Getting Started

Don’t know where to begin?

We’ve curated published research and
essential resources to help you get started.

Since the 2011 Stanford Social Innovation Review article introduced the concept, collective impact has been widely adopted as an effective form of cross-sector collaboration to address complex social and environmental challenges. Though collective impact has proven to be a powerful approach in tackling a wide range of issues in communities all over the world, many practitioners are searching for the tools they need to be successful in this work.

The thought leadership and resources below, and in the Resources and Blog sections of this website, will help you build a foundation for doing this work

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Introduction to Collective Impact

The scale and complexity of the U.S. public education system has thwarted attempted reforms for decades. Major funders, such as the Annenberg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Pew Charitable...

What does it take for a collective impact initiative to succeed and reach population-level change? The field is familiar with the five conditions of collective impact, but what are the...

Update: The Spanish-language version of this article, "Encauzamiento del cambio: cómo lograr que el impacto colectivo funcione," is now added to this page for download. An in-depth look at...

This article is adapted from its original publication in July 2012 as a four-part blog series in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, www.ssireview.org/blog.Effective backbone support is...

Sponsored and curated by the Collective Impact Forum, "Collective Insights on Collective Impact," which appears in Stanford Social Innovation Review's fall issue, shares cutting-edge...

Getting Started in Collective Impact

How do you know if collective impact is right for your organization? While collective impact has a track record of success against a range of social and environmental issues, not all...

This framework offers a guide to help your group of stakeholders assess whether or not collective impact is the right approach to address a specific social problem in your community....

Once you have determined that you are ready for collective impact, how do you get started?   Join FSG consultants and partner practitioners as they walk you through the initial...

With so many different stakeholders at the table, coming to consensus over the key issues and how to approach them can seem like a daunting task. On November 3, Join FSG's John Kania and...

Working with an equity lens is an intentional decision and a difficult process for an organization to undergo. During this webinar, leaders from the Colorado Trust, Consumer Health...

While many leaders understand the importance of continuous learning, more could be done to help funders, backbone leaders, and other community partners integrate continuous learning into...

Forming a steering committee and creating a common agenda is hard work.  However, what happens after the vision has been agreed upon?  How do you create an infrastructure that can...

Launching Collective Impact Toolkits & Guides

For collective impact efforts, backbone support plays a critical role in helping a collaborative achieve its results, but it can be difficult to know where to start when building the...

Tools for Backbones What Is a Backbone? The Backbone Organization in a Collective Impact effort both helps maintain overall strategic coherence and coordinates and manages the day-to-day...

Tools for Steering CommitteesWhat Is a Steering Committee?The Steering Committee is a group comprised of cross-sector community partners representative of the relevant ecosystem that...

Working Group Co-chairs are not simply symbolic leaders; the success of a collective impact initiative hinges on Co-chairs bringing their commitment and leadership to a range of tasks....

Leaders of collective impact initiatives need an approach to performance measurement and evaluation that is as multi-faceted, responsive, and flexible as the initiatives themselves. This...

For organizations to be successful, individuals need opportunities to share data, as well as their knowledge and experiences, with others. Facilitated, intentional group activities create...

Community Engagement & Equity

Part 1 of the Equity Matters in Collective Impact session from the 2015 Collective Impact Forum convening in New Orleans on May 6, 2015. Featuring: Opening remarks by Melody Barnes (Aspen...

This article argues for integrating attention to equity into every phase of collective impact initiatives, and outlines backbone organization Urban Strategies Council's approach to doing so.

The Collective Impact Forum & Results for America present a panel discussion to celebrate the release of "Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)," an article co-authored by...

The Community Engagement Toolkit share a series of tools for planning community engagement to be more purposeful, equitable, transparent, and strategic so that community members are true...

A list of resources, tools, writings, and related media on equity and inclusion. A printable version of the below list can also be downloaded on the left of this page. Updated August 2016...

From the Blog

“It took a lot of time to build trust. People had distrust for years. You can’t undo that in a few meetings” “They don’t invite people like me to their tables. I went to a meeting and it...

By Juan Sebastian Arias and Sheri Brady In order to truly solve the complex social issues our communities face, the structural causes of inequality along race, class, gender & culture...

This post marks the launch of a new Forum blog series on the nuts and bolts of aligning coalitions and initiatives for collective impact. For more than a decade, the Forum for Youth...

In the past few months, I have heard many practitioners in the social sector discussing how continuous learning is integral for successful collective impact (CI) efforts. Although its...

I am often asked – should we adopt a collective impact approach in our work? While we have seen that the collective impact approach can be critical to achieving significant large-scale...

Meet Collective Impact Practitioners

Liz Weaver
backbone organization, funder of initiatives, partner organization
At Tamarack - I lead the Vibrant Communities Canada initiative. Vibrant Communities are cities across Canada with place-based, multi-sector leadership roundtables focused on reducing poverty. To learn more about Vibrant Communities visit: http://www.vibrantcommunities.ca/.

Ask me about:

Governance

You can help me with:

Shared Measurement