Blog

On our blog, Collective Impact Forum staff, partners, and guest contributors share the latest learning, innovations, and stories from the field.
  • 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:"
  • 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.
  • Vu Le is Right* About Equity and Collective Impact

    Paul Schmitz

    December 14, 2015

    Vu Le is an important voice in the nonprofit sector. He speaks truth to power and calls out the elephants in our collective room. Many critics approach their fields with righteousness; Vu approaches with refreshing humility as one struggling with these questions and willing to be wrong. On November 30th, he posted “Why Communities of Color Are Getting Frustrated with Collective Impact.” He may find it surprising that The Collective Impact Forum not only welcomes his critique, but is broadcasting it as an important contribution to our field. I am writing to share some thoughts about why his essay is so important. I hope others will also join this discussion.
  • Applying An Equity Mirror to Collective Impact

    Paul Schmitz

    September 2, 2015

    There has been increasing buzz about “equity” and “racial equity” in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and among cross-sector collective impact efforts. This is a good thing and our nation’s persistent and rising racial and economic disparities demand it. Many groups are applying an “equity lens” to look outward at social problems and solutions, disaggregating data and seeking to differentiate opportunities and services to reduce disparities. But our organizations and collective efforts must begin by looking inward, using an “equity mirror” to examine our own composition, culture, and policies that reinforce and perpetuate societal disparities. To do equity, we must also be equity.
  • Don’t Talk to Me about "Driving" Social Change

    John Kania

    November 24, 2014

    I recently met with the former head of a major pharmaceutical company to talk about improving the lives of kids. This well regarded executive was excited to invest a significant amount of his time, post his tenure at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, in leading an effort to address youth substance abuse.* I was energized by his passion and fervor for the issue, and his true desire to use his platform and experience as a leader to make a difference. But I was troubled by his orientation towards the leadership he felt was required. “We need to drive these evidenced based practices through the system, from top to bottom," he said. “We need to force communities to understand what’s good for them.” Uh, oh, I thought to myself. Yet one more well-intentioned, influential individual in society who wants to bring about change for the better, but just doesn’t get how social change happens.
  • The Culture of Collective Impact

    Paul Schmitz

    October 23, 2014

    Last summer, I spoke at a conference of funders convened by the Collective Impact Forum. To prepare for the event, I contacted several trusted leaders in different communities who had been involved at various levels in collective impact initiatives. I heard enthusiastically about the promise of collective impact, but I also heard comments like those above that led me to a conviction: collective impact efforts must be as rigorous about culture as they are about data and strategy if they wish to achieve enduring change.
  • Empowering Emerging Leaders: An Interview with Shape Up Somerville

    David Hudson

    October 20, 2014

    Shape Up Somerville, along with its partners – Groundwork Somerville (GWS), Somerville Community Health Agenda (SCHA), and The Welcome Project (TWP), launched an innovative leadership program to better reach community members in traditionally Spanish-speaking neighborhoods. The Collective Impact Forum sat down with Shape Up Somerville Director David Hudson to discuss the impetus for this program and what lessons SUS has learned.

Bloggers

Tags