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COLLECTIVE IMPACT (Part 2)

Businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, foundations, and social enterprises. While different in structure, these institutions and the leaders behind them share an essential belief — society needs truly effective high impact change that moves the needle on critical issues like health equity, poverty reduction, and educational justice.

For more than a decade, dedicated people from many different such types of institutions have been creating localized eco-systems of change. These ecosystems are known as ‘collective impact models.’ Originating in North Carolina and popularized by the work of authors in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, collective impact has rightfully gained traction as the most viable model for genuinely effective change that makes real differences in communities.

In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best measured examples of collective impact and get insight into the power of the Collective Impact model to bring about shifts in community wide outcomes.

The StrivePartnership educational initiative in Cincinnati is an example that portrays the influence collective impact can have on a community. This initiative, established in 2006, aimed to address and improve the educational system in Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky by helping students accel in their academic journey at every stage of their life – “from cradle to career”.

They utilized the model successfully by bringing together over 300 local community leaders and organizations from different sectors who believed in the importance of education to better understand the needs of the community they lived in. All participants agreed to collaborate with each other through a well-structured process to measure and ensure student progress, while also learning and supporting each other. They understood that an individual leader or organization, however successful, cannot accomplish this goal by oneself. This partnership directly lead to major improvements in the educational system of that region.  The region saw a significant increase in graduate rates, students GPA, and even child readiness leading into kindergarten.

As of today, StrivePartnership still shows an ongoing improvement of student success based on the shared key performance indicators. They continually aspire to enhance the well-being of the community through education. In their mission to strengthen the educational system in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, they are now focusing on ensuring racial and economic equity. Due to the success of StrivePartnership and their use of the collective impact model, a few leaders from StriveParnership established StriveTogether Cradle-to-Career Network in hopes of replicating this initiative in other communities nationwide. Their journey of improving the education system in America has a strong foundation with the use of this model laying at its core.

Collective Impact has also been successfully used in initiatives aimed to alleviate poverty. Tamarack Institute partnered with J. W. McConnell Family Foundation and Caledon Institute of Social Policy to establish Vibrant Communities in 2002. They worked with 13 trail builders cities and community leaders for ten years with the common goal to reduce poverty in Canada. The first year was dedicated to learn about the community’s needs related to poverty and engage the population to think about ways to eradicate poverty. Specific strategies for each community were built based on the knowledge gained that first year. These strategies primarily involved a multi-sector network of local leaders, non-profits, and businesses who work together with a well-structured methodology to improve different areas of poverty that affects  education, employment, and overall health among many others.

The co-founder of Tamarack Institute, Paul Born, felt that one of the most pivotal successes of this initiative came from empowering individuals to believe in their own ability to truly make an impact in alleviating poverty. During a 10 year span, Vibrant Communities led to a poverty reduction of 10% in several communities that impacted over 200,000 low income Canadians.

This success can be explained by an understanding from all partners to address poverty through better systems that can have a lasting impact on a population level. Due to the success of Vibrant Cities, Cities Reducing Poverty was created in 2012 as a movement to replicate the collective impact model used by Vibrant Communities in other cities and communities. Over the years, Cities Reducing Poverty has developed poverty alleviation strategies that over 175 cities are now successfully using to collectively work towards reducing poverty in their communities. Tamarack Institute shares case studies and helpful resources on collective impact on their website if you are interested to know more or to use a collective impact model in your community.

These initiatives share the five core conditions of Collective Impact: common agenda, a continuous communication, a shared measurement system, mutually reinforcing activities, and a backbone function. Although Collective Impact might not be the only way to resolve social issues, these five core conditions has proved to be powerful in addressing complex social problems to bring about social change on a large scale.

To learn more about collective impact, check out these wonderful resources:
Foundation Strategy Group (FSG)
Collective Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review – SSIR)
Does Collective Impact really make an impact? (SSIR)
StriveTogether
StrivePartnership
Tamarack Institute

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COLLECTIVE IMPACT (Part 1)

Oftentimes, multiple organizations work in isolation to address problems. Collective impact brings people together, typically from different sectors, and applies a structured approach to solving complex social problems. It is more than just collaboration. It is a unified plan and vision with shared accountability across all the participants. There are five core conditions of Collective Impact.

Common Agenda
All participants have a shared vision, common understanding of the problem, aligned strategies for addressing the problem, and mutually-agreed-upon objectives and goals.

Shared Measurement System
Progress is measured with agreed-upon indicators that are shared among the partners

Continuous Communication
Transparent and continual communication exists among all the groups. This is essential to remain focused on the problem and build trust between the partners

Mutually-Reinforcing Activities
While each partner may be focused on a different aspect of the problem, efforts are coordinated to avoid duplication and encourage efficiency and collaboration.

Backbone Function
A dedicated team focuses on coordinating the partners and managing the Collective Impact components.

In a Collective Impact model, high priority is placed on equity, continual learning, and a culture that promotes relationship, trust, and respect.

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Leadership Eatonville | Prototyping Session III

Graduates of the Leadership Eatonville Growth Leadership Certificate program will be participating in three sessions of prototyping to turn their ideas into reality. The program continues with brainstorming, feedback, and ideas for partnerships, implementation, and funding sources to turn the initiatives the participants came up with in the first part of the program into a functioning community initiative within Eatonville.

These follow up session will take place every other Thursday evening for 6 weeks. The first session begins on Thursday, December 14th from 6pm to 8pm at the Denton Johnson Community Center. We look forward to the transformative impact that these community members will have by implementing the ideas they see the need for in their neighborhood.

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Leadership Eatonville | Prototyping Session II

Graduates of the Leadership Eatonville Growth Leadership Certificate program will be participating in three sessions of prototyping to turn their ideas into reality. The program continues with brainstorming, feedback, and ideas for partnerships, implementation, and funding sources to turn the initiatives the participants came up with in the first part of the program into a functioning community initiative within Eatonville.

These follow up session will take place every other Thursday evening for 6 weeks. The first session begins on Thursday, November 30th from 6pm to 8pm at the Denton Johnson Community Center. We look forward to the transformative impact that these community members will have by implementing the ideas they see the need for in their neighborhood.

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Leadership Eatonville | Prototyping Session I

Graduates of the Leadership Eatonville Growth Leadership Certificate program will be participating in three sessions of prototyping to turn their ideas into reality. The program continues with brainstorming, feedback, and ideas for partnerships, implementation, and funding sources to turn the initiatives the participants came up with in the first part of the program into a functioning community initiative within Eatonville.

These follow up session will take place every other Thursday evening for 6 weeks. The first session begins on Thursday, November 9th from 6pm to 8pm at the Denton Johnson Community Center. We look forward to the transformative impact that these community members will have by implementing the ideas they see the need for in their neighborhood.

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Leadership Eatonville Session VI

Leadership Eatonville is a six-session workshop series for town residents that will enhance community leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Each participant will select a specific community initiative – existing or new – to work on using the principles and practical tips learned in the sessions. The course is free for Eatonville residents. Non-residents may apply.

The workshop series will be held every other Thursday evening between August 10th and October 19th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Denton Johnson Community Center (400 Ruffel St, Eatonville, FL 32751). Graduates of the program will be eligible for additional one-on-one coaching sessions in the winter that will help them attract investment in the initiative that they are working on.

The class schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 10
Thursday, August 24
Thursday, September 7 (cancelled due to Irma)
Thursday, September 21
Thursday, October 5
Thursday, October 19
Thursday, October 26

The course is facilitated by the Polis Institute on behalf of the Healthy Eatonville Team. POLIS is an Orlando-based non-profit that facilitates positive community impact through research, training, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, POLIS has helped dozens of communities leverage their interests and skills to improve quality of life in ways that are most meaningful and beneficial to them. POLIS champions the inherent dignity and value of all people.

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Leadership Eatonville Session V

Leadership Eatonville is a six-session workshop series for town residents that will enhance community leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Each participant will select a specific community initiative – existing or new – to work on using the principles and practical tips learned in the sessions. The course is free for Eatonville residents. Non-residents may apply.

The workshop series will be held every other Thursday evening between August 10th and October 19th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Denton Johnson Community Center (400 Ruffel St, Eatonville, FL 32751). Graduates of the program will be eligible for additional one-on-one coaching sessions in the winter that will help them attract investment in the initiative that they are working on.

The class schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 10
Thursday, August 24
Thursday, September 7 (cancelled due to Irma)
Thursday, September 21
Thursday, October 5
Thursday, October 19
Thursday, October 26

The course is facilitated by the Polis Institute on behalf of the Healthy Eatonville Team. POLIS is an Orlando-based non-profit that facilitates positive community impact through research, training, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, POLIS has helped dozens of communities leverage their interests and skills to improve quality of life in ways that are most meaningful and beneficial to them. POLIS champions the inherent dignity and value of all people.

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Leadership Eatonville Session IV

Leadership Eatonville is a six-session workshop series for town residents that will enhance community leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Each participant will select a specific community initiative – existing or new – to work on using the principles and practical tips learned in the sessions. The course is free for Eatonville residents. Non-residents may apply.

The workshop series will be held every other Thursday evening between August 10th and October 19th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Denton Johnson Community Center (400 Ruffel St, Eatonville, FL 32751). Graduates of the program will be eligible for additional one-on-one coaching sessions in the winter that will help them attract investment in the initiative that they are working on.

The class schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 10
Thursday, August 24
Thursday, September 7 (cancelled due to Irma)
Thursday, September 21
Thursday, October 5
Thursday, October 19
Thursday, October 26

The course is facilitated by the Polis Institute on behalf of the Healthy Eatonville Team. POLIS is an Orlando-based non-profit that facilitates positive community impact through research, training, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, POLIS has helped dozens of communities leverage their interests and skills to improve quality of life in ways that are most meaningful and beneficial to them. POLIS champions the inherent dignity and value of all people.

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Leadership Eatonville Session III

Leadership Eatonville is a six-session workshop series for town residents that will enhance community leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Each participant will select a specific community initiative – existing or new – to work on using the principles and practical tips learned in the sessions. The course is free for Eatonville residents. Non-residents may apply.

The workshop series will be held every other Thursday evening between August 10th and October 19th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Denton Johnson Community Center (400 Ruffel St, Eatonville, FL 32751). Graduates of the program will be eligible for additional one-on-one coaching sessions in the winter that will help them attract investment in the initiative that they are working on.

The class schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 10
Thursday, August 24
Thursday, September 7
Thursday, September 21
Thursday, October 5
Thursday, October 19

The course is facilitated by the Polis Institute on behalf of the Healthy Eatonville Team. POLIS is an Orlando-based non-profit that facilitates positive community impact through research, training, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, POLIS has helped dozens of communities leverage their interests and skills to improve quality of life in ways that are most meaningful and beneficial to them. POLIS champions the inherent dignity and value of all people.

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Rescheduled Due to Hurricane:: Leadership Eatonville Session III

Leadership Eatonville is a six-session workshop series for town residents that will enhance community leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Each participant will select a specific community initiative – existing or new – to work on using the principles and practical tips learned in the sessions. The course is free for Eatonville residents. Non-residents may apply.

The workshop series will be held every other Thursday evening between August 10th and October 19th from 6:30pm to 9:00pm in the Denton Johnson Community Center (400 Ruffel St, Eatonville, FL 32751). Graduates of the program will be eligible for additional one-on-one coaching sessions in the winter that will help them attract investment in the initiative that they are working on.

The class schedule is as follows:
Thursday, August 10
Thursday, August 24
Thursday, September 14 **rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma**
Thursday, September 21
Thursday, October 5
Thursday, October 19

The course is facilitated by the Polis Institute on behalf of the Healthy Eatonville Team. POLIS is an Orlando-based non-profit that facilitates positive community impact through research, training, and community engagement. Founded in 2009, POLIS has helped dozens of communities leverage their interests and skills to improve quality of life in ways that are most meaningful and beneficial to them. POLIS champions the inherent dignity and value of all people.