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On our blog, Collective Impact Forum staff, partners, and guest contributors share the latest learning, innovations, and stories from the field.

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  • Getting Back to the Purpose of Collective Impact

    Tynesia Boyea-Robinson

    May 23, 2016

    My Aunt Janice’s biscuits are legendary. They are fluffy, buttery and light. Whenever we visit her in Alabama, we stop by to gorge ourselves on these delectable treats. I recently had a hankering for the biscuits so I asked for the recipe. While I’m not a huge fan of cooking, I don’t mind baking occasionally. The recipe only has four ingredients- flour, buttermilk, shortening, and butter. Simple, right?
  • Advancing the Practice of Collective Impact

    John Kania

    May 4, 2016

    We appreciate Tom Wolff’s critique of collective impact and the insights he shares in his recent essay. Wolff’s years of experience in the field, and the perspectives he offers, are a valuable contribution to the arena of collective, collaborative change. We’re grateful that he’s agreed to re-post his essay alongside our response in order to create what we hope will be a productive conversation. Since writing the original article on collective impact in 2011, we and others have written about many of the dimensions that Wolff articulates in his published editorial in the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice, a peer-reviewed professional journal. In particular, we agree with Wolff’s aspirations for how collective impact can lead to better results, particularly for those whom collaborative efforts seek to serve. We share his eloquently expressed hope for "improved applications of Collective Impact” to emerge:"
  • Ten Places Where Collective Impact Gets It Wrong

    Tom Wolff

    May 4, 2016

    In 2011 Kania and Kramer published a five page article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review entitled “Collective Impact” (2011). The article was a well written summary of their views of large scale social change efforts in communities. They suggested five conditions of collective impact: 1. common agenda 2. shared measurement 3. mutually reinforcing activities 4. continuous communication 5. backbone support. In the original article, and those that followed, Kania and Kramer were explicitly and implicitly critical of much of what came before them. In one chart (Hanleybrown, Kania, & Kramer 2012), they compare Isolated Impact with Collective Impact as if those were the only two options, omitting the numerous examples of community-wide coalitions that moved beyond Isolated Impact but were not explicitly labeled Collective Impact (for one example see the exhaustive literature on Healthy Communities, Norris, 2013).
  • Collaboration and Collective Impact: How can Funders, NGOs, Governments and Citizens Achieve More Together?

    Geoff Mulgan

    April 27, 2016

    There is a long history of experiments to align the actions and thoughts of many different organisations trying to achieve some kind of social change – better early years education; less violence; improved public health or urban regeneration. These have usually involved some combination of shared plans, targets, and commitments. They have had many names. Many books have been written about them, and many universities have run courses to make people better collaborators. People on the sharp end of social problems want those with money and power to get their act together and not work at cross purposes. Responsible funders naturally want to find ways to make their money go further, and recognise that this is bound to involve collaboration - pooling resources of all kinds with others.
  • Collective Impact Principles of Practice: Putting Collective Impact into Action

    Sheri Brady

    April 18, 2016

    We have been inspired watching the field of collective impact progress over the past five years, as thousands of practitioners, funders, and policymakers around the world employ the approach to help solve complex social problems at a large scale. The field’s understanding of what it takes to put the collective impact approach into practice continues to evolve through the contributions of many who are undertaking the deep work of collaborative social change, and their successes build on decades of work around effective cross-sector collaboration.
  • Sustaining Momentum in Collective Impact – A Story from the Rio Grande Valley of Texas

    Wynn Rosser

    February 17, 2016

    We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven't so far. - Ronald Edmonds That quote encapsulates the challenge and the commitment of RGV Focus--to ensure all students in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of Texas earn a degree or credential that leads to a meaningful career.

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