Collective Impact

Grassroots Advocacy Is Hard Work But Clearly Effective

Dr. Elinor Ostrom of Indiana University won the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics for her research into the role of voluntary associations in solving a wide range of public challenges. Typically, society manages its “public assets” (i.e. fish in the ocean, lumber in public forests, etc.) in one of two ways in order to avoid uncontrolled consumption. First, society treats the public asset like a private asset and submits its consumption to market forces. A good example is offshore oil leases in which potential users competitively bid to lease the “land” and extract oil. Second, society can manage public assets […]

Collective Impact Is NOT Sustainability

It seems that “Collective Impact” is all the latest buzz in philanthropy but some folks are using it when they really mean “Sustainability”. Here is a short outline of my thoughts on the differences and interaction between the concepts of sustainability and collective impact for funders. What do you think? Collective Impact is a grant making framework for social and community change which includes multiple funders and agencies who develop a common agenda, a shared measurement system, standardized and frequent communications, mutually reinforcing group activities that support success, and the coordination and leadership of a respected backbone organization. Sustainability is […]