Collective Impact Theory and Practice
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Needle-Moving Collective Impact Guide: Community Collaborative Life Stages

Needle-Moving Collective Impact Guide: Community Collaborative Life Stages | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it

Collaboration has long been a part of the social sector. But many have also experienced collaboratives that do not live up to their potential in one way or another—nothing happens between meetings, the group never reaches real agreement, the group loses steam as participants transition in and out, or the collaborative falls apart as participants jockey to claim whatever successes emerge.


There is an exciting groundswell right now in a new kind of collaborative that may hold the key to addressing some of these problems. The overarching difference we have experienced in these collaboratives is seriousness about having real, concrete impact on a community-wide goal. Unsatisfied with small gains for a smaller segment of the population, the leaders of these new collaboratives have put forth ambitious goals and backed them up with long-term investments of resources and effort.

This guide to collaborative life stages can assist community collaboratives to succeed at any stage in their life cycle—from planning and development, through roll-out and course-correcting, and on to deciding their next steps. We have organized it along a five-part timeline based on our extensive research into best practices. The first two sections will help guide new collaboratives in selecting goals and starting out on the right foot. The last three sections will help existing collaboratives stay on track to create the kind of outcomes that are inherently community-changing. Indeed, a hallmark of every successful collaborative is a high aspiration to make a meaningful difference.

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Innoweave | Modules | Collective Impact

Collective Impact enables a group of organizations to address a major challenge by developing and working toward a common agenda that fundamentally changes population level outcomes in a community.  When successful, communities solve big complex challenges (e.g. poverty, unemployment of disadvantaged populations) or make substantial societal shifts (e.g. more sustainable food systems) by creating a shared multi sector understanding of the problem, a common vision and an action plan with shared measurements and reinforcing activities.

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A New Study of Collective Impact Efforts (SSIR)

A New Study of Collective Impact Efforts (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
With Wallace Foundation backing, Columbia University’s Teachers College sets out to learn from past initiatives, document current ones, and find answers to complex questions.
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Rereading “Collective Impact”: Three Lessons (SSIR)

Rereading “Collective Impact”: Three Lessons (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
Fresh insights gleaned from the article that started it all.


One of the many lessons I've learned since the first “Collective Impact” article by John Kania and Mark Kramer disrupted my life three years ago is that all collaborations go through cycles. And as Liz Weaver, vice president of the Tamarack Institute, teaches, it takes about three to five years to go through the full collaboration cycle. To sustain the collaboration beyond the first journey through the cycle requires that participants constantly reassess the rationale and value proposition of the collaboration—to learn and affirm why they are committed to working with others.


So three years into my personal collective impact journey—during which I’ve facilitated collaborations, attended and presented at workshops, advocated as both a funder and a practitioner, read tomes on complexity and shaping a project with FSG—I wasn’t surprised when I reached the point where I needed to go back to the beginning to keep moving forward.


Although I had returned to the original article (and all subsequent articles on the topic) many times for insight, I didn’t reread the original in its entirety until recently. Rereading it provided me with a few insights that I had lost over the years...

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Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity (SSIR)

Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
Collective impact is upending conventional wisdom on how we achieve social progress.
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Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 3 (SSIR)

Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 3 (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
An in-depth review of what it takes to be a backbone organization, and how to evaluate and support its work.
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Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 1 (SSIR)

Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 1 (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
An in-depth review of what it takes to be a backbone organization, and how to evaluate and support its work.
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FSG - Knowledge Exchange - Blogs - Collective Impact - Collective Impact

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Collective Impact - Community Research

Collective Impact - Community Research | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it

Collective Impact occurs when a group of organisations, usually from different sectors, agrees to work together to solve a complex social problem. There’s a strong commitment to a common agenda, and systematic alignment of efforts.

Gathered here are links, publications and resources to assist groups in the Tangata Whenua, Community and Voluntary Sector with their Collective Impact.

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Collective Impact Forum | Resources

Collective Impact Forum | Resources | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
Resources for practitioners and funders using the collective impact approach. Find articles, videos, and other practical tools like workplans and shared measurement guides.


Practical guidance for planning and implementing evaluations of collective impact initiatives

Leaders of collective impact initiatives need an approach to performance measurement and evaluation that is as multi-faceted, responsive, and flexible as the initiatives themselves.

This three-part guide offers detailed advice on how to plan for and implement effective performance measurement and evaluation activities in the context of collective impact.

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Putting Community in Collective Impact (SSIR)

Putting Community in Collective Impact (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
Five characteristics of civic culture that collective impact efforts must address.


The collective impact approach offers a pathway for organizations to join together and scale change efforts that get results. The spread of collective impact is a good thing. My chief concern here is that we sometimes leave robust notions of community out of collective impact discussions and implementation efforts. At times, the very nature of community seems like an afterthought, even a nuisance. But no matter how many leaders and organizations join an effort or how well thought-out and rigorous their plan, it is simply not possible to impose a strategy on a community. To be successful, they need to work with the community. But how do we ensure that the context of the community itself—its civic culture—is part of these efforts so as to ensure success?

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FSG - Collective Impact Resources - Results Leadership Group

FSG - Collective Impact Resources - Results Leadership Group | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it

Articles and Publications

“Charting a Course for Change: Advancing Education, Income and Health Through Collective Impact.” FSG Knowledge Exchange. United Way, May­June 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/780/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Hanleybrown, Fay, John Kania, and Mark Kramer. Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work. Publication. Stanford Social Innovation Review, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/561/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Hanleybrown, Fay, Kate Tallant, Adria Steinburg, and Mimi Corcoran. “Collective Impact for Opportunity Youth.” FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, 2012. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/735/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Kramer, Mark, and John Kania. Collective Impact. Rep. Stanford Social Innovation Review, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/211/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Turner, Shiloh, Kathy Merchant, John Kania, and Ellen Martin. Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact. Rep. Stanford Social Innovation Review, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/694/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

“What Is Collective Impact?” FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/628/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

 

Collective Impact Practitioner Insights

“Collective Impact Practitioner Insights: Blair Taylor, Memphis Tomorrow.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/899/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

“Collective Impact Practitioner Insights: Kat Allen, Communities That Care Coalition.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/901/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

“Collective Impact Practitioner Insights: Paul Born & Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/903/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

“Collective Impact Practitioner Insights: Ross Meyer, Partners for a Competitive Workforce.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/900/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

“Collective Impact Practitioner Insights: Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/902/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

 

Videos and Podcasts


“Collective Impact ­ John Kania.” Interview. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/233/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Collective Impact: Embracing Emergence Webinar. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, May­June 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/884/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Collective Impact: Implementing Shared Measurement. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, 9 Nov. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/482/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

FSG Knowledge Exchange. Proc. of Collective Impact Conference Video. Foundation Strategy Group, May­June 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/332/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.

Kramer, Mark, prod. “The Power of Collective Impact.” The Power of Collective Impact: Continuing the Discussion with Mark Kramer. N.d. FSG Knowledge Exchange. Foundation Strategy Group, 6 Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2013. <http://www.fsg.org/tabid/191/ArticleId/705/Default.aspx?srpush=true>.



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Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 4 (SSIR)

Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 4 (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
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Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 2 (SSIR)

Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact: Part 2 (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
An in-depth review of what it takes to be a backbone organization, and how to evaluate and support its work.
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FSG - Knowledge Exchange - Blogs - Collective Impact - Announcing The Collective Impact Blog

Since Mark Kramer and I published Collective Impact in the Stanford Social Innovation Review last winter, we’ve been hearing stories from organizations and innovators, not only in the U.S. but from around the world, who are using this idea to transform their communities. The power of Collective Impact as an approach to solving social problems is striking a resounding chord with individuals and organizations from all sectors. Could we be on the verge of more broadly adopting a new paradigm for social change?

In our recent client work, FSG has supported foundations, nonprofits, corporations and governments in using a collective impact approach to address complex social challenges in areas as diverse as youth substance abuse, public education reform, marine fisheries sustainability, and even global development. Our real time learning from this work is helping us to shape and continually refine what it takes to successfully implement collective impact efforts so that we can better support those who are translating this approach into practice. A few questions that we want to explore on this blog over the coming months:

  • What are the most critical dimensions to the five conditions for Collective Impact success (Common Agenda, Shared Measurement, Mutually Reinforcing Activities, Continuous Communication, and Backbone Support)?
  • How do you know if your community (or issue) is ready and ripe for collective impact?
  • What do the key five conditions of collective impact look like from a tactical perspective? For example, how do we structure workgroups effectively? How can we collect necessary data in cost-effective ways? Can more than one group take on the backbone responsibilities? 
  • What unique roles can funders and government agencies play in catalyzing and supporting the effort?
  • In our research we are continuing to uncover powerful Collective Impact examples across very different contexts, from the inner city to rural America, to activity in developing countries. Which communities and organizations do you know about who are actively applying this approach, and what are they learning?
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Collective Impact (SSIR)

Collective Impact (SSIR) | Collective Impact Theory and Practice | Scoop.it
Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, not the isolated intervention of individual organizations.


..collective impact, the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. Collaboration is nothing new. The social sector is filled with examples of partnerships, networks, and other types of joint efforts. But collective impact initiatives are distinctly different. Unlike most collaborations, collective impact initiatives involve a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants.


Although rare, other successful examples of collective impact are addressing social issues that, like education, require many different players to change their behavior in order to solve a complex problem.

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