By: Richard Patton, Vision for Children at Risk
Last November, Vision for Children at Risk provided an Internet link to some key local stakeholders to an article in the Winter 2011 edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review titled “Collective Impact”. Shared with some St. Louis area nonprofit organizations, funders, and civic leaders who are focused on broad-scale, strategic community action, the article stirred interest. Now, through the leadership of some forward looking local foundations, representatives of Strive Cincinnati — perhaps the leading collective impact initiative in the country — are coming to St. Louis on April 7-8 to discuss the overall strategy and the workings of the Strive initiatives in Cincinnati and other cities. Sessions will be held that involve local funders, nonprofits and civic leaders.
Collective impact is defined by the authors of the SSIR article, John Kania and Mark Kramer, as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.” In a recent New York Times op-ed shared by Mary McMurtrey at the Gateway Center for Giving, David Bornstein described collective impact as “a disciplined effort to bring together dozens or even hundreds of organizations in a city (or field) to establish a common vision, adopt a shared set of measurable goals and pursue evidenced-based actions that reinforce one another’s work and further their goals.“ Dozens of cities have embarked on various types of collective impact initiatives addressing different problems and needs. Read the rest of this entry »