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Collective Impact

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


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

Collective Impact enables a group of 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 process
The Innoweave Collective Impact process helps groups of community organizations apply the Collective Impact approach to achieve a shared population-level impact goal. Through workshops, customized coaching and launch funds, the process is designed to help groups build a comprehensive plan on how to move forward with a successful Collective Impact initiative. The process includes:

Step 1: Collective Impact Workshop #1 – focus on priority #1: defining a clear population-level outcome goal

Step 2: Collective Impact Development Coaching – coaching (up to $5,000) to work on priority #2: defining and testing a clear model of how to achieve such goals

Step 3: Collective Impact Workshop #2 – reflect on community feedback and determine the key structures to put in place to launch a Collective Impact initiative (e.g., backbone, shared measurement)

Step 4: Planning Coaching – coaching (up to $10,000) to craft a launch plan and make final adjustments to the Collective Impact plan.

Step 5: Launch Funding – flexible grant support (up to $40,000) to kick off your Collective Impact initiative.

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.


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?

Impact Accelerator

We encourage all organizations to attend or view a pre-recorded Impact Accelerator before further exploring a coaching stream.

Upcoming Accelerators

Info Sessions & Workshops

  • Impact Accelerator: Online, Online March 5, 2020 Innoweave is pleased to offer an Innoweave Impact Accelerator Working Session. What is the Innoweave Impact Accelerator? Since its launch in 2012, Innoweave has...
    Provided in English
  • Impact Accelerator: London, Ontario in partnership with Pillar Nonprofit Network, London, ON March 18, 2020 Innoweave is pleased to offer an Innoweave Impact Accelerator Working Session in partnership with Pillar Nonprofit Network. What is the Innoweave Impact Accelerator? Since...
    Provided in English

Can’t find what you’re looking for? We might have more events in French. Or, contact the Innoweave team to discuss hosting a learning event for you and other organizations in your community.


Innoweave offers coaching support to organizations that 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.

Jean-Baptiste Sawadogo
Nicole Kovacs
Catherine Lang
Mariam Larson
Sharon Brodovsky
Elaina Mack
Robyn McLean
Dènik Dorval
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Apply for support

Your organization is eligible to apply for Innoweave coaching support if one of the following applies: You have attended Innoweave Collective Impact Workshop #1 or you have submitted an Expression of Interest and it has been approved.

Apply Now


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 ( 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.

Do I have to go through all the workshop steps? Can my group access launch funding right away?

We understand that different groups will be at different stages of the process of developing their Collective Impact initiative. For groups who are beyond Collective Impact Workshop #1 and would like to engage in the process at a different stage, please reach out to us at Please note that Innoweave rarely offers launch grants to projects that have not first received some form of coaching.

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.