Building Clarity of Purpose with a Project Charter


How can collaboratives build and ensure clarity of purpose as partners work together?

In this podcast episode, we’re doing a deep dive discussion into a specific collaboration tool—the project charter—and how this tool can help bring partners together to clarify roles, accountability, and a shared vision.

To share their own experiences using a project charter within their work partnering together, we hear from Staci Anderson, Angie Medina, and Rachel Minnick from PRO Youth and Families, and Keya Bell and Shakeya Bell from IQSquad. They share what they have learned supporting youth in Sacramento, CA, and how tools like a project charter can bring clarity and support mutual understanding within partnerships.

Download a project charter template with the download link on the right of this page.

Ways to Listen: Stream this episode below. You can also listen via Itunes, Spotify, Simplecast, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Amazon, and other podcast apps.

Please find a transcript of this podcast lower down this page.

Resources and Footnotes


The Intro music, entitled “Running,” was composed by Rafael Krux, and can be found here and is licensed under CC: By 4.0. The outro music, entitled “Deliberate Thought,” was composed by Kevin Macleod. Licensed under CC: By.

More on Collective Impact approach to collaborate for social change:

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Podcast Transcript

(Intro) Welcome to the Collective Impact Forum podcast, here to share resources to support social change makers working on cross-sector collaboration.

The Collective Impact Forum is a nonprofit field-building initiative that is co-hosted in partnership by the nonprofit consulting firm FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions.

In this episode, we have a deep dive discussion into a specific collaboration tool—the project charter—and we discuss how this tool can help bring partners together to clarify roles, accountability, and a shared vision. Joining this conversation to share about their experiences using a project charter is Staci Anderson, Angie Medina, and Rachel Minnick from PRO Youth and Families, and Keya Bell and Shakeya Bell from IQSquad. We will hear how they have worked together to establish a project charter, and what they have learned through the process. This discussion will be great for anyone looking for a practical collaboration tool to support your work. Moderating this discussion is Collective Impact Forum executive director Jennifer Splansky Juster. Let’s listen in.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Hello everybody and welcome to today’s podcast hosted by the Collective Impact Forum. I am Jennifer Juster and I’m pleased to be joining you today as the host of our conversation.

I’m so happy to be joined by a fabulous group from the Youth and Family Collective and partners in Sacramento, California, a group that’s collaborating to improve wellbeing for youth across the city.

As podcast listeners may know, our podcasts range in type from thought provoking talks from across the field to deep dives with authors of research reports to very practical and applied tools, frameworks, and advice. Today’s session is going to go deep on the latter of those, a very practical tool that we’re really excited to share and to learn more about its use. This tool, a project charter, will be the focus on our conversation. Joining us for the conversation we have leaders from the Sacramento region.

I’m happy to introduce Staci Anderson, Angie Medina, Rachel Minnick, Keya Bell, and Shakeya Bell. Welcome everyone. Before we start talking very specifically about your work and the project charter tool, I’d love each of our listeners to get a sense of who you all are. If you could share a little bit about yourself and your connection to the work we’ll be discussing today, that sounds like a great place to start. I will open the floor.

Staci Anderson: I’ll go first. I’m Staci Anderson with PRO Youth and Families and I call us the mother ship of the Youth and Family Collective. We’re the organization that initiated the Youth and Family Collective and I’ve been at PRO Youth and Families for 20 years.

Rachel Minnick: I’m Rachel Minnick. I am the director of Youth and Family Collective. I’ve been in that role for almost two years. I came to this role, previously I was an executive director at a nonprofit where it was hard work and the Youth and Family Collective offered another way of doing the work better and more collaboratively and bringing more resources to the work. It was a really great transition for me to be able to use my executive director pain and stress to make things better for other organizations.

Keya Bell: I’ll go next. Keya Bell. I’m the program director and founder of iQSQUAD. I’ve also been blessed to work with PRO Youth and Families, the mother ship. We have the pleasure to work with girls and young women of color. We’re a local HER movement out here in Sacramento starting in 2017 and we’re responding to the need of safe and inclusive spaces for young women of color to connect, learn, and celebrate the power of women and sisterhood. I’m so excited to be on with everyone.

Shakeya Bell: Hi, my name is Shakeya Bell, pronouns she/they. I am the co-pilot and program manager for iQSQUAD. I’m very happy to be here.

Angie Medina: My name is Angie Medina and I’m the director of strategy and grant management at PRO Youth and Families. In my role, I’ve been working alongside Staci and Rachel and lots of other executive directors from organizations basically trying to take this idea of Youth and Family Collective and putting it into action. One of the big things I’ve done is done a lot of grant writing, especially collaborative grant applications.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: That’s a great transition. Maybe one of you could talk a little bit more about the work of the collective as framing for our conversation about the project charter.

Staci Anderson: I’ll start. About seven years ago in the height of the Great Recession we as a nonprofit, and I’ve been in nonprofit work my whole career so it’s over 30 years. Myself and another former executive director were really, really frustrated by the environment of trying to do work in the nonprofit realm, specifically around youth. They are forgotten. We don’t focus on that work. We never do the preventative piece and we were done. I think both of us were like we can’t do this anymore. It was a very hostile, competitive work environment and it wasn’t doing any of us any favors. Very small amounts of money go to youth work.

We just decided we were going to do business completely differently. We didn’t know what that looked like. We just started bringing leaders, executives, directors from all—and corporations and foundations, bringing people together to say, “We don’t know what we’re doing necessarily, but we’re just going to kind of look at how do we start to work together? How do we set up a new way of doing this work?” Seven years later we have over 72 different partners and we have brought in over three million dollars into other youth organizations and have become really a go-to organization in terms of our Youth and Family Collective to really bring together people to make change and to do things differently. It’s been so gratifying, incredibly successful, and I feel like it’s a model that lots of communities really need and what I love is some of the tools that we’ve been able to develop through that process but it really has been a very organic, responsive, it’s not us dictating, it’s all of us coming together and saying what works.

I think it really helps build equity in a huge way because it’s not about one organization being the power of the work. It’s really about identifying organizations like Shakeya’s and Keya’s that really do the work in the community and are very trusted and very valued but don’t get the support that they need for that kind of work. I think Rachel’s done an amazing job of really pulling all of that together. That’s a quick overview of the Youth and Family Collective.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: What are one or two things you’re really proud of accomplishing over the last seven years?

Staci Anderson: Just one or two? I’m just kidding. As I said, I think that we’ve been able to really become the go-to for the community in terms of we’re going get that money out to them. We’re getting that money out to where it needs to go and I think one of the projects, our SacYouthWorks model, which is another kind of project that we put together in partnership with the city of Sacramento, we got over a million dollars out to young people for this workforce programming. To me that was huge and lots of money out to those nonprofit organizations to support the work specifically during the pandemic when everybody was walking around, I don’t know what to do. What are we going to do? It was so exciting to be able to partner with all these organizations and do that and make it happen and not have all the barriers that typically happen specifically with all the CARES Act money. That’s become a nightmare and trying to really get that out.

Rachel Minnick: I would just add on too, I think something that I’m really proud of is that we’ve been able to really, to what Staci said, push this idea of community-based organizations being paid for their participation in a variety of different projects. Initially when we were talking about some of these programs the funders were like, great, let’s pay stipends to the youth but didn’t really think about what it took for organizations to actually manage the programs and oversee the programs and mentor youth. So we were able to push to ensure that these small nonprofits were getting administrative funds that they could use and use in an unrestricted way to meet the needs of their organization in the way that they needed to.

At first, that was a difficult conversation because folks were like, people are doing that work anyway. We’re just giving them some money for youth. And it was like, yeah, they’re doing the work anyway but a lot of times right now not getting paid to do that work. They’re doing it and scraping together funding to make it happen or they’re not paying their staff. They’re all volunteer driven, etc., etc., which we know isn’t a really sustainable way for organizations to be successful. I’m really proud that we were able to advocate and we continue to advocate for partners getting paid.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Thank you for those examples of what’s really powerful about the impact and the process of how folks are coming together as part of the work. I appreciate all those examples.

Let’s actually turn to the specific tool that we mentioned called the project charter. It’s a tool that collaboratives can use to support partnerships and accountability. Before we get started to hear more deeply about the experience of doing a project charter, can you share a little bit about what a project charter is and the types of questions it has in it and maybe a little bit of the origin story about why you went there?

Rachel Minnick: Yeah, I think for us just to be like really technical, the project charter really spells out the who, the what, and the why, and the how of a project so when we are working together on a project, it’s a lot of times the YFC, it might be a school like in the case of a project that Shakeya and Keya are working on with us right now. We’re partnering with a school. We have that organization so it’s making sure everyone is on the same page about who’s the funder, how many youth are we serving, how much money is involved, who makes the final decisions, and what are our different roles in that, and just trying to establish clarity from the very beginning because one of the things we’ve seen with collaboration is that where it’s gone off the rails or where we’ve had less success is when we were unclear about roles, and I think Keya even said to me at some point in this project, “Rachel, we need to get clear on roles,” and we had jumped into the project we’re working on now with the project charter, and we should have started with that, and we didn’t.

So once we did that, we got to know each other better and we had a better sense of the overall expectations of the project so it’s really a practical tool that we use, and the origin story, I think Angie can talk a little bit more because Angie’s been the person on our team who has said, “You need a project charter. This is happening because you don’t have a project charter. You’re all saying things but you’re not saying the same things,” so she’s really been the person to pilot it for our projects and help us refine it, and then we’ve refined it as we’ve gone but Angie can talk more about the origin story of it.

Angie Medina: Yeah, thank you, Rachel. So the origin story of the project charter, I kind of want to back up and just talk about the Youth and Family Collective in general because when we kind of started coming together as a collective, we were trying to figure out what the rules of play were or what it meant to be a partner and try to kind of put together the guideline of what we are, how we engage with each other without having really any real work yet or like real project, and we had somebody working alongside of us.

Her name is Dr. Sara McClellan. She was a professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State University, and she was great at helping us guide through the process, think through how to work as a collaborative, think through what are potential pitfalls, how to leverage each other’s strengths, and she really emphasized the need to organize ourselves around specific work and around specific projects. So she was the one that really introduced the idea of the project charter to us and kind of gave us a rough guideline, and suggested that we do it, and then, like Rachel said, here we are kind of learning over the process and learning how we’re going, and the process has been evolving.

So the very first time we used it, we were awarded a grant, a collaborative grant. The award was in October of 2019, and we had six organizations coming together to do collaborative work. In these six organizations, there was some familiarity with each other but definitely hadn’t necessarily worked together, definitely the need to kind of clearly define what the overall goal of the project was, and then the roles and responsibilities of each organization. So that’s a little bit about the origin.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: I’m curious if you could talk a little bit more about how you’ve seen things change or work differently now that you have the project charter as a tool that you’re doing with your partners.

Angie Medina:Definitely, a lot of things have changed and like Rachel mentioned, you can tell when we use the tool and how when we haven’t used the tool as far as rolling out collaborative projects. One of the things that I think is great about the project charter, it’s not so much about the document but it’s about the conversations that you have in creating the document, and it’s also about having conversations that go beyond just the roles and responsibilities but really goes to the why. What is the ultimate goal?

And also trying to bring the partners together also on more a personal level to understand the strengths that each organization is bringing to the table to really kind of establish a culture of respect among the different stakeholders, and another thing that happened is that when you’re coming together on a collaborative project, every organization has a little bit of a different organizational culture about how they work, how they do things, different attitudes so when you come together and create a collaborative, you kind of need to work through some of that thing, some of those things to understand where people are coming together. I think those are the key things.

A lot of it has to do more about conversations, more about the culture, the common goals, and then once you have clarified, then you can kind of go on to the roles and responsibilities, and then as you roll out projects, when things—there are tensions, people can kind of go back to the overall picture and the vision of it and not get caught up so much in the details.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Keya or Shakeya, I would love to hear what your experience has been like as participants in the project charter process from the process of what it might have been like before and then the way that things work differently now having gone through that process.

Keya Bell: Like Angie mentioned, any time you work with other collaborators you can have a challenge working with folks’ different work styles, views, personalities. The purpose and vision can sometimes be put to the side to meet the pressures of the powers that be, schedules, deadlines, work capacities, and in our case to start the work to meet the urgent need of promoting awareness around a very important issue for our youth during an extremely difficult time.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Definitely, and one of the things I heard everyone speak to so far that really landed for me is that it goes beyond sort of the nuts and bolts which are important of how many dollars go to who but like really coming from like what’s your personal why for participating in this, and what is the motivation of each group in participating. Any further reflections on somehow that kind of the softer part of the process has really helped things.

Staci Anderson: I just want to say that I think even now more than before because the environment, and this particular charter was also a school district was part of this whole conversation, a school site, but people are in such vulnerable places, even more stressed than before, feeling like they have so many things that they have to successfully accomplish, that I think it’s even more important now.

I think that we can no longer take the- the personal and we have been for a long time, trying to do all this work and not establish that personal relationship and develop that trust, and I think that you can’t get that work done specifically if we’re doing youth work and we’re trying to work with our partners or any kind of work with our partners and not really establish those relationships but I think that it’s even more essential than it ever has been before in the environment. It’s a different environment now than it was before so I don’t think we can afford to not do that.

Keya Bell: This charter process we felt provided an opportunity for all of us to really hit the pause button knowing the climate we’re in, knowing the amount of just—the deadlines and the gravity of all of that, and let’s go back to why with a very clearly defined plan for everyone to bring our strengths, to just be real locked into so that we can maximize our efforts and be successful. It allowed for dialogue between all of us to listen to one another with intention, decide on the best practices, and really see the big picture from start to launch together which was very just powerful.

We got to connect with each other and know—get to know each other on a personal level. It really took out that rigid structure we traditionally work with folks, like we got a chance to connect and to learn about our stories and how that can really elevate this work. So it was just a really different and unique process, and I’ll throw it to Shakeya to add.

Shakeya Bell: Definitely to echo what Keya mentioned, it definitely cultivated a safe space. You know, when any challenges would arise, we could hash out those challenges, talk it through. I like how there was no such thing as a silly question or a question that didn’t quite align with the ultimate goal of the project. It was just a real collaborative—it was just a really collaborative environment, and it’s one that really produces great work.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: This is kind of a technical question but I just want to make sure listeners understand. So when there’s a project charter, does that exist one to one between–we sometimes call it the backbone or as you affectionately called it, the mother ship–is that like a one-to-one document or is it everyone has a group conversation, six, 10, 15 orgs together about how everyone is showing up? Tell us a little bit more about that.

Angie Medina: So, yeah, the technicalities—it’s everybody that’s part of that project so all the stakeholders coming together because it’s about all the stakeholders working together. As the Youth and Family Collective, we’re helping to facilitate it, facilitate the project charter but it’s really a project charter amongst all the stakeholders and the partners that are involved in the project.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: I imagine that you have a different way that a project charter plays out in different kinds of collaborative projects. I know sometimes that might be through a smaller project with five or six partners but it also might be used for a really large grant that you get that you’re working on an agreement with more dollars, a broader set of partners. What are some of the differences that present themselves in those different kinds of uses?

Staci Anderson: The first one we did was a workforce development grant with people specifically coming out of the correctional facilities, and so you had organizations that had never really worked—they were actually in the same building but they had never really worked together and woven their programs so that in this particular case you had two organizations that were kind of taking the lead on the case management of the work, and then you had other people that were providing some of those support services.

So that process was really complicated and they met on a regular basis to really work through what do those systems look like? How do we build an agreement upon, you know, if you are a case managing a client, how am I communicating with you? How am I getting that information back to you? It specifically goes back to different organizations function differently so really agreeing on are we emailing each other in this? Are we walking down the hall to have that conversation? So it gets into a lot of the real nitty-gritty, and that one in particular because it wasn’t substantial, it was what, Angie? A $635,000 grant that now the collective is really responsible for, and now we were—none of us had been partners before. They were all brand-new relationships, and that was a project charter.

That was going every week, every so many weeks going back and meeting and figuring out is this working, does this need to be tweaked, what needs to happen with that? Then you have really with Shakeya and Keya and the work that Rachel is doing on this other project that, Rachel, maybe you ought to speak to that briefly.

Rachel Minnick: Yeah, I think the difference kind of with the project charter that we worked on with Shakeya and Keya and iQSQUAD and the school district, specifically the school site, to me, some of it kind of boiled down to more like the relationships with the young people because with iQ generally they’re recruiting the young people that are participating in their programs. They kind of have that. I don’t like the term exactly, but like that ownership or that lead role in engaging with those young people but when you partner with a school, the district had very specific ideas about the rules of engagement, when they engage with youth, how they engage with youth, and then how would iQ actually be able to develop those positive relationships with those young people in a way that was different than the way that they would normally operate.

And so just kind of having an understanding of like how are you coming in, how will iQ be able to engage with those young people in a supportive way so that they have the relationships in place so that they can work on this mental health project that we’re working on together because those relationships are so critical to mental health but this is a new project and so we were kind of feeling our way about can we serve youth after hours? Can we serve youth virtually? Does it have to be in person? And different people were in different places about what was OK and not OK so we had to figure out, OK, who’s the final decision maker? What is our funding opportunity say? Where do we have flexibility and where do we not have flexibility?

So just having those real conversations while in the context of getting to know each other I think was kind of the mix but we didn’t start off that way, and we should have. We really should have started off with that clarity a little bit more so I appreciated when the iQ team came back and was like, this is a lot, this is getting a little bit messy, we’ve got to do something about it, and that’s when I was like, bingo, project charter time, should have started at the beginning with our conversations.

So it’s different depending on the type of project and the partners involved and the funding source too, what you can and can’t do.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Keya or Shakeya, do you want to reflect on that experience from your perspective as well?

Keya Bell: Yeah, I just felt that Rachel really was able to sum that up because we’re a small organization, and we were kind of like a rebel out here in Sacramento, how we serve our young folks because when you serve young people you have to meet them where they’re at, especially in this pandemic. It’s just difficult to—with the typical ways of engaging with the young people, one, to make sure that we’re being safe but at the same time we are working with a school system. There’s a whole other level of rules and many folks at the top are like hold up, pump the brakes, wait a minute.

So again being able to kind of get back to the start and get back to the why to clarify the intentions to listen to one another, that makes sense. Instead of like sometimes you can take it personal, you know. This work is very relational so when you don’t get your way and you’re batting for these young people, you’re like, well, wait a minute. This is for the young people. This is the best practice but sometimes you’ve got to come to the table and kind of refine it a bit more, and again clarify the intentions in like we’re going to get there, and we’re going to get there together.

So being able to have this process in a way to collectively come to the table, to really define those roles and those boundaries, it got us back on track to where now we trust each other. Now we feel safe to move forward in that. If there is a miscommunication or another roadblock, we feel safe enough to come to the table and work through it. So this process was like amazing, and just really helped us move forward and feel more confident in doing so.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: That’s great and in a lot of collective impact conversations we often hear people talking about the importance of role clarity and being clear, like what everyone’s doing but I don’t think often enough we talk about getting to that like interpersonal why people are coming to the table, and I just keep coming back to how helpful this is from both of those dimensions. Like, yes, you need the good hygiene but you also really—it’s a good tool for building trust in relationships as part of that process. So—yeah, Angie, please.

Angie Medina: Thanks. Though we haven’t talked about it kind of concretely, one of the ways that we start off the project charter process is defining values and community agreements so that really sets the tone for everything else. What are those values that we’re coming to the table with? What are those community agreements, and then kind of diving into the goals and the why and the strengths that we all bring so just to kind of clarify that.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: That’s helpful. Are there things that you all learned along the way throughout the process that you didn’t know when you started or challenges that you didn’t foresee that others might find helpful to hear about if you’re willing to share?

Angie Medina: I have something. I think in the beginning I really thought it was about the documents, and just, you know, this document has to look this certain way or we have to do this or what are the right questions, and I think the realization, it was one of my colleagues that helped me along with the process that was also kind of like learning as going as far as implementing project charters, and really learning that it was about the conversations and not so much about the document, and that some of the questions might need to change depending upon what project you’re working on but really working through that and then just kind of capturing the information in the document as best we can but really honoring the conversation part and not so much the document part.

Rachel Minnick: I would add too that it takes time to do it, probably 90 minutes to two hours like the one we just worked on recently with Keya and Shakeya, we weren’t able to get through it in 90 minutes so we have probably more to talk about there but it can feel like a luxury you can’t afford, like, oh, we don’t have time, we’ve got to launch, we’ve got to do this, we got to do that but what I have discovered is when you cheat that process, you actually end up wasting a lot of time cleaning up the messes that the lack of communication causes. So that’s what I’ve discovered.

In the beginning I was like, we don’t need that, we trust each other, everyone’s on the same page. We’re not all on the same page. We might be but we might not be, and I was really like, oh, I don’t know if we really need to do that, and we had a couple of—hit a couple of icebergs in some of our big projects, not in a—nothing that tanked the whole project but just it could have been so much better had we budgeted the time for it early on.

And I don’t even know that you need to do it like day one. I think you need to let partners marinate a little bit and then do the project charter after you’ve had a little bit of chance to engage with one another and warm up a little bit. So you don’t want to jump too quickly into it but you need it pretty early on in the process and it saves time later.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Definitely often hear that old adage like go slow to go far. I think it’s a great example, or progress moves at the speed of trust, lots of clichés that we can throw out there but I think it’s a really good example.

Rachel, you were just reflecting on some advice for folks that might want to implement something like a project charter. What other advice do folks have for others that might want to go in this direction?

Keya Bell: I say do it. I was just thinking back especially where we were before we did the charter process. I mean it was just such a great tool to just again like hit that pause and like you said, to honor the conversations and the people behind these roles. We’re in it for—it’s like we had a chance to like remember the intention and the purpose. It was like bull’s eye. This is why we’re doing this work so let’s come back and meet in the middle. It just helped us get in alignment with everyone in the project, and to get excited again, feel that source of inspiration with the work.

It was really quite an experience so I say do it. It’s super effective, and we plan to hopefully use this in our future collaborations. So do it.

Angie Medina: That’s awesome, Keya. I would also add that there’s no right way to do it so just jump in and try your hardest. Don’t worry about being perfect, just worry about doing it. So, yeah, I would add that.

Staci Anderson: Doing collective impact work is not easy at all, and that it’s going to be a continual—it’s a process and I say it’s a lot actually like parenting when you have children. You have to—you’re in it for the long haul, right? It’s a relationship that you’re going to be working on and developing and supporting, and it’s a back and forth but it isn’t easy, and so I just think it’s important for people to realize that that’s the case but it’s so rewarding.

Rachel Minnick: would agree with Staci. I think embrace the messiness and the ambiguity. We talk a lot about “Emergent Strategy,” which is something that I would really love—if you haven’t looked at the book, Emergent Strategies, it’s Adrienne Maree Brown, it really is about using intuition, using what you know, using what you’re learning from the community to act in the moment for the best of that collaborative or that work versus trying to have a five-year strategic plan. I’m not against the strategic plan but in a lot of this work, it’s very situational and you just can’t plan for everything, and you shouldn’t even try. You just cannot prepare for everything so moving people along who are less comfortable with ambiguity is a really big part of doing this work, and the project charter can help create some kind of structure sometimes for people who need more of that structure.

I really have loved reading a book called Impact Networks. The author is David Ehrlichman, and it also provides some great technical project charter tips and examples that I’ve incorporated into the project charter that I just worked on with Keya and Nakeya so those are a couple places like just find your inspiration but Emergent Strategies and Impact Networks are both two great books. I’m getting no payment for saying that. I just really loved both of those and they’ve been really inspiring to me.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: I’m actually reading Emergent Strategies right now, Rachel, and I was thinking about that when you were talking about the down—what happens when you shortcut relationships and connection, and that was definitely on my mind so again, another plug. Anything other folks would like to add? This has been just a great exploration.

Rachel Minnick: Just really grateful for our partners. I’m really grateful to partners like Keya and Shakeya who have put their trust in these types of projects. We take those relationships really seriously and we want to be sure that they’re getting something out of it by partnering on this project versus just doing it for the youth which they were doing anyway but really trying to find ways where it’s beneficial for organizations like IQSQUAD so we just are really—we never take that for granted, that partners want to come to the table and have these types of conversations, and that’s really that trust building and it doesn’t happen quickly. You have to give it time and space but for those who are willing to come to the table, are not faint of heart, I just am so appreciative of that, and for anyone who’s listening who’s going through that process, just don’t give up, keep going.

Staci Anderson: I think the other thing is the collective started, the Youth and Family Collective started because we just wanted to do stuff differently, and we didn’t really know exactly what. We didn’t have a roadmap. We designed a roadmap, and I think that that’s what people need to always be comfortable with being uncomfortable and just doing things differently because the setup, the way the world works right now in the nonprofit sector, it doesn’t make any sense, and it’s slowing us down and it’s not going to allow us to do the work that we need to do, and I think we all do. It’s a crisis now specifically for young people, and we cannot let all these structures, those old types of structures, get in the way of us getting the work done.

Jennifer Splansky Juster: Hear, hear. Hear, hear. Well, thank you all for taking the time to join us but most importantly on behalf of the community in Sacramento and the young people, thank you for all the work that you are doing, and we look forward to sharing this with them, with the Collective Impact Forum network.

And this closes out this episode of the Collective Impact Forum podcast. If you are interested in learning more about what was discussed, you can find links to resources in the footnotes of this podcast, including a link to a project charter template that PRO Youth and Families has provided for listeners.

We would like to acknowledge that this episode was produced and edited on the unceded, traditional lands of the Coast Salish people, including the Duwamish, Suquamish, Stillaguamish, and Muckleshoot tribes. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the past, present, and futures of these tribes.

The Intro music for this episode was composed by Rafael Krux and our outro music is composed by Kevin Macleod.

And for those interested in learning together, registration is now open for our virtual Collective Impact Action Summit that will be held on April 26-28, 2022. The Action Summit is our biggest learning event of the year, with over 25 virtual sessions focusing on topics like culture and narrative change, shifting power, data, and sustainability.

(Outro) And a big plus for being virtual is that we’re recording many of the sessions and sharing those recordings with attendees after, so you’ll be able to plan a schedule that fits best with you, and watch other sessions later.

We hope you can join us this April. Please visit the Events section of to learn more about this year’s Collective Impact Action Summit.

This is Tracy Timmons-Gray, Associate Director here at the Collective Impact Forum, and your podcast host. I want to say thank you so much for listening, and we look forward to connecting with you more in our next episode. Until next time, we hope you are safe and well.

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