This toolkit from the Forum for Youth Investment's Ready by 21 initiative is designed to guide members of a collective impact partnership to develop a common agenda, via shared goals and indicators, and a plan to achieve those goals. This toolkit also helps members to communicate more effectively with each other and their constituents by reaching mutual understanding of key terms that are commonly used by the various partners, and agreeing on the core messages of their effort. The process includes using both new and existing data, as well as input from other stakeholders and the public. Tools include dashboards to help assess community conditions and a guide to selecting community indicators, along with readings and other resources.

Bigger Goals Toolkit

What this is
Ready by 21© is a set of innovative strategies developed by the Forum for Youth Investment that helps communities and states improve the odds that all children and youth will be ready for college, work and life.

The Forum organized those strategies and the related goalsunder The Bigger Goals toolkit helps leadership groups establish a -­‐oriented vision for a community or state. It guides them to create a balanced set of goals and indicators; define the supports that the community or state must provide to the population that they aim to help; create a big picture, goal-­‐oriented action plan; and define common terms and communicate core messages.

How this Connects to Collective Impact
This toolkit is designed for a backbone organization to guide members of the partnership to:

  • Develop a common agenda, via shared goals and indicators, and a plan to achieve those goals.
  • Communicate more effectively with each other and their constituents by reaching mutual understanding of key terms that are commonly used by the various partners, and agreeing on the core messages of their effort.


The toolkit notes that establishing a common vision that conveys compelling goals is a critical step towards aligning efforts because common definitions and shared goals challenge leaders to work together more effectively to make a difference.