What is collective impact?

Collective Impact is a framework for facilitating and achieving large-scale social change.  It is a structured and disciplined approach to bringing cross-sector organizations together to focus on a common agenda that results in long-lasting change. Global research shows that successful collective impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results: a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations.

The process of collective impact starts with a common agenda. That means coming together to collectively define the problem and create a shared vision to solve it. It establishes shared measurement. That means agreeing to track progress in the same way, which allows for continuous improvement. It fosters mutually reinforcing activities. That means coordinating collective efforts to maximize the end result. It encourages continuous communication. That means building trust and relationships among all participants. And it has a strong backbone. That means having a team dedicated to orchestrating the work of the group.

Continuous Communication

Consistent and open communication is needed across the many players to build trust, assure mutual objectives, and appreciate common motivation

Mutually Reinforcing Activities

Participant activities must be differentiated while still being coordinated through a mutually reinforcing plan of action

Backbone Support

Creating and managing collective impact requires a dedicated staff and a specific set of skills to serve as the backbone for the entire initiate and coordinate participating organizations and agencies

Shared Measurement

Collecting data and measuring results consistently across all participants ensures efforts remain aligned and participants hold each other accountable

Common Agenda

All participants have shared vision for change including a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions

Two videos of collective impact overview

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