The research study “When Collective Impact Has an Impact: A Cross-Site Study of 25 Collective Impact Initiatives,” conducted by a research team from the organizations ORS Impact and the Spark Policy Institute, looks at the question of “To what extent and under what conditions does the collective impact approach contribute to systems and population changes?”

To explore these questions, the research team studied 25 sites and has generated a rich set of findings that we hope will be useful for the field of collective impact practitioners, community members, funders, researchers, and evaluators.

The research team looked at how the collective impact approach contributed to each initiative’s ability to achieve systems changes to population changes, including:

  • What population level, systems change, and early outcomes were found across the participating initiatives,
  • How implementation of the collective impact approach contributed to outcomes, and
  • How embedding an equity approach contributed to equity results within their work.

A key finding of the report is that “the role of the collective impact initiatives in contributing to population change alongside other efforts or enablers is a critical and valuable aspect of social change.”

Download the full report and executive summary with the download links on the left of this page.


Read more from ORS Impact and Spark Policy to learn more about what went into the study.

Read a summary of the findings in the Collective Impact Forum blog.

Watch a webinar explaining the report's findings.


Kimberly Pugel

technical assistance provider / consultant

Hello - we are looking to use an adaptation of the collective impact conditions rubric to guide some of our evaluations, based on this great study. The appendix provides the rubric, but does not include the "fleshed out" descriptions for what each condition would look like for mature, emerging, or absent. Could this be shared?

Submitted by Kimberly Pugel on Mon, 2018-08-27 15:49

Hello, I was trying to find appendices and bibliography from this report but can't seem to locate them at the end of the report. Thanks!

Submitted by Olga Shcherbyna on Tue, 2018-12-25 11:18

Tracy Timmons-Gray

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

Hi, Olga. Thanks for asking. We've updated the file to include the appendices. You'll now find the report is 124 pages. (Appendices start on page 95.)

Submitted by Tracy Timmons-Gray on Wed, 2019-01-02 20:08