Posted Friday, December 12, 2014 at 4:36 pm

We’re excited to share with you some of the “top” reads for the year from the Collective Impact Forum--the year’s most downloaded reports, the most popular posts, and the most accessed tools from our resource library.

As we gear up for 2015, we look forward to sharing even more resources with you and finding more ways to support you and your social change work.

Top 5 Blogs

2014's most popular posts from the Forum blog.

1. The Culture of Collective Impact

Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor for the Collective Impact Forum, shares the five core values that help leaders work better together when striving for results for their collective impact efforts.

2. Bringing an Equity Lens to Collective Impact

Junious Williams and Sarah Marxer (Urban Strategies Council) discuss how initiatives can include an equity lens to each of the five collective impact elements.

3. Building Civic Confidence Through Collective Impact

Monique Miles from the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions discusses three examples of communities demonstrating a willingness to take on increasingly complex issues while using a variety of approaches to achieve impact.

4. The Types of Problems Suited for Collective Impact

Collective Impact Forum director Jennifer Splansky Juster explores what questions initiatives should ask when starting up to help determine if collective impact is the approach to take.

5. Corralling Collaborations

Karen Pittman from the Forum for Youth Investment discusses what tasks are necessary for initiatives to align their work.


Top 5 Resources

The most downloaded articles and reports from the Forum Resource Library in 2014.

1. Guide to Evaluating Collective Impact

Leaders of collective impact initiatives need an evaluation approach that is as multi-faceted, responsive, and flexible as the initiatives themselves. This three-part guide offers detailed advice on how to plan for and implement effective evaluation activities in the context of collective impact.

2. Committing to Collective Impact: From Vision to Implementation

This article focuses on what to consider when launching collective impact working groups, how to identify stakeholders best suited to serve on working groups, and how working groups can succeed in their first six months.

3. Collective Insights on Collective Impact

22 practitioners, funders, community organizers, and thought-leaders share cutting-edge thinking on important collective impact topics such as public policy, evaluation, and community engagement.

4. Aligning Collective Impact Initiatives

Communities can suffer from too many initiatives, creating overlap, inefficiency, and frustration. This piece explores how to align multiple coalitions into a system collective impact initiative.

5. How Public Policy Can Support Collective Impact

This learning brief shares examples and recommendations of public policies that use funding streams, regulations, reporting and auditing practices, and interdepartmental collaboration to enable communities to apply the collective impact approach to tackling complex social problems.


Top 5 Tools

The most popular tools from the Forum Resource Library in 2014.

1. Tools for Backbones

This toolkit includes a number of tools for establishing the infrastructure of a collective impact backbone, including a list of sample backbone activities, a sample request for proposals for a backbone organization, and sample backbone position descriptions.

2. Backbone Support Assessment Worksheet

Communities often have more than one organization that can take on aspects of an overarching leadership and coordination role. This tool outlines several attributes to consider when determining which organization(s) are the strongest candidates for playing these roles.

3. Mapping Moving Trains

To better align your community’s work, it is useful to look for the “moving trains” that have already taken on an issue. This tool provides a quick way to get an understanding of where there are overlaps and gaps among current initiatives.

4. Working Group Planning Template

This tool could be used by action planning work groups to help guide their structure and overall strategic direction, as well as to define their implementation plan

5. Tools for Working Groups

This toolkit includes a number of tools for working groups as they form, determine strategic direction, develop implementation plans, and identify measurement indicators.


Top Videos

Tackling Complex Social Problems through Collective Impact

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What is collective impact? How is it different from other forms of collaboration? We know that these questions aren’t always easy to answer, even for collective impact practitioners. That’s why the Collective Impact Forum has created a short motion graphic, Tackling Complex Social Problems through Collective Impact, to illustrate how collective impact works and why it’s an effective approach to social change.

Shape Up Somerville

This video profiles Shape Up Somerville's collective impact journey, and their initiative's goal to build and sustain a healthy community using the collective impact approach.

Why Collective Impact?

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Collective impact practitioners discuss an important question—“Why collective impact?” They explain why collective impact has been an approach where they have found success for their initiatives and for empowering systemic change.


Thank you!

Thank you for being a part of our growing collective impact community and making 2014 a fantastic first year for the Forum!

Please share with us in the comments YOUR favorite resources, blogs, and tools related to collective impact. We would love to hear what in the field you find valuable.