On our blog, Collective Impact Forum staff, partners, and guest contributors share the latest learning, innovations, and stories from the field.


  • It Takes a Community: Newark Comes Together to Make the Most of Summer for their Youth

    Katie Willse

    August 6, 2014

    Across the nation, community leaders have increasingly recognized the promise of summer to accelerate student learning. But to maximize collective impact and reach the greatest numbers of youth in need, communities must coordinate efforts across sectors, track and share data about existing summer learning opportunities and strengthen partnerships.
  • Developmental Evaluation in the Context of Collective Impact - Part 2

    Jewlya Lynn

    August 5, 2014

    In Part 1, Kathleen Holmes with the Missouri Foundation for Health explained why developmental evaluation is an important part of the Foundation’s infant mortality initiative. She also shared some of the first steps the Foundation, backbone organizations and the evaluators took together to build a shared understanding of developmental evaluation and its role in helping develop a nascent collective impact approach.
  • What’s Equity got to do with it? It is Key to the Success of Collective Impact

    Carrie Boron

    July 28, 2014

    My colleagues and I posed this question—“What’s equity got to do with it?”—to those who took part in our session at the Collective Impact Forum’s funder convening in May. As foundations explore how best to support collective impact efforts amongst their grantees, they need the chance to explore blind spots when it comes to ensuring that there are no barriers in place to full community participation. That is, are there foundation practices or policies at work that may deter people of different backgrounds—racial/ethnic, educational, economic, sexual orientation, gender and language—from participating in a collective impact effort, and thus having the genuine impact they all seek?
  • Working Across Sectors Creates More Opportunity for America’s Youth

    Collective Impact Forum

    July 25, 2014

    By Melody Barnes - Just over a year ago, I stood on stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival to announce 21 communities across the country that were selected for inclusion in the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF), an initiative of the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions. The Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund awarded grants to fund promising cross-sector collaboration in communities seeking to build successful education and employment opportunities for young people disconnected from work and school.
  • 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.
  • Finding Our People … Just Like the Girl in the Bee Suit

    Jeff Edmondson

    July 17, 2014

    In the Blind Melon 90s alternative rock video, “No Rain,” a young tap-dancing girl in a bee suit wanders throughout town looking for someone to appreciate her talents after being laughed off stage. At the end of the video, the lonely girl discovers a field full of other people dancing in bee suits – she finally found like-minded people who shared her passion!
  • Building the Collaboration "Muscle"

    Emily Wexler

    July 14, 2014

    While several months back, May’s funder convening in Aspen showed that more grantmakers recognize that no single organization can go it alone when it comes to addressing social issues that are complex, dynamic and intersecting. With efforts like collective impact initiatives that are seeking to transform whole systems, grantmakers can play an essential role in encouraging and supporting nonprofits to work together to achieve better results. To borrow a term that came up many times during the forum, grantmakers are essential partners when it comes to building a community’s “civic muscle.”