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


  • 13 Collaboratives Selected to Participate in Collective Impact Data Accelerator

    Robert Albright

    September 23, 2019

    The use of data across partners is a core element of the collective impact approach. In fact, the central use of data – for both collaborative learning and accountability – is often the element of collective impact that practitioners report to be the most differentiating from the other collaboratives in which they have worked. Through our engagement with funders and practitioners in the Collective Impact Forum community, we understand that collective impact initiatives are using a variety of types of data – including collecting data through public databases, shared measurement systems, evaluations, research studies, and in informal conversations – to learn, inform, and improve their work.
  • Unsticking Stuck Mental Models: Adventures in Systems Change

    John Kania

    August 30, 2019

    Experience has shown that many efforts to change systems emanating from philanthropy, government and the main stream nonprofit sector focus the lion’s share of activity on change at the first level – the structural level of systems change. Yet successful systems change must place significant attention on the second and third levels of change – the cultural levels.
  • Securing Funding for the Backbone Role: Lessons from the Field

    Erin Sullivan

    June 21, 2019

    One of the most common questions we hear from collective impact practitioners is how to raise the funds needed to support and sustain the backbone role. While some funders have a nuanced understanding of the immense value of collective impact initiatives, supporting the backbone is a different approach for many philanthropic and public funding sources, which can make it challenging to get the consistent, long-term investments needed to help effect population-change.
  • Envisioning a “New Normal”: Systems-Based Approaches for Achieving the Next Generation of Development Goals

    Ann Hendrix-Jenkins

    June 20, 2019

    International development is in the midst of a sea change, broadening from a general focus on project-based outcomes to production of sustainable, embedded change. Worldwide, leaders at all levels are calling for development outcomes that go beyond “short-term technical assistance” and direct service provision, and looking to integrated approaches that foster self reliance and resilience.
  • Advancing Equity, Justice, and a Culture of Collaboration: Insights from the 2019 Collective Impact Convening

    Jennifer Splansky Juster

    June 14, 2019

    Collective impact practitioners have an insatiable appetite for tools, case studies, and other actionable resources on the “how” of collective impact: how to embed equity in planning and implementation, how to prioritize authentic community engagement, how to use data for continuous learning and improvement, how to create a culture of collaboration and build partners’ collaborative leadership capacity, and more.
  • Creating Consensus with Targeted Universalism

    Ebele Anidi

    February 15, 2019

    A collaborative effort, driven by a diverse group of stakeholders united behind a common goal, can serve as a catalyst for addressing inequities at a systems level. But beneath the unity of purpose, initial disagreement can arise when stakeholders have to decide how to invest in those with the greatest need without sacrificing community-level goals or appearing to favor one group over another.
  • Building the Practice of Collective Impact

    Liz Weaver

    January 30, 2019

    Collective impact (CI), a framework for influencing systems change, was launched in the winter of 2011. The CI approach has been deployed by community collaboratives across Canada, the US and internationally to move the needle on a wide variety of complex issues from decreasing homelessness and poverty to improving health and education outcomes for children and youth.
  • The Role of Technology in Social Change: Lessons from the Field

    Alexis Alvarez Franco

    January 9, 2019

    The role of technology in social efforts has grown over the past several years. With the advancement of technological tools, technology has facilitated the efforts of nonprofits, governments, and private sector actors in catalyzing social change. However, the feasibility and the degree to which technologies could support the efforts of collective impact efforts remained unclear. The Collective Impact Forum recently partnered with Sony to survey members of the Collective Impact Forum to understand their technological needs and understand whether there was an opportunity for new technology to support collective impact efforts.