Too many organizations are working in isolation from one another. Do you think one organization will have a stronger impact on a social issue compared to multiple organizations?
In order to solve a social problem it requires a new design of the system which perpetuates the problem. System design requires all the stakeholders from all the different components of society to come together, find common ground, and collaborate.
Collective impact brings people together, in a structured way, to achieve social change.
Collective impact is an effective new approach for cross-sector stakeholders to work together to solve a specific social problem shared by all stakeholders. In this case, we are focused on a specific population of youth in America ages 16-24 who are neither employed nor enrolled in school.
By improving outcomes for this population, businesses and communities have the potential to increase savings for society, improve the quality of talent available to employers, and interrupt a multigenerational cycle of poverty for youth and their families.
Aside from our founding team, we are fortunate to have a number of thought-leaders in the collective impact space who are driving results and improving outcomes for this specific population through collective impact.
Collective Impact Thought-Leaders
FSG is one of the larger organizations who established themselves as an expert in creating and managing collective impact for opportunity youth. FSG also started an online community to facilitate many of the required connections of collective impact. It is called the Collective Impact Forum, and it is an incredible platform.
One more resource for you is also from FSG, and it is a report (PDF) which includes detailed and specific instructions on how to go about organizing your community stakeholders to start working together to make serious change happen.
How do you create and manage collective impact?
- Identify cross-sector stakeholders
- Develop a common agenda with a shared vision
- Measure consistently
- Continuous communication
- Backbone organization to coordinate member support
Collective impact readiness assessment
Our friends over at FSG and the Collective Impact Forum put together a helpful tool for assessing your current situation to find out if you are ready for collective impact. This is a great tool for uncovering flawed traditions your community may be stuck in simply because “that’s how it was always done”. Using the collective impact readiness assessment provides you with clear talking points which you can then bring to your other stakeholders.
Let us know how it goes. You are going to do great.