What is Collective Impact?

Collective impact is the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem at scale.

Organizations have been implementing collective impact for a long time. These successful collective impact initiatives often assure five conditions that are associated with their relative success:

  • Common Agenda
    • All participants share a vision for change that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving the problem through agreed-upon actions.
  • Shared Measurement
    • All participating organizations agree on the ways success will be measured and reported, with a short list of common indicators identified and used for learning and improvement.
  • Mutually Reinforcing Activities
    • A diverse set of stakeholders, typically across sectors, coordinate a set of differentiated activities through a mutually reinforcing plan of action.
  • Continuous Communication
    • All players engage in frequent and structured open communication to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and create common motivation.
  • Backbone Support
    • An independent, funded staff dedicated to the initiative provides ongoing support by guiding the initiative’s vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, establishing shared measurement practices, building public will, advancing policy, and mobilizing resources.

Implementing a collective impact approach in your community to make progress on important, complex issues? We have tools to help.

The Community Tool Box is proud to partner with Jennifer Splansky Juster, Director of the Collective Impact Forum, FSG, to make Collective Impact materials available from the Community Tool Box. Our new section on Collective Impact features information on why you might use the collective impact approach, what it is, when it is appropriate, how to implement such an approach, and who should be engaged.

Here are some resources:

Collective Impact:  http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/overview/models-for-community-health-and-development/collective-impact/main

Collective impact Insight:  http://collectiveinsights.ssireview.org/