Getting Traction with Collective Impact – Lasting Community Change

Collective Impact was given ten years of funding to explore poverty reduction across 13 Canadian cities.  They forecast they’d have a positive impact on the lives of 5000 people.  In fact they affected the lives of 202,000 people!

Collective Impact is a framework and body of practice using multi-sector approaches to work on community change efforts that are focussed on the complex and often intractable problems of poverty, educational achievement and neighbourhood revitalisation.

Canadian Liz Weaver, Vice-President of Tamarack – an Institute for Community Engagement  based in Ontario – was here  in New Zealand recently talking about the power and benefits of the Collective  Impact process.

Liz says that to get traction on the things that cry out for change we need to:

  • Gather data that quantifies the issues size and community impact.
  • Use this data in all funder communications and interactions.
  • Measure the changes and use the figures to demonstrate success.
  • Recognise that problems and solutions are joined together.
  • Argue and provide the evidence for longer term multi-year funding, or as Liz says the need for “patient capital”.

If you’re interested in social change, building stronger and more inclusive communities and  if you’re an NGO, a community group, school, government agency or funder, you need to learn more about Collective Impact.

Go here to see Liz’s Wellington presentation along with other resources on Collective Impact.

The ComVoices Blogger