A strong backbone team - staff dedicated to guiding a cross-sector group of stakeholders toward a common goal - is a critical component of collective impact.

Come join the Collective Impact Forum on Oct. 15-17, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA for a three-day workshop designed for leaders of backbone teams from collective impact initiatives.


Registration and scholarship applications are now open. Please visit our workshop registration site.

About Champions For Change 2019

The Champions for Change workshop, now in its sixth year, provides professional development to backbone leaders; encourages peer learning among backbone teams; and shares new insights on the work of backbones from the field.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Clarifying the roles and leadership characteristics of the backbone
  • Incorporating equity in your collective impact work
  • Fostering community collaboration and co-ownership in your initiative
  • Building collaboration with funders, partners, and stakeholders
  • Developing and learning from shared measurement
  • Evaluating collective impact
  • Sustaining momentum for collective impact initiatives over the long-term

Join us this October 15-17, 2019 for our longest-running and most popular training—Champions for Change!

Who will get the most out of Champions? 

The Champions for Change learning experience is most geared for those who are more at the early/beginning stages of their collective impact work, whether you are are just starting out or are a couple years into your initiative. It can also be a helpful learning experience if you have a team who are new to working in the collective impact space. If you have been doing collective impact work for many years and feel more comfortable with the areas of focus around data, embedding equity, and supporting partners, we would recommend instead our annual Collective Impact Convening that includes more later-stage work and case studies.

Have you attended Champions before? This training is similar in theme and content to previous years of successful Champions for Change workshops.

If you have attended Champions for Change in the past, we would recommend this opportunity only if you are looking for a refresher of the content, or as a new learning opportunity for your teammates or stakeholders.

Champions for Change Faculty

Confirmed speakers for Champions for Change 2019 include:

  • Robert Albright, Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Sheri Brady, Associate Director, Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
  • Paul Schmitz, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum
  • Lauren A. Smith, Co-CEO, FSG
  • Jennifer Splansky Juster, Executive Director, Collective Impact Forum
  • Junious Williams, Senior Advisor, Collective Impact Forum

Workshop Agenda

The 2019 Workshop Agenda is being finalized: To see last year’s workshop agenda and sessions, please view the 2018 workshop agenda.

Scholarship Applications Now Open – Applications due June 12, 2019

A limited number of scholarships for a registration discount are available for this workshop. This discount will bring registration down to $350 for the full workshop. The due date for scholarship applications is June 12, 2019, and decisions will be made by June 20, 2019. Click here to submit your application.

Scholarship priorities are to help subsidize registration for those whose organizational budgets are less than $500,000, or who are from an underrepresented group within nonprofit leadership. People of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify on the LGBTQIA spectrum (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) are encouraged to apply.

Apply for a Registration Scholarship

Refund Policy - Please note

Full refunds will be offered until Friday, August 23, and partial refunds will be offered (less a $150 administration fee) until Friday, September 13.  Refunds cannot be made after September 13, but substitutions are possible. Substitution names must be confirmed and submitted by Friday, September 27.

Registration is now open! Learn more and register


Dana Powell

funder of initiatives

Is it possible to get an approximate cost for the conference even if registration isn't available yet? We have some collective impact initiatives getting up and running and would love for our backbone agencies to include funds in their budgets to attend!


Submitted by Dana Powell on Thu, 2019-04-04 11:03

Tracy Timmons-Gray

administrator, backbone organization, community manager, funder of initiatives, partner organization, other, technical assistance provider / consultant, content administrator, blogger, funder community of practice

Sure thing. We'll have a couple different rates. There's a nonprofit early-bird rate of $750. If you are a funder, the early-bird rate will be $900. And we have a reserved set of spots for the "Community Builder" rate which is $500, and is for those coming whose organizational budgets are less than $500,000 a year. We will also have a reserved number of scholarship spots for a reduced-price registration of $350. Registration and the scholarship application process will open later this month.

Submitted by Tracy Timmons-Gray on Thu, 2019-04-04 14:17

Tracy Timmons-Gray

administrator, backbone organization, community manager, funder of initiatives, partner organization, other, technical assistance provider / consultant, content administrator, blogger, funder community of practice

Also, one other addition- if you wish to stay in our hotel block, room nights are $159 per night, plus taxes.

Submitted by Tracy Timmons-Gray on Thu, 2019-04-04 14:18