Collective Impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, shared measurements, mutually reinforcing activities, consistent and open communication, and identification of a backbone organization.
United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley has embraced the Collective Impact process, an all-inclusive approach to solving community problems. Collective Impact is the tool to create community transformations, or as we call it “Community Impact”. The goal of Collective Impact is to encourage everyone to work in partnership—businesses, cities, government, schools, churches, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and community members—to help solve problems in society and create conditions in which everyone can succeed, from cradle to career.
Understanding Collective Impact
Within the Collective Impact framework, United Way serves in what is often referred to as a backbone role—assuring that each of the five components of Collective Impact are in place and working to guide vision, align strategies, build public will, support shared measurement, mobilize funding, advance supportive public policies, and engage community volunteers. Through Community Impact Grants, United Way is vesting responsibility to non-profit organizations to become backbone organizations and bring about positive outcomes in the areas of Education, Financial Stability, and Health.
The Five Conditions of Collective Impact:
- Common Agenda: All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions.
- Shared Measurement: All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement.
- Mutually Reinforcing Activities: A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
- Continuous Communication: All players engage in frequent and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
- Backbone Support: An assigned by the collaborative partners organization dedicated to the initiative which will provide ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.
Find out more about Collective Impact at FSG, Inc.
Additional resources to Learn More about Collective Impact:
Catalytic Philanthropy by Mark Kramer; Collective Impact by John Kania & Mark Kramer; Channeling
Change: Making Collective Impact Work by Fay Hanleybrown, John Kania & Mark Kramer.