Introduction to Collective Impact and the Backbone Role

, Online

Workshop Date: Thursday, September 13. 1pm – 4:30pm ET

Faculty Office Hour: Friday, September 16. 1pm – 2pm ET

***UPDATE: This workshop is now SOLD OUT.***

If you are interested in other sessions in this Essentials for Collective Impact workshop series, these sessions below still have spots remaining:

  1. Advancing Equity in Collective Impact (Sept. 29-30)
  2. Community Engagement in Collective Impact (Oct. 13-14)
  3. Data and Learning in Collective Impact (Oct. 24, Oct. 28)

About this workshop

Join us for an introductory workshop on collective impact. This training will provide an overview of the basic elements of the collective impact approach. We will include discussion and examples of a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and a deep dive on the skills and characteristics of backbone role. We will also discuss some of the key lessons learned about collective implementation and creating a culture for collective impact.

This session includes both a half-day workshop on September 13 and a one-hour office hour with workshop faculty to answer further questions on September 16.

Who is this workshop designed for? This workshop is designed for participants who are new to the collective impact concept and early in their initiative’s development.

Lead Faculty: Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum; Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum

Register for this workshop

About this Workshop

This workshop is part of the Essentials for Collective Impact workshop series. Attendees can register for the full series pass and join all four online workshops, or register for an individual workshop on a specific topic. Each workshop is paired also with a “faculty office hour,” during which attendees can engage with faculty in deeper Q&A on the workshop’s topic.

Registration Details

Workshop Rates: Individual topic workshops cost $175 each. The full series pass for all four workshops costs $595. Visit our registration site to join a workshop or the full series.

Scholarships: A limited number of reduced-price registration scholarships are available for the full workshop series. This scholarship reduces a full series registration from $595 to $100. To apply for a reduced-price scholarship, please fill out this form by Friday, August 19. Awardees will be notified if they are selected for a scholarship by August 26.

Cancellations and Refunds: Refunds are available, minus a 10% processing fee, as long as registrants contact us in writing ahead of the cancellation deadline. Please see our FAQ below for cancellation deadlines.

Workshop Faculty

Jennifer Splansky Juster is Executive Director of the fielding-building initiative the Collective Impact Forum. She is one of FSG’s leaders in collective impact field building, has worked on multiple collective impact engagements, designed training opportunities for thousands collective impact practitioners, and frequently speaks on the topic. Jennifer has co-authored multiple publications on collective impact, including the report Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact and the articles “Centering Equity in Collective Impact,” “Committing to Collective Impact: From Vision to Implementation,” and “Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact.” Over the course of her career, Jennifer has also worked with a range of foundations, nonprofits, government agencies, and corporations across sectors on issues of strategy, evaluation, and program design. Former clients include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Girard College, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Silicon Valley ALLIES. A California native, Jennifer is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two daughters.

Paul Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact through his roles as Senior Advisor at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out. He is also the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up, and the former CEO of Public Allies, where he helped more than 5,000 diverse young adults begin careers working for community and social change. Paul is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, was a social innovation advisor to the Obama White House, and has been named three separate years to The Nonprofit Times list of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America. Paul is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and a board member of The Corps Network, the NYU Leadership Initiative, Playworks, and The United Way of Greater Milwaukee. Paul previously served on the board of Independent Sector, the association of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, and was the co-chair of Voices for National Service, which led advocacy for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. Paul co-chaired the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign’s Civic Engagement Policy Group, was a member of The Obama-Biden Transition Team, and was appointed by President Obama to The White House Council for Community Solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I register for this workshop? Please visit our registration site to join the full series or a single workshop.

Is this workshop in-person or online? This is an online workshop. We will be using Zoom Meeting for this session.

What will this workshop entail? This 3.5 hour workshop on September 13 will include a mix of presentation, Q&A, and small group discussions. There will be a short break planned during the workshop.

What does a Faculty Office Hour entail? This is an hour of open Q&A on September 16 with the workshop faculty and attendees, focused on the topic of the workshop.

What accessibility practices will this workshop be using? We will have Zoom auto-captions on for this workshop and office hour. In the days ahead of the workshop, we will send out copies of any workshop presentations or handouts. After the workshop, we will share recordings of the workshop presentation, participant Q&A, and faculty office hour.

If I attended the Champions for Change workshop in prior years, should I join the Essentials series? The Essentials series has similar content to past Champions for Change workshops. If you have attended past Champions for Change workshops, we would recommend Essentials if you are looking for a refresher of that content, or as a new learning opportunity for your teammates or partners. If you are not looking for a refresher, but for a completely new learning experience, we recommend our annual Action Summit instead. The 2023 Action Summit will be held April 24-April 27, 2023.

What’s the difference between the Full Series and Single Workshop registration? If you are signing up for the full Essentials workshop series, you are signing up for all four workshops, including the faculty office hours that are part of each one. If you sign up for a single workshop in the series, you will be just registering for that specific workshop and related office hour.

Will workshops be recorded? The workshop presentations and faculty office hours will be recorded and shared after the workshop with those who registered. Breakout group discussions that occur during each workshop will not be recorded. Recordings will be shared within one week of the workshop.

Can my whole team sign-up with one registration? No. Each person will require their own registration as this is an active workshop where attendees will be broken up into small groups throughout the workshop time to discuss learning questions during the session.

Are there Group Rates available? Single workshops in the Essentials series do not have a group discount. If you have 10 or more people interested in registering for the complete Essentials series of all four workshops ($595), there is a 10% discount available. Please contact Christopher Pulido at to access this discount.

How do I cancel my registration and request a refund? All cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. Registered participants who decide to cancel their participation, in either the full workshop series or a single 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. All refund requests should be emailed to We are unable to process refunds after the refund deadlines detailed below.

Refund Cancellation Deadline

Workshop Refund Deadline: If you registered for the workshop “Introduction to Collective Impact and the Backbone Role,” the deadline for cancellations and refunds is September 9, 2022

Have More Questions?

If your question is not addressed in our FAQ, please reach out to Tracy Timmons-Gray at:


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