Champions for Change 2020

, Online

Registration closes September 11, 2020! The Collective Impact Forum’s virtual backbone workshop Champions for Change 2020 will be on September 15-17, 2020.

Registration and scholarship opportunities are now open.

This workshop- designed specifically for those in the beginning/early stages of their collective impact work, will dive into the different roles that the backbone team can take within their initiative, including how to best support communities and move forward during these current times of crisis and change.

Learn more and register

About Champions For Change 2020

The Champions for Change workshop provides professional development to backbone leaders, steering committees, and partners; encourages peer learning among backbone teams; and shares new insights on the work of backbones from the field.

Workshop topics include:

  • Discussing the different ways collective impact can support communities during times of crisis and change, and how collective impact work will need to evolve in the current context
  • Clarifying the roles and leadership characteristics of the backbone, especially when navigating through current times
  • Launching and getting started in collective impact
  • Incorporating equity in your collective impact work
  • Fostering community collaboration and co-ownership in your initiative
  • Building collaboration with funders, partners, and stakeholders
  • Evaluating collective impact
  • Using data in collective impact work

Join us this September 15-17, 2020 for our longest-running and most popular training—Champions for Change—now online!


Workshop Agenda

Click here for the 2020 Workshop Agenda; we will continue to make updates as further details are confirmed

Champions for Change Speakers

Confirmed speakers for Champions for Change 2020 include:

  • Robert Albright, Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Ebele Anidi, Senior Consultant, FSG
  • Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
  • Tiffany Clarke, Associate Director, FSG
  • Joelle Cook, Director, FSG
  • Fay Hanleybrown, Managing Director, FSG
  • Trisha Islam, Manager of Cities, Tamarack Institute
  • Lauren A. Smith, Co-CEO, FSG
  • Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum
  • Ana Taukolo, DLA Coordinator, Alliance for Education Solutions (AES)
  • Liz Weaver, Co-CEO, Tamarack Institut
  • Junious Williams, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum

Who will get the most out of Champions?

The Champions for Change virtual learning experience is most geared for those who are at the early/beginning stages of their collective impact work, whether you are just starting out or are a couple years into your initiative. It can also be a helpful learning experience if you have teammates who are new to working in the collective impact space.

If you have been doing collective impact work for many years and feel more comfortable with the areas of focus around data, embedding equity, and supporting partners, we would recommend instead our annual Collective Impact Convening that includes more later-stage work and case studies. Our 2021 Collective Impact Virtual Convening will be held in the spring of 2021, with registration opening up later in 2020.

While the workshop is designed with the backbone team in mind, past attendees have shared that they found it valuable to include steering committee members, funders, or other partners in the learning experience as well, in order to systematize the learning more broadly.

Have you attended Champions before? This training is similar in theme and content to previous years of successful Champions for Change workshops.

If you have attended our annual Champions for Change workshop in the past, we would recommend this opportunity if you are looking for a refresher of the content, or as a new learning opportunity for your teammates or stakeholders. If you are not looking for a refresher, but for a completely new workshop, we recommend our annual convening instead.

Virtual Workshop Platform:

Champions for Change will be held using the online video-conferencing platform Zoom as well as a workshop app and website to share resources and connect with other attendees.

What Attendees have said about Champions for Change

“I’ve attended and planned plenty of conferences, and this was one of the best designed and managed I’ve seen. The pace was brisk without being exhausting, and it was highly interactive throughout.”

“Excellent conference – provided much needed content and dialogue on the role and structure of the backbone organization.”

Note that this workshop is designed for staff playing the backbone function and steering committee members of collective impact initiatives demonstrating or working to implement all five conditions of collective impact (common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support).

Scholarship Applications Now Open – Applications due July 17, 2020

A limited number of scholarships for a registration discount are available for this workshop. This discount will bring registration down to $100 for the full workshop. The due date for scholarship applications is July 17, 2020, and decisions will be made by July 27, 2020. Click here to submit your application.

Scholarship priorities are to help subsidize registration for those whose organizational budgets are less than $500,000, or who are from an underrepresented group within nonprofit leadership. People of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) are encouraged to apply.

Apply for a Registration Scholarship

Flexible Credits for United Way staff members attending Champions for Change

Champions for Change 2020 has been approved by United Way Worldwide for flexible credit use. That means each U.S.- or Canada-based attendee can use flex credits for up to $275 in registration. Please pay for expenses as they arise and submit the request form below after the event concludes to receive your reimbursement.

The link to the digital travel reimbursement form is included here and must be completed by October 9, 2020 in order to be reimbursed. Once this deadline has passed, no further reimbursement requests can be accepted. A processing fee of $35 will be applied to your flex credit application.

Please note that it is the responsibility of each attendee to obtain internal approval to use flexible credits. Check with your supervisor or flex credit manager before submitting any reimbursement requests. For more information, access your account balance or view the flexible credit policy. If you have a question at any time, please contact Ask United Way (United Way Online access required).

Canceling a Registration:

Registered participants who decide to cancel their participation in Champions for Change, and forgo attending the virtual workshop, will receive a refund of their registration fee minus a 10% processing fee. The 10% fee covers non-recoupable administrative and credit card processing expenses associated with registration and event preparation. Request for cancelations will be honored through September 4, 2020 and should be emailed to

Have Questions?

Have questions in the meantime? Please reach out to Tracy Timmons-Gray at:


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