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Collective Impact

Address a major challenge by working with other changemakers toward a common goal

Introduction

How do we move the needle on a complex community issue?

Collective Impact enables participants from different organizations to address a major challenge by developing an integrated plan of interventions that fundamentally changes population-level outcomes in a community.

When successful, communities solve big complex challenges (e.g., youth unemployment, low graduation rates, poverty) or make substantial societal shifts (e.g., more sustainable food systems) by creating a shared multi-sector understanding of the problem, a common vision, and an action plan with shared measurements and reinforcing activities.

Based on our experience working with Collective Impact initiatives, Innoweave has adapted the original five conditions of Collective Impact (Kania & Kramer, 2012) to underscore and prioritize the need for common outcome goals and approaches:

Priority # 1

  • Clearly define population-level outcome goals

Priority # 2

  • Define a clear model of the integrated efforts required to achieve those goals

Once Priorities #1 and #2 have been defined, they are supported by:

  • Shared measurement of outcomes and leading indicators
  • Continuous communication and improvement
  • Backbone coordination and support

 

Collective Impact initiatives can help with issues that:

  • Are difficult to address, and change with every attempt to address them
  • Involve multiple stakeholders with different values and priorities
  • Have causes and drivers that are interdependent
  • Are filled with uncertainties and unknowns
  • Require multiple new solutions that will need to be constantly tested and adjusted

Collective Impact Early Support

This stream helps participants from a group of different organizations apply the Collective Impact approach to achieve a shared population-level impact goal. Through customized coaching, the process is designed to help participants build a comprehensive plan on how to move forward with a successful Collective Impact initiative. 

Innoweave coaching supports aim to help participants of new/developing as well as established collectives/coalitions to* 

  • Clarify their impact goals by developing  a collective Intended Impact Statement and Theory of Change 
  • Conduct data gathering, engagement, and validation of the Intended Impact Statement and Theory of Change 
  • Develop an engagement strategy 
  • Develop the collective’s action plan which can include, for example: defining and confirming a governance model, developing a learning agenda, developing an evaluation measurement framework, developing a communications plan.

* Collaboratives that have strong elements of a Collective Impact plan already in place and believe that they need a customized approach to their coaching/funding should contact info@innoweave.ca to discuss options for moving forward.


Please note that Innoweave is currently reviewing our strategy and evolving our offerings. Our original coaching streams are available during our 2024 funding round as we gradually refine our approach. Stay up to date by checking back regularly and subscribing to our newsletter.

The Innoweave self-assessment tool is designed to help you determine your organization's readiness and whether your initiative or program model is well suited for Collective Impact.

Self-
assessment

This assessment has 5 questions.

Please respond to each of the questions to the best of your ability by choosing the option that most accurately reflects your organizational context.

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Do you have a clearly articulated issue or challenge that you would like to address through Collective Impact?
Have you identified specific population-level impact goals that will help you achieve Collective Impact on your issue or challenge?
What level of engagement have you achieved within the community to advance this issue?
Will you be able to mobilize influential leaders across sectors to address this issue?
How confident are you that your team can secure the financial resources needed to advance your collective impact goals?

Info Session

We encourage teams interested in Innoweave’s Collective Impact stream to review our latest information session recording:

Watch a recording

Info Sessions & Workshops

    No upcoming events.

Relevant Resources

Additional Resources

Coaches

Innoweave offers coaching support to changemakers whose organizations are well positioned to implement a Collective Impact approach. Connect with an Innoweave coach to help you explore and implement your initiative. Then apply to Innoweave for funds to support that coaching engagement.

Keith Jones
Stephany Peterson headshot
headshot of coach Amaury de Foresta
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Apply for support

Collaboratives are eligible to apply for Innoweave coaching support if you have submitted an Expression of Interest and it has been approved. Where possible, the fiduciary lead for the collaborative should complete the application.

Apply Now

FAQ

These are our most frequently asked questions.

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How do I know if Collective Impact is the right approach?

It can be difficult to determine whether the challenge you want to address actually requires a full Collective Impact approach. Check out the self-assessment on this page or connect with Innoweave (info@innoweave.ca) to explore this idea. Keep in mind that Collective Impact is one of the most intense and demanding forms of collaboration, and should be employed where such integration is essential.

We have a large network of partners and want to transform this into a Collective Impact initiative. How do we start?

Collective Impact coaching from Innoweave will ask you to first focus on a clear population-level outcome goal. Getting a large network of organizations to agree on this is possible but could require a great deal of time and effort. It can be more efficient to begin with a small core group and then grow the collaborative over time.