On our blog, Collective Impact Forum staff, partners, and guest contributors share the latest learning, innovations, and stories from the field.
  • How to Partner for Impact: The Nuts and Bolts of Aligning Collective Impact Efforts

    Karen Pittman

    February 9, 2015

    For more than a decade, the Forum for Youth investment has helped communities map, convene and align coalitions and initiatives focused on the interlocking issues that affect young people's futures, from premature births to college completion. Cast the net widely enough – say, along the whole cradle-to-career continuum – and even the smallest communities can identify dozens of efforts with overlapping goals, members, strategies and funders, even if their connections are relatively light. Cast the net narrowly, and those same communities are likely to find that there is more than one coalition focused on early childhood or violence prevention that have never sat together to discuss how their work overlaps.
  • Corralling Collaborations

    Karen Pittman

    September 12, 2014

    “In any given week, you could go to three meetings and hear the same report three times.” “Too many people are coming to us with too many asks.” These are some of the recurring sentiments that prompted the leaders of collective impact initiatives in Northern Kentucky to ask, “What would it look like if we realigned?” The article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Aligning Collective Impact Initiatives” (written by two of my colleagues at the Forum for Youth Investment), chronicles the process those leaders used to consolidate the goals, strategies and commitments of multiple education initiatives under one backbone organization.
  • Putting the Community into Community Engagement

    Karen Pittman

    July 22, 2014

    Community. Engagement. These two words get a lot of air time at the tables where coalition leaders exchange ideas about how to create "needle moving change," whether the topic is childhood obesity, teen pregnancy or college readiness. Every group of leaders believes community engagement is critical to success. Every group laments they don't do it soon enough, often enough, long enough or well enough. Post mortems of community change initiatives frequently cite "lack of community engagement or buy-in" as a reason for failure.