Collective Impact

Collective Impact

Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organisations. The Stamford Social Innovation review article that ignited global interest in collective impact.

Link to this article here.

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work

An in-depth look at how organisations of all types, acting in diverse settings, are implementing a collective impact approach to solve large-scale social problems.

Link to this article

Understanding the Value of Backbone Organizations in Collective Impact

In 2012, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) and the nonprofit consulting firm FSG partnered to understand and evaluate the role of backbone organisations in collective impact efforts. The result is a four part series providing an in-depth review of what it takes to be a backbone organisation, and how to evaluate and support its work.

Link to Part 1 here.

Link to part 2 here.

Link to Part 3 here.

Link to part 4 here.

Embracing Emergence: How Collective Impact Addresses Complexity

Collective impact is upending conventional wisdom on how we achieve social progress.

Link to article online here.

Collective Impact or Coordinated Blindness?

The authors argue that a focus on “collective impact” over and above competition often results in coordinated but misdirected effort. Collaboration is initially helpful in generating efficiency of implementation by centralising the focus of multiple organisations, but such coordination is beneficial only when it centralises effectively and identifies the right solution—a complicated proposition with multi-faceted social problems. Indeed, the gap between collective impact and coordinated blindness is unfortunately small.

Link to article online here

Rereading “Collective Impact”: Three Lessons

To sustain the collaboration beyond the first journey through the cycle requires that participants constantly reassess the rationale and value proposition of the collaboration—to learn and affirm why they are committed to working with others.

Link to article online here.

Essential Mindset Shifts for Collective Impact

To be effective, collective impact must consider who is engaged, how they work together, and how progress happens.

Link to article online here.

Defining Quality Collective Impact

To sustain collective impact, we must bring more rigour to the practice by drawing on lessons from a diverse array of communities to define what truly makes this work unique.

Link to article online here.

The Role of Grantmakers in Collective Impact

Grant makers can catalyse connections and lay the groundwork for collective impact initiatives to take shape.

Link to article online here.

Power Dynamics in Collective Impact


Collective impact initiatives must build the power needed to accomplish their common agenda.

Link to article online here.


Roundtable on Community Engagement and Collective Impact

The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions gathered scholars and practitioners for a conversation about engaging the community in a collective impact initiative.

Link to article online here

Learning in Action: Evaluating Collective Impact

Successful collective impact initiatives embed evaluation in their DNA and use it to make better decisions about the future.

Link to article online here.

Putting Community in Collective Impact

Five characteristics of civic culture that collective impact efforts must address.

Link to article online here.