created for The Advisory Board Company, where employees demonstrated clear demand for structured opportunities to serve others in Washington. In 2009, ServiceCorps managed more than 30,000 hours of direct community service for eight corporate partners in the Washington, DC region: Acumen Solutions, The Advisory Board Company, Atlantic Media Company, CapitalSource, Corporate Executive Board, FBR Capital Markets and The Glover Park Group, as well as the White House Fellows. The program offered these corporations a menu of options for meaningful civic engagement, including outsourced management of all aspects of individual, team and firm-wide service, tracking community impact, providing specialty services such as board training and placement and a pro bono practice tailored to the core competencies of their workforce. In addition, ServiceCorps worked with corporate leadership to design and implement signature philanthropic projects. In 2010, ServiceCorps transferred this work to each of the corporate partners, who will continue the civic engagement program in-house.
In the summer of 2000, CityBridge began investigating national best practices for combating entrenched, multi-generational poverty—all with the intention of launching a new, signature program in Washington, DC. The team considered many models, read about and met inspirational social reformers, and finally selected urban education—specifically early educational intervention—as their chosen point of entry. CityBridge launched the Early Years Education Initiative in 2006. In this five-year initiative, CityBridge invested $8 million in expanding the capacity and improving the quality of early childhood education in the District of Columbia. Our next tranche of work, launched in 2007, moved beyond early childhood education to focus more broadly on K-12 education reform in the District.