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


  • Lessons Learned from our Conversations with Experienced Backbone Leaders

    David Phillips

    August 1, 2016

    Over the past two months, we published seven interviews with experienced backbone leaders. Although we approached these interviews with a loose agenda (“How have their initiatives evolved and been sustained?” “What can experienced backbone leaders teach newer initiatives”, etc.), the interviewees provided a treasure trove of nuanced advice, stories of success, and (yes) stories of failure. Instead of sticking to talking points, each interviewee gave us the real story.
  • Conversations with Experienced Backbone Leaders: LiveWell Colorado

    Hollie Marston

    July 19, 2016

    We hope you’re enjoying our conversations with experienced backbone leaders. In this installment, we had the pleasure of sitting down recently with Gabriel Guillaume, Executive Vice President of Local Initiatives and Strategy at LiveWell Colorado. LiveWell Colorado, launched in 2008, is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. LiveWell is a statewide collective impact initiative that supports local collaborative efforts.
  • Conversations with Experienced Backbone Leaders: KConnect

    David Phillips

    July 1, 2016

    Here at the Forum we’ve been having amazing discussions about equity in collective impact. As part of the discussion series with experienced backbone leaders, I had the chance to catch up with a three key members of KConnect to talk about the role of equity in their work. KConnect is the backbone of a collective impact initiative focused on providing all children in Kent County, Michigan a path to economic prosperity through family, education, and community opportunities. Representing KConnect are Pamela Parriott, Executive Director of KConnect; Lynne Ferrell, co-chair of the KConnect Board of Trustees; and Paul Doyle, consultant for KConnect’s Equity & Inclusion Workgroup and focus.
  • Conversations with Experienced Backbone Leaders: Project U-Turn

    David Phillips

    June 22, 2016

    This is the second in our conversation series with experienced backbone leaders. (see this blog post describing the series.) In this conversation, we spoke with Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN). PYN serves as the backbone organization for Project U-Turn, which aims to galvanize collective commitment and action to address Philadelphia’s dropout crisis.
  • Is Collective Impact Incompatible with Equity?

    Romilda Justilien

    May 31, 2016

    In the winter of 2015, two East Coast Millennials joined the FSG team in San Francisco (just in time to miss the cold tundra of the Northeast Corridor). As a two-generation, Haitian-American, I came from Jersey City with a background in public policy and philanthropy. My colleague Miya left Massachusetts with a range of experiences in community organizing, public policy and global health; her mother is originally from Harlem, her father from Miami. We both happened to share the experience of growing up in Miami, a city known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant culture. On the other hand, Miami is increasingly known for its deep poverty, high crime, and lack of access to opportunity for communities of color and low-income communities.
  • 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.